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Rent Price Negotiation: How to Do It (For Residents and Property Managers)

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Is the price of rent negotiable? Believe it or not, yes! It may seem that the market prices you see on rental listings are set-in-stone, but that’s not always the case. Of course, whether or not property managers are willing to budge on the price of a unit will be up to their own discretion. At the very least, asking is worth a shot, and it’s a more common practice than you’d think. 

So how should you go about it as a resident? And how exactly should property managers handle renters eager to negotiate? Dive in to find out! 

Negotiating Rent as a Resident

Whether you’re a current resident planning to negotiate rent at a lease renewal or a prospective renter hoping to get a deal from the jump, we have a few tips on playing the cards in your favor.

Current Residents

The great news for current residents is that you (hopefully) already have a great track record with your property manager. Our advice? Remind them of this! When you go to draft a price proposal, help them remember why you’re a great resident worth keeping around. Have you always paid rent in full, on time? Are you respectful to neighbors and cause little disruption? Have you taken care of the property like it’s your own? If so, these are the types of things property managers want to hear. 

While property managers likely already know the value of resident retention, it doesn’t hurt to remind them of the money and time they’d save by keeping you around. The sheer fact of saving money through renewals could be enough of a push they need to accept your offer!

The last thing to consider before pressing send on your proposal (and yes, do this in writing!) are the current market rates for units like yours. To increase your chances of a successful negotiation, do your research beforehand, and be reasonable in your offer. 

Prospective Renters

Whether you plan to negotiate your rent price or not, every renter should get their rental history and recommendations ready to share. Since your new property managers have little idea of how you operate as a resident, they’ll want great references able to vouch for you – especially if you plan to negotiate the rent price.

The key for prospective renters is research. Do your due diligence by finding out what the market looks like around you. What are similar units at comparable properties going for in your area? Find these details out, and leverage your findings to negotiate a reasonable deal.

You may find it more difficult as an incoming renter to get property managers to budge on the gross rent price. If this is the case, ask about concessions or consider experimenting with lease terms. Maybe you have to pay the market price, but management is willing to give you free parking for the duration of your lease instead. The possibilities are abundant, so stay flexible and knowledgeable about your options!

Rent Negotiation for Property Managers

Understandably, getting a message that your renters want to negotiate the price of their rent isn’t ideal. Afterall, you advertised the unit at a certain price for a reason. Just like we told the renters, your first step is going to be research. Compare your units with those of your competitors to ensure your rental prices make sense for your offerings. Additionally, know your rights! Property managers are under no obligation to accept rent negotiation offers, given they’re in line with other applicable rental laws. If you feel a renter has lowballed you, just say no. Though, giving them a flat-out no may mean you lose a great resident you’d otherwise love to rent to. If that’s the case, consider offering concessions or incentives, like a month or two of free rent. 

It’s also important to run the numbers to understand whether or not accepting or denying a rental negotiation is worthwhile. Consider the price of potentially losing a great renter versus the price of their offer. Additionally, keep in mind your current vacancies. If you have one too many unrented units, it may be more cost effective in the interim to fill the space and generate cash flow you’d otherwise miss out on.

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

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