We write a lot about the risks of potentially bad tenants, but what about all the great tenants? With some finesse and a bit of help, you can attract really fantastic tenants to your rental properties. Tenants who pay on time, don’t break their contracts, upkeep the property, and are generally pleasant people to speak to and be around. How do you find these dream tenants? There are a few simple steps you can take to improve your applicant pool.
Target Your Advertising
People can’t find you if you’re not advertising, so that should be your very first step. Whether you choose to advertise through online sources like Craigslist or Zillow, or you stick to traditional postings at places of interest, it’s important to choose your avenues wisely. First, determine what sort of tenant you’d like to target. Are you looking for families or young professionals? Students or seasonal workers? Figure out what you want from your tenants and advertise your properties in places those particular people frequent, both online and in the physical world.
Include Screening With The Application
Let every applicant know that you’ll be screening them, along with which reports you’ll be asking for, such as credit reports, background checks, and eviction history. Use a screening service that includes its fee with the rental application so the tenant is covering costs. This step is two-fold in immediately improving the quality of prospective tenants. First, people with something to hide won’t want to have a screening performed, and second, the fee will be a deterrent to people who aren’t that serious about the property or who can’t manage their funds well.
Do Rental Research In Your Area
Check out other rental properties in your area to see which are always full and which have trouble keeping tenants. Rent plays a big factor here — if you charge too much, you won’t find or keep tenants. If you go too low, you risk clients with spottier financial habits who might be looking for a quick lease rather than a long-term stay. Determine the best rent range for the type and quality of property you’re offering, as well as rent relative to the neighborhood. Downtown apartments can command higher rent than a loft miles from a tenant’s work or school. Likewise, look into amenities and upgrades. Some well-spent investments can greatly improve the appeal of your property and put it in higher demand.
Always Be Clear In Your Contracts
Lay it all out for your prospective tenants to easily understand. They should know right up front what you expect from them and what the consequences are for breaking their lease or bringing in an unapproved pet. If you don’t offer certain amenities or services, be upfront about it. Better that a tenant go in knowing what they’re getting than find out later that the property isn’t what they expected, which will likely result in them leaving after a single lease.
We recommend our RentalConnect program as an added tool for selecting the right tenants for your property. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search. Reach out to us for more details!
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