How to Market Your Rentals to Military Tenants
July 14, 2023
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Market To Military Tenants
Military members and families need places to live just like everyone else.
And if you’re a landlord or property looking to rent to military tenants, there are marketing approaches that can help you succeed.
In this article, we’re going to cover several different ways to market your rental to military tenants like highlighting nearby military bases, offering furnished housing, making your rental kid-friendly, offering flexible lease terms, considering the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), offering military discounts, listing with specific rental organizations experienced in military housing, and taking great pictures of your property.
Highlight Nearby Military Bases
Most of the time, military tenants want to live near the base they’re assigned to. Always list how far the rentals are from the nearest military bases. You should include any other military landmarks near the rentals as well. A little research will go a long way.
If you’re renting to families, detail any family-friendly places or amenities close to your rentals. Are there good schools in the area? Safe parks that the whole family can enjoy? Let military families know why your rentals’ locations are great for them.
Offer Furnished Housing
A lot of the military housing for rent on the market is fully furnished. Military tenants must be ready to move quickly and don’t always stay in one place for long. Thus, it can be advantageous to furnish your rentals. Many military tenants will pay a little more to avoid purchasing beds, dressers, or a kitchen table for a short-term stay. Being thoughtful about furnishing rentals is often a good way to stand out from the competition.
Make Your Rental Kid-friendly
If you’re renting to military families, this is a key way to make your property appealing.
If, for instance, your rental is a smaller one or two-bedroom apartment, you might appeal to couples with an infant or a couple of children. Consider furnishing your place with a crib and changing table and then advertising these features.
If, for instance, your rental is larger and in a neighborhood close to a school, you might have better odds finding larger families with school-aged kids. Once again, it’s important to aptly describe your rental and what makes it appealing to a family. Mention the distance from the school, the square footage, and anything else that could be key in a military family’s decision to move in.
Offer Flexible Lease Terms
Military tenants generally move more than most other kinds of tenants. This means that flexibility is appealing to almost every military tenant. Flexible lease terms can be a great selling point for rentals.
Compared to civilian renters, military families are more likely to move every two to three years. And when they commit to a rental home, they’re almost always ready to move in right away, typically with a scheduled moving truck waiting.
However, in terms of timelines, military families usually range from less than a month’s notice of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to several months out. Military families search for homes all year round, but especially in anticipation of a summertime move.
So, whether your tenants move every few months or they stay for a couple years, flexibility is often still a factor because of the unpredictable nature of the military lifestyle. Understanding this job requirement and doing your best to accommodate military tenants is key to your success with military renters.
That said, it can be hard on families to pick up and move around frequently and the hope is your tenants will stay for a longer period of time than a few months. But being flexible with your terms and empathetic to your tenant’s situations is critical when it comes to renting in this market.
Consider the BAH
BAH is an allowance to offset the cost of housing when service members don’t receive government housing. It depends on location, pay grade, and if you have dependents.
Active military members receive a monthly BAH that typically covers about 95% of the cost of living in an off-base dwelling. Thus, unless they leave the service or are discharged, they have a guaranteed source of income to cover their rent costs.
This provides some added assurance for you as a landlord and is another reason military personnel often make good tenants. You’re less likely to deal with missed rent payments when someone has an allotted allowance specifically for rent.
You can build your monthly rent payments around the BAH rate in your area. Conduct a little research to figure out reasonable amounts. Some military families can spend more or less of their allowance (depending on a few factors), but an awareness of the BAH range will be helpful regardless.
Offer a Military Discount
Obviously, everyone loves a discount. Offering a military discount might be a good option for you because it shows support for service members and makes your rental more competitive.
Compassion and care are critical components when renting to service members. Military renters typically look for reasonable prices and homes that they can settle into quickly.
There are different ways to offer discounts. For instance, if a family is moving in at the end of the month, consider not prorating the rent. Or take a small percentage off the monthly rate.
No matter how you enact the discount, military members will appreciate it. This isn’t a pity party, either; it’s simply a thoughtful gesture.
List with Rental Organizations Experienced in Military Housing
Many established rental companies can help you market your rental to service members. A great rental organization can make your life easier and make your property more appealing to potential renters.
Military by Owner provides the best example of this kind of organization. Military by Owner is one of the most well-established resources for service members who are buying, selling, or renting places near military bases. Their website provides advertising for rentals close to military bases and resources related to real estate, homeownership, and military life.
Take Great Photos of Your Property
While this marketing tip isn’t as military-specific, it’s still critical. One of the most important aspects of marketing a property is taking great pictures that give a true idea of the property.
A picture is worth a thousand words. People want to know what they’re getting for what they’re paying. And nothing shows that better than images.
Marketing your properties to service members isn’t complicated. That said, it’s important you take the time to understand the best ways to appeal to this demographic.