As you probably know, high tenant turnover is a stressful part of being a landlord. Tenant turnover essentially translates to an expense for you, as you aren’t collecting any money but are still footing property expenses.
Long-term tenants are not only more invested in the property but also more likely to care for it and cause less hassle for you.
Whether you’re just getting started in the world of landlording or are already in the game and struggling to find long-term tenants, this post is specially meant for you. You’ll learn 6 tips to help you attract the right tenants for your investment property.
Tip #1: Have a clear picture of the kind of tenant you want.
Before you even start marketing your rental, ensure that you have a clear mental picture of the type of tenant you want. Doing so will enable you to create a listing copy that focuses on a particular caliber of tenants.
Good tenants make their rent payments on time, cause fewer hassles for the landlord, have stable employment history and care for the property like their own. To get such a tenant, you may, therefore, want to include certain details in your ad copy, including:
Your Screening Process
Make it clear that all prospective tenants must undergo a compulsory background check, such as a criminal history check and credit check.
A Pet Policy
If you accept pets, make sure to state points, such as the size, weight and number of pets allowed. If you don’t, make sure to emphasize this to avoid conflict or misunderstandings in the future.
Best Features of the Property
Additionally, make sure your ad copy highlights the best features the property has. Some of the features prospective tenants find desirable include large windows, prime location, excellent schools, backyard haven, city skyline views, water views, upscale and urban surroundings.
Tip #2: Treat tenants fairly and equally.
When screening prospective tenants, stick to a standard qualifying model. If you let a prospective tenant’s physical appearance influence your decision, you may not only miss out on a potentially good tenant, but you may also find yourself in legal hot water.
You see, the Federal Fair Housing Law prohibits discrimination based on 7 protected classes. These classes are race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disability. You may also want to check up your state, as some have additional protected classes.
Tip #3: Use add-ons to increase the property’s value.
Looking to broaden your appeal? If so, then consider investing in some add-ons to spruce up your property. Examples of such add-ons include extra storage space, stainless steel appliances, dishwashers and built-in wardrobes.
Doing so will not only help you increase your property’s value, but it may help you increase your rental yield as well.
Tip #4: Ensure your property looks its best during a property showing.
After all, no tenant would want to live in a property that looks run down and dilapidated. If there are repairs to be done, handle them beforehand. As first impressions matter, below are some tips to get you started.
Upgrade or Redecorate
Make sure all appliances are updated and working, fix the window treatments, paint the walls in appealing and neutral colors and install a new carpet.
Clean the Space
Nothing turns off a prospective tenant more than a dirty home. As such, make sure to perform a thorough cleaning of your property.
Improve Curb Appeal
Make sure your yard looks inviting. Do this by cleaning the gutters, taking care of the lawn and adding some front door décor.
Tip #5: Screen your tenants thoroughly.
If your goal is to attract a long-term tenant, a screening process is a must. A thorough screening process helps avoid renting to tenants that can destroy your property or fail to pay rent. The following are some red flags a tenant screening process can help you detect.
Will the prospective tenant’s income be sufficient to pay the rent without any issues? As a general rule of thumb, look for a tenant that can make at least 3x the rent amount.
Poor Credit Score
You obviously want to stay away from a tenant that has a poor credit rating. It basically indicates that the tenant is probably financially irresponsible. Remember, though, to ask for the tenant’s permission before running their credit reports via credit reporting agencies like Equifax and TransUnion.
Eagerness to Move In Immediately
If a tenant wants to move in almost immediately, it could be a sign that they are running from away from something. A debt, perhaps? Or could it be that they are running away from the law?
Missing or Bad Rental References
Always require prospective tenants to provide references from landlords they have rented from before. When reaching out to the landlords, make sure to have a set of questions ready.
For instance, did the tenant have a problem paying rent? Did the tenant violate a lease agreement? Were there ever complaints from neighbors regarding the tenant?
Just make sure to adhere to the Fair Housing Rules when doing so. Avoid questions that touch on the 7 federally protected classes. That is, questions that relate to disability, sex, familial status, race, religion, nationality and gender.
Tip #6: Nurture effective communication skills.
Landlording is a service industry. Therefore, how you communicate with your tenants can make or break your investment. Even before lease signing, show prospective tenants that you are reachable by making sure that all lines of communications are open.
Additionally, you also want to be honest and truthful. Don’t promise to offer something that you cannot provide.
Evidently, attracting a tenant is a process. However, it’s well worth the time and effort when you find a tenant that wants to live in your property for the long-term.
Contact RE/MAX Infinity Property Management for any inquiries concerning this post or other property management questions.