With 12 showings, consider the following:
1. Get feedback to see why the prospective tenants didn't pull the trigger
2. Offer those same prospects an incentive (Pay a portion of the fee or whole fee)
3. Reduce the price so you are the best available in the market place
Of course the property needs to be easily shown and be in good/great shape. I hope this helps and good luck!
You have to give the renter an incentive to choose your home over the others they visited. One option is to pay half the broker fee and just ask for 1 month security. Believe me these are big issues with renters since they are looking at the big picture not just the monthly rent.
The other option is to have a price reduction. You will immediately open your property up to a whole new base of renters and will also stand out among the competition, which there is plenty of in our area. You say you are hesitant to do this but lowering the rent $100 will cost you $1,200 for the year and may be better then losing a month's rent, or more, if your unit remains vacant. Try to look at it in a positive way.
I'm not sure what your property looks like but you could also make it show better by upgrading your appliances to stainless steel, give it a fresh coat of paint and refinish the floors. If your bathroom is outdated you may want to upgrade the fixtures in there as well.
If you are going to have a vacant apartment reducing the rent is the smartest option. Hopefully your agent has good pictures online and a good description. There are probably many more competing apartments available than you think. If you have only had 12 showings it is an indication you could be priced above the competition. A price reduction and fee incentive always help.
Ask your agent to send you a list of what apartments are available within $200 of yours to get a sense for whats out there and price accordingly.
ALso is there something in the unit that could be improved? Like a fresh coat of paint or a bathroom or kitchen upgrade?
Best of luck!
It isn't that the rental unit is slow, renters I feel are being more selective. I showed a client i had 13 apartments before she finally picked one. Yes, every dollar counts in this market. Simply lowering your unit by $50-100 could have someone jump on it quickly. How far is the unit from the PATH? Are the utilities included? Pets? How much security are you asking for? Are you willing to pay half of the realtor fee? These are all questions that clients ask and could preventing you from renting the unit. In the end, be patient, you hire a professional for a reason and I'm sure your agent is looking for the best possible tenant to put in your home. One rule to being a Real Estate Agent in my book is protecting my client's assets, which finding a well qualified tenant is key in doing so. Best of luck.
I bet you could raise the rent $100./mo., and list as NO FEE (paid by landlord) and It'll go. Be creative.