How to Attract Long-Term Tenants

Owning a rental property can be a lucrative investment. In fact, a smorgasbord of billionaires has derived their dizzying wealth portfolio from it. Think Donald Bren, Hui Ka Yan and perhaps the most notable of them all, President Donald Trump.

That said, for you to have a lucrative rental investment, you have to have great tenants. The kind that cares for the property like it's their own, notifies you when maintenance issues crop up, renews their lease at least once and, of course, pays rent on time.

The truth of the matter, though, is that attracting such tenants in Nevada can be an uphill task. If you're having a hard time finding such caliber of tenants, worry no more. Because, in this article, we'll take you through 5 tips to help you get it right the first time.

Tip #1: Make your rental property as appealing as possible.

Quality tenants want to live in quality rentals. No quality tenant is going to rent a unit that is in a deplorable state. Therefore, before putting up that rental ad, ask yourself whether you'd want to live there yourself.

If you hesitate to give a resounding 'yes,' then it probably means some upgrades or improvements are necessary.

Check the driveway, walkways or pavers. Do they look inviting? If not, consider hiring a professional to give them a thorough cleaning.

What about the paint? Does it have that crackled, spider-web look? If so, consider refreshing those walls with a fresh coat of paint. Are the drains and downspouts functioning as they should? The list goes on and on…

An attractive property not only attracts the right tenant but also saves you cash on tenant turnovers.

Tip #2: Rent to the right tenant caliber.

Another thing you can do to attract a long-term tenant is by renting to the right one in the first place. Before syndicating that rental ad, ensure you have a clear mental picture of what kind of tenant you want in your home.

Who are you targeting? Is it families, professionals or even students? Once you know who you're targeting, move on to the next step – drafting a winning rental ad.

As subtle as it may seem in the entire leasing process, a rental ad can make or break your efforts. So, before putting pen to paper, ensure you do proper research first. Check what your competition is doing and better it.

In the ad, make sure to include as many details as possible about the unit. For example, how many bedrooms it has, the appliances available, nearby amenities and how much it rents for. You also want to include as many photos as possible. Studies show that the more pictures your listing has, the longer a potential tenant will stay interested.

However, make sure to exclude any statements that may be construed as discriminatory against certain tenants. Avoid statements such as:

  • "No pets permitted" - This discriminates against people with disabilities who require a service animal.
  • "Suitable for singles" - This discriminates against tenants who have families.
  • "Great for female students" - The Fair Housing Act also includes 'gender' as a protected class.

Passed in 1968, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against tenants based on some protected classes. They are race, color, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, national origin and disability.

Tip #3: Market your property through the right channels.

With the rental ad ready, the next step is to begin the marketing process. Your goal is to expose it to as many prospective tenants as possible. And, for that happen, you need to make use of a myriad of marketing channels.

Make use of both online and offline strategies. Online strategies may include using social media, as well as listing on selected rental listing sites. Top sites include VRBO, Craigslist, Zillow and Rent.com. These are well-trafficked sites and usually have fair conversion rates.

As for marketing offline, make use of yard signs, flyers, posters and newspaper ads.

The goal here is to have a large tenant pool from where you can choose the best tenant.

Tip #4: Screen all prospective tenants thoroughly.

Once you have garnered an array of possible tenants, the next thing to do is to conduct a thorough screening process. For best results, begin the process the first time a prospective tenant establishes contact. That could be through a text message, an email or a phone call.

Use that opportunity to learn a thing or two about the tenant. For example, ask:

  • "Why are you moving?" - Look for legitimate reasons. Examples could be to get closer to a new place of work or to upsize/downsize.
  • "When are you looking to move in?" - If it's very sudden, chances are that the tenant is running from something. Is it possible that they are being evicted? Maybe. Investigate further.
  • "Can I ask for references from your employer and landlords?" - If they seem hesitant, continue searching. Again, chances are that they are hiding something.
  • "Do you smoke?" If the tenant does and you have a 'no smoke' policy, then continue with the search.

Pre-screening helps save time on tenants that would otherwise not meet your screening criteria. It also prevents having to evict tenants in the future. Best of all, you can determine the criteria during the first conversation without having to schedule a showing.

Tip #5: Offer the successful tenant a warm welcome.

Moving to a new place can feel overwhelming. As such, being the great landlord that you are, try making their move as easy as possible. Answer any questions they may have and consider welcoming them with a gift.

Common examples of gifts include a neighborhood information packet, a map of the local area or even food and drinks.

There you have it–5 tried-and-proven tips on how you can attract a long-term tenant. If this process seems daunting, consider hiring expert help. At Evolve Nevada, we can help you in this regard. We have been in the property management business for well over 20 years now and help countless property owners achieve peace of mind.

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