It can be frustrating to manage a property with a constant revolving door of occupants. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, then you’ve learned how stress-free it can be to find (and keep) reliable, long-term tenants. While it can feel like these “perfect” tenants are challenging to discover, finding good tenants doesn’t have to be frustrating.
First, we have to ask the obvious question.
Leasing to the right tenant is crucial to keep your property both occupied and profitable, and it pays to get it right the first time. According to TransUnion, the eviction process can cost an average of $3,500. When finding new tenants, and screening prospective tenants’ applications, here are a few factors to consider.
Ultimately, picking a tenant is a business decision. Though it can be tempting to rent to tenants you “click” with, you should pick your tenants based on objective facts instead of subjective thoughts.
What qualities should you focus on when looking for the perfect renters for your properties?
Let’s get specific. A great tenant:
Next, you’ll need to spend time taking care of your property and advertising in the right places, plus reading through applications and interviewing likely candidates.
Set yourself and your property up for success with these five basics:
Review what happened with your most recent tenants. Why did they move out? What worked well? What was frustrating? Or, if you’re searching for your first tenants in a new property, consider what the property can offer them.
Think about local amenities such as rec centers, parks, schools, shopping, dining, and more. You’re not only attracting the perfect tenant, but you’re also presenting a desirable place to live that people will, hopefully, want to make their home for a long time.
Don’t showcase a sub-par property. Before taking photos—and definitely before any showings—make sure to update paint, refresh caulking, double-check your curb appeal, and pay attention to landscaping needs. Check out our handy maintenance guide to make sure you’re covering all your bases.
Advertising is the number one way to connect to the right tenants. Once you’ve prepared your space and considered what type of tenant you’re looking for, it’s time to showcase the space. Have quality photos taken of the property and take the time to write an in-depth listing. Then, advertise the property in multiple locations, such as Zillow, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace et cetera.
If you’re looking for a long-term tenant, say so in the listing. If your property is in a quiet neighborhood, let tenants know they’re expected to keep the noise down. Will you accept pets? Whether placing an ad or interviewing potential tenants, be upfront about who you’re hoping will live in your space.
After collecting applications, you’ll move to an interview process. While typical tenant interviews aren’t more than 30 minutes, you can use that time wisely to get to know your prospective tenants and see who will be best for your property. After the interviews, run a thorough background check on everyone you consider a final candidate. In fact, you should run a background check on anyone over the age of 18 who will live in the space, not just the primary applicant.
You’ve snagged some wonderful tenants. Excellent. Now that everyone’s signed on the dotted line, how do you keep them?
Always communicate clearly and promptly with your tenants. Respond to their requests and needs ASAP. If you’re planning a property inspection, let them know. Now is the time to set the tone for communication over the course of the lease. What’s the best time and way to reach you? What tools can they use to ask questions or make requests regarding the property?
There’s no second chance to make a good first impression. Welcome your new tenants into their home the right way. A small gift basket, a thoughtful guide to their new neighborhood, and clear instructions on how to pay for rent and utilities are a few ways you can make move-in day wonderful for your new residents.
While you’ll need to inspect your property from time to time, no one likes an unannounced visit. Always schedule a time that works best for your tenants. It may be your property, but it’s their home. Check your local and state laws to see where the legal line lies, as well. This way you can be sure to respect everyone’s rights.
Whether searching for the perfect tenant or managing properties full of excellent ones, running a real estate enterprise is no simple task. No matter the size of your enterprise, partnering with a property management company can be an excellent way to balance all your landlord responsibilities. Find a property management company in your area by searching All Property Management’s network today.