You took a leap of faith and invested in your first rental property. You handed over a sizeable deposit, waited patiently through renovations, and you’re finally ready to see some return on your investment.
While you’re probably itching to get your first renters in the building, looking for free property management software and start collecting those checks, it can be hard to know how to find the perfect tenants. You want to find individuals that are a good fit for your property and be assured that your investment is treated with respect… After all, your property is more than just an investment… It’s a business.
Let’s explore these 4 tips to take the headache out of filling your rental property and help you find (and keep!) your perfect tenants.
1) Maintain Your Property
The best way to find respectful tenants who want to stay for years to come is to create and maintain a space that is safe, clean, and pleasing to dwell in. Potential renters looking at your property want to see safe and updated appliances, clean carpets and hardwood, clear windows, and freshly painted walls.
Creating a welcoming space that renters will want to call “home” requires some work on your end. Once you secure a tenant, you must be responsive to home repairs and emergencies to entice them to stay. If you prefer to be more hands-off with your property, assemble a trusted team of specialists you can call when these issues arise or defer to a property manager.
If you want your tenants to respect you, you must respect them as well. This includes responding to complaints, setting a fair rental price for your area, and laying out clear expectations and boundaries out on paper.
2) Buy In The Perfect Location
Find the perfect tenants by investing in an up-and-coming location. Tenants will be attracted to areas that have good schools, low crime rates, and features like modern grocery stores, hospitals, and malls. You are also likely to get more requests to view the property in an up-and-coming area, filling your rental property sooner with a paying tenant.
You want a tenant who will view your property as a home and treat it with respect, and picking the right location to buy can help you find the perfect person. If you haven’t purchased your investment property yet because you are still looking for the perfect area, consider looking into an investment property loan program to get expert real estate advice and start growing your wealth.
3) Spread The Word
To find the perfect tenants, you need to get the word out by advertising your vacancy. If you are looking for a replacement, a great place to start would be to have the current tenant advertise to friends or family. This can be a great strategy if you have a relationship with your current tenant and an understanding you’d like to find another responsible and respectful individual to fill their place. This is free advertising for you, and as an added bonus, your tenant gets to help out a friend!
If you’re advertising for the first time, you must first decide how hands-on you’d like to be. If you have a property manager or live far away from your rental home, it’s best to outsource this task. If you want to get the word out yourself, start by advertising on social media and rental websites, and don’t forget the classic “for rent” sign in the window to attract renters the old-fashioned way!
4) Don’t Skip The Vetting Process
We have all misjudged someone because we trusted them too fast, or they “seemed cool.” This is an easy mistake to make when investing in property. Don’t sign a lease agreement with a potential renter before you have properly vetted them with background checks, credit checks, proof of income, references, or a combination of these. Start by contacting a previous landlord, their current employer, or verifying their ability to pay rent on time by obtaining a pay stub. You’ll be glad you took the extra time to screen your prospective tenants!
You want to find a tenant who will treat your investment property like a home. Whether you’re a first-time investor or an old pro, treating others with respect, vetting your applicants, and investing in an up-and-coming location can help you find and keep the perfect tenants.