Most property managers are working flat out during the spring and summer moving season and notice a significant slowdown as we move later in the summer and into fall and winter. Securing new tenants is a complicated process with a lot of paperwork and it takes a lot of time to deal with all the aspects of this process. As a residential property owner, it is worth considering the timing for having your rental hit the market and what you can do with the lease terms and incentives to shift that date to the most beneficial one for you.  


With respect to moving schedules, most people adhere to the spring/summer moving season. However, not every buyer and seller or renter adheres to this cycle, as there are many factors that influence a moving decision. Each season has its benefits and drawbacks. In order to schedule and optimize the income you could get during every season, it is necessary to understand what is happening during these moving seasons.


Be informed

Before knowing all the benefits and drawbacks of all the seasons, it is important to be informed about current lease terms and moving plans of tenants. Good and timely communication is crucial to prepare the property for open house planning the new owners. It should be known how much time it will take for the apartment to be ready for the next tenants, therefore plan accordingly.


Summer and spring period

Many people move in the summer and spring because they want their kids to get settled into a new community before the new school year starts whether that is as a new school or an existing one. Business know that families are sensitive to disruptions to school terms and therefore often syncronize transfers to new locations with this same schedule. That is why this is usually the busiest time in terms of people searching for a new place to live. This also means that while inventory is highest in this season, it is also the most competitive for renters. Open houses could feel crowded and bidding wars can break out between interested renters.


If you schedule an open house during this season, be prepared for it to be busy and for people want quick responses to their application. Because renters are acutely aware of how competitive it is to get the exact place they want, they will often create options for themselves and not wait around for you to decide. Being set up to make decisions fast can help you find the best tenant to take over your property. This season is typically when property owners can command the best terms and highest rent, therefore it is necessary to be prepared for an intense work schedule. Remaining flexible during this period is also helpful as renters may back out having found something else they prefer meaning that you need to get the next in line signed up.


Fall and winter period

In the fall and winter, there are fewer houses on the market which means that there’s less competition. It could also be defined as a relatively quiet season. This usually means that the renting prices might drop a little. However, it might be more beneficial to finding the best tenants as the traffic of people moving in and out becomes slower and the homeowner has more time to come to the final decision in finding the best tenants.


Be prepared

No matter the season, it is important to be prepared for what people are searching and to react accordingly to this market demand.  Summer will most likely be more beneficial in terms of higher rents, but it will get busy. During winter there will be more time to make the right decision. Using creative lease terms with incentives to shift the rental schedule from a fall and winter one to a spring and summer schedule so that your property will most likely come back on the market during season with higher rents is one way you can increase the ROI on your investment. Just remember to be informed about the current lease terms and plan accordingly.