In the rental market (residential or short-term) as in most areas of life, preparation is key. Accepting the fact that tenants will eventually move on is the first step in thinking about what you can do to prepare for this and hence maximise occupation in your rental.
Be prepared to market effectively
Before your first set of tenants moves in, thoroughly photograph your property and, if possible, record a video tour of it. That way, you can showcase the property in its absolute best condition any time you like, including while your tenants are still in it.
In the residential market, this can help to speed up and smooth over that potentially-awkward time when one set of tenants is moving out and you want to view and re-let the property as quickly as possible, but you still have to respect the fact that your current tenants are still paying their rent.
In the short-term rental market, this means that you can basically market your property on an ongoing basis.
Be a good landlord
In the residential rental market, the easiest way to keep your property occupied for as long as possible is to keep your tenants happy.
This motivates them to stay put for as long as their circumstances remain the same and it also encourages them to refer you to alternative tenants when they are ready to leave.
If you’re using a letting agent, then make sure you choose one which has a good track-record with tenants as well as with landlords and consider giving your tenants an email address to contact you directly if they are unhappy with the agency.
In the short-term rental market, go that extra mile, for example, by leaving welcome packs, and actively reach out to tenants and ask them to spread the word about how much they enjoyed their stay. As a minimum, leave some business cards; ideally get them to connect with you on social media.
Be ready to take action quickly when tenants give notice
The better a job you have done of taking care of your property, the easier it will be for you to turn it over in readiness for the next set of tenants. At most, it should need minor repairs and cosmetic updates.
Similarly, the better a job you have done of being a good landlord, the more cooperative your tenants are likely to be when it comes to their time to move on. In fact, they may even refer you to their friends and/or leave a positive review of you as a landlord.
If you want to show the property when your current tenants are still in it, then, as a minimum, you need to do so respectfully.
Ideally, you want to incentivize them to cooperate by keeping the place clean and tidy and if necessary clearing out (or at least clearing out children or pets) when tenants come to view the place.
If you feel like this could hit you in the wallet, and then remember that your current tenants are the people who are filling your wallet – and legally they don’t actually have to let you conduct viewings at all. The moral of the story, therefore, is to pre-qualify potential tenants thoroughly, so you keep viewings to a minimum.