One of the keys to landlord success is finding new tenants. The longer you wait to get your property filled, the more likely you will face a vacancy. You also run the risk of renting to a bad tenant out of desperation. If you have a rental property, you should give yourself time before the end of the lease. Once you are within 60 days, you should begin looking for new tenants. The methods you take in finding tenants can make all the difference. Having tenant success in the past does not mean you will in the future. Finding new tenants doesn’t have to be difficult if you know where to look.
1. Current Tenant: Did you start your new tenant search with the current tenant? Did you even ask your tenant if they wanted to renew their lease? Most tenants want to continue renting or know someone that wants to move in. This is a conversation that you need to have, but most landlords do not. If you get along with your tenant, they should be willing to tell people about the property. Any friends, family and coworkers that visited the property could be a potential target. If you have a good tenant, you should treat them like gold. You should do everything you can to convince them to stay. If you have to discount the rent, it may make sense. A good tenant will save you time and money over the long run. If you are looking for a new tenant, you should start with your current one.
2. Social Media: Most people realize the power of social media. Something as innocent as an animal video is viewed by thousands of people in a matter of days. Your post may not get thousands of views, but you will get noticed. By taking advantage of social media, your property will be viewed by all the people closest to you. From there – even if only a handful of people have shared it, you have now reached a new audience. In doing this a few times, you can reach hundreds of people from just one post. All you need is one person to have interest in your property to find a good tenant. You don’t need to post your property every day, but if you do so once a week you can see results. It also doesn’t hurt to ask your friends to share your post. The more people that you can reach, the higher the chances of finding a tenant.
3. Network/Word of Mouth: Besides social media, you should reach out to your network. Everyone you have come in contact with in business should get at least an email about the property. You never know if your realtor or attorney has a client looking for a rental. These are people that you have worked with in the past and you have a relationship with. They will recommend the property and pass your information along without hesitation. You should also not be afraid to talk about the property. Every networking meeting or investment club is an opportunity to talk about your property. It doesn’t have to be the first thing you say, but you should certainly bring it up at some point. You never know who knows someone that may be looking in the area. Even if they don’t have a need, they may have someone that does.
4. Bandit Signs: You most likely see bandit signs more than you realize. Every time you are in the car and see a small yard sign – that is a bandit sign. Whether they are in the ground or on a telephone pole, they often get your attention. Bandit signs are an inexpensive way to advertise your property. Start by placing a sign on the property that you are looking to rent. You can also put them on every property you own. Something as simple as a “for rent” sign with the number of bedrooms and baths could get your phone to ring. Busy intersections are a good place to put your signs. Before you do this, you should contact the town and see what there rules are on bandit signs. They may not allow you to place them outside of your property. If someone close to you has a house on a busy intersection, ask them if you can place a sign on their yard. A busy street sign has hundreds of driver views every day.
5. Newspaper: The number of newspaper readers has declined over the years. Even so, there are still many people that read it on the weekend. Placing a small ad in the real estate or classified section is a good marketing alternative. Many newspapers are looking to fill space and advertising may be inexpensive. Most towns have a local weekly or monthly publication that can be perfect to advertise your property in. You don’t need any more than a couple of lines of space to be effective. It is a good idea to have a website about the property that you can list in your ad. This way, any questions about the property can be answered on the site instead of calling you.
By using just these five methods alone, you can reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people. The more different ways you have to reach tenants, the greater the chance that you will have options to choose from. Finding tenants doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, but it is important to your rental business.