As a rental property owner, your chief goal is to land great tenants who will stay for the long-term in your unit. Having this kind of tenant is the best way to maximize your investment returns year after year.
If you want to learn how to identify and retain qualified tenants, keep on reading!
What Does a Great Tenant Look Like?
As a new landlord, you may be wondering “what are the hallmarks of a great tenant?”. Here are characteristics that set great tenants apart from the others:
- Making timely rent payments
- Taking care of the rental reasonably
- Not contributing to rapid wear and tear
- Reporting maintenance issues right away
- Living peacefully with others
How do You Find Great Tenants?
There are 2 essential strategies for landing great tenants in your rental place. As a landlord, you need to have skills in property marketing and tenant screening. You may succeed in pooling several prospects but without proper screening, you could end up with sub-par renters.
Here are tips to effectively market to find great tenants:
Display Yard Signs Outside Your Rental
A simple “for rent” sign is a straightforward way of advertising your property. You don’t need to spend a lot but you can capture a significant amount of interest. It’s necessary to put thought into the yard signs despite their simplicity.
It should be written in bold letters so it will be visible to the people driving or walking by. A contact number should also be prominently placed so those who want to inquire can reach out.
Post on Popular Real Estate Listing Sites
Taking your marketing online is easy and won’t require costly marketing expenses. Simply by putting up a listing on well-known property sites, you’ll be able to capture a wide audience. Some of the most popular listing sites are Trulia and Zillow.
If you want to earn more views, you need to spend some time learning how to write a good property listing. High-quality photos, video tours, and well-crafted descriptions should be a part of your property ad.
Get in Touch with Your Personal Contacts
One of the most viable means of finding great tenants is by tapping into your personal contacts list. Networking with people you already know can be highly effective since they can refer and vouch for prospective tenants. You can call, send a message, or reach out through social media. Even a single contact can lead you to a high-quality prospect.
Advertise Around the Local Neighborhood
Another great way to score tenants is marketing around your local neighborhood. Someone may have a friend or acquaintance who wants to move to the area. You can distribute flyers in popular cafes and post them on bulletin boards around schools and shops. It’s important to make them colorful and to include your contact information clearly.
Hold an Open House
Hosting an open house as part of your marketing campaign is highly effective. For one thing, people like looking around an open house to check if the property suits their taste. One of the barriers you’ll encounter however is when you still have occupants staying in your rental.
However, if you want to avoid a vacancy gap, it’s best to communicate with your current renter. Work out a schedule with them. You can keep the rental home clean by hiring professional cleaners. Thus, they can enjoy staying in a rental that’s tidy while you have time to tour potential tenants around your soon-to-be-vacant rental property.
Contact Current Tenants
Your tenants can be a hidden gem as a source for great tenants. When your existing tenants are not renewing their lease, you can ask them for referrals. If they’re leaving on good terms, they’ll be more than happy to market your vacant unit to their own network.
Ideally, if you have good tenants, you should work hard to retain them. You can incentivize them to nenew their lease by offering rent discounts. Although it may mean earning a bit less for a month or two, it saves you time and energy looking for quality renters.
Now that we’ve tackled the marketing side, let’s head on to screening recommendations.
How to Protect Yourself Against Bad Tenants?
As mentioned earlier, tenant screening is essential to land great tenants. Without filtering your prospects, you miss out on red flags. Bad tenants can cause a lot of headaches, can drain your time and energy as well as lead to financial losses. By performing a detailed screening of your prospects, you can avoid the problems that bad tenants cause.
Here are tips to find the right renters for your rental home:
Review the Application
Learning basic information is the basis for having a potential tenant fill out the application form. You want to learn about their income, employment, and rent history. You can then conduct an interview to verify the information they’ve written down.
Run a Credit Check
Running a credit check requires a signed authorization of the applicant. This procedure will provide more information on bankruptcies and eviction records. Credit reports will give you plenty of information that will aid your decision on whether to accept an interested prospect or not.
Verify the Income
Some tenants can write down incorrect figures in the pursuit of being accepted as tenants. You can request current pay stubs as proof. You need to check if they have existing account payables such as loans. You can also review the credit report to determine if they’re financially healthy and can pay the rent.
Finding great tenants can be time-consuming, especially if you're a long-distance landlord. That said, it pays off to find a renter you can trust. With a solid marketing plan and tenant screening process you’ll be better positioned to land qualified tenants.