A successful rental property requires equally compatible tenants. In other words, to have a successful rental property you need to have good tenants. The two go hand in hand. However, too many landlords wait till the last minute to fill a vacancy. Despite high demand, it is not a quick process to find a tenant. The sooner you start to promote your property, the more tenant options you have and the higher the chance that you will find a quality tenant. Start the process of promoting your property much earlier than you may think and get the word out on the right platforms.
The Internet has made promoting and advertising easier than ever before. Whether you are promoting yourself or selling an item, there are numerous free outlets to choose from. Your first step in finding tenants should be on social media. Between all of the various social media platforms and the vast number of people you can reach, you should be able to generate at least a few serious inquiries. This should be only one of the main ways you use the internet. You can also integrate Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia and any other real estate site you are comfortable with. The more exposure and websites you can blast your property to, the more likely you will attract interest.
Putting an ad on these websites alone will not do the trick. You need to have the right promotion and followup strategy. Anyone that has ever used Craigslist knows that there are dozens of new property listings every day. Unless yours stands out and has the right information, the posts won’t be very effective. Therefore, the process starts with quality pictures of the interior and exterior. Ideally you will have photos on hand of the vacant property, but if you don’t, you need to add some photos. If prospective tenants don’t have a feel of what they could rent, they will not give your property a second thought. At a minimum, you need to have a quality exterior photo and as much information about the property as possible.
Most renters will not spend the minimal time to email or call you to ask about your property. This means you need to put everything they may want to know on your listing. Items such as security deposit amounts, amenities included, washer/dryer access, parking availability, dates available and smoking or pet restrictions must be included. This is in addition to the obvious description of the property, room count and local attractions. You have to assume that the reader is from out of area and knows nothing about the house or the location. The more information you can provide, the more they will feel they know the property and that you are not trying to hide anything. You can’t rely just on the price and location of your property to attract interest though the internet. You need to showcase your property in the best possible light.
Getting your phone to ring is the first step in finding tenants, but that is only the beginning. You may think that showing the property and answering any questions is a hassle, but it is only part of being a landlord. Even if there are pictures in the listing and you answered most of the questions, renters need to be reassured when the see the property. This is where they are going to live for the next nine months or so. They will want to feel comfortable with you, in addition to the property. If you come across as someone who is just trying to get in and out of the house as quickly as possible, your tenant will sense that and move on to somewhere else. You should spend more time showing and explaining the property than you do with preparing what you are going to post online.
It is never easy showing a property with people currently living in it. For starters, you need to work around their schedule, but you also need to try to show the property without their clutter all over. When a current lease is coming to an end, you need to ask that the house looks as clean as possible until you can find a new tenant. You shouldn’t expect the property to be maid service clean, but you also shouldn’t walk in and see beer bottles and pizza boxes all over the place. It is a good idea to prep anyone seeing the house to let them know that the condition they see will not be the same as when they move into the property. You should reiterate that the room will be professionally cleaned, all items removed and in top condition if they take the property. This may seem like common sense, but tenants want to hear this from you and be assured if the house is in sub-par condition.
Getting new tenants in is always a challenge for landlords, but it doesn’t have to be overly difficult. If you start the process early enough, it will give you some time and some tenant options to choose from. You never want to be forced into a position that you have a sub-par tenant as your only option, especially with a vacancy just a few weeks away. Renters are out there, but they won’t fall on your lap. Spend the time to come up with good ads that will attract good tenants. Finding good tenants is the key to running a good rental property.