Finding and securing quality tenants for your property is about more than simply putting in the effort to search for and screen the right people. Sometimes, finding quality tenants is also about going the extra mile as a property manager. A good property can also help you attract good tenants.
More than that, finding good tenants is also about being a good property manager as a whole and engaging and communicating effectively with your tenants and potential renters. Just because your property looks nice and has good amenities does not guarantee you will attract the right tenants, especially if you are a poor communicator and lack good management skills.
Whether you are someone who invests in rental properties, like houses to rent out, or you manage or own large multi-unit complexes and buildings, this article will offer you tips on how to be more successful in your endeavors to find and secure quality tenants for your property.
Be a Good Property Manager/Landlord
First and foremost, the key to securing good tenants is to be a quality property manager or landlord yourself. If you want tenants you can count on and trust, you as well have to be an effective manager that your tenants and potential renters can rely on and trust.
Just because your property might be well-kept and come with nice amenities does not mean you will automatically attract good tenants. If your management is poor, word will get around, and it will dissuade quality tenants from renting with you.
So if you want to be a successful landlord or property manager, you have to be someone your tenants respect, trust, and feel comfortable communicating with. This means being available to tenants when they need to speak with you (at reasonable hours, of course), communicating in a clear and friendly manner, and staying on top of issues and addressing them in a timely manner.
Research Your Ideal Renter and Ask the Right Screening Questions
Finding good tenants is also about knowing what you’re looking for in a renter, using the right sites to find them, and conducting a thorough screening process. So to start, it can sometimes be helpful to lay out your ideal tenant criteria before beginning your search and marketing your property. Knowing the kind of tenant you are looking for can help you narrow down your focus so you can more easily streamline the search, marketing, and screening process.
Of course, you should be mindful not to be biased or prejudiced with your criteria. Identify your ideal renter, yes, but do not specifically exclude renters for things like age, race, or gender, as this is grounds for discrimination and can create a problematic legal situation.
It can also help to use the right sites to find tenants. There are so many rental listing sites available today, but not every site is the same. So make sure you use quality sites that attract quality tenants, such as Realtor.com or Apartments.com.
Finding quality tenants is also about conducting a thorough screening process. This means asking the right pre-screening questions, checking references, and running background and credit checks. However, keep in mind that something like a poor credit score does not necessarily mean a person won’t be able to afford the rent. So you can also ask for proof of income to verify their ability to pay if a low credit score pops up.
Ensure Property and Units Are Well-Maintained
When potential renters tour a property, there are things they look for to decide whether it will be the right place to live. And if they spot any problems or glaring issues, it can quickly dissuade them and turn them away. So as a property manager or landlord, it’s your job to make sure your units and the property as a whole are well-maintained if you want to more easily secure good tenants.
The primary things that renters like to check before signing a lease include:
- How well the plumbing works
- What shape the kitchen and appliances are in
- Water, mold, or other kinds of damage to the floors and walls
- How good the door locks are
- The condition of the roof and other exterior elements
- How secure handrails are
- If there are working exterior lights
- What safety equipment is included — i.e., smoke detector, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.
- The overall cleanliness of the unit and property
Boost Curb Appeal and Value
In many cases, landlords and property managers will put effort into ensuring the interiors of all their rental units are in good shape, but they will slack on the exteriors. Unfortunately, poor curb appeal can dissuade quality renters from being interested in your property. So fixing up the exterior is just as important as maintaining the interiors.
A few simple ways you can boost your property’s curb appeal include:
- Choose a color theme and stick with a cohesive aesthetic
- Upgrade your parking — this includes garage doors for house properties and parking garages for larger complexes.
- Maintain an attractive lawn. Whether you are renting out a house or a large building of units, the greenery around the property can significantly boost curb appeal.
- Ensure all exteriors are well-lit
- Keep gutters, siding, and windows clean
- Upgrade your outdoor seating. Whether you have a porch or communal outdoor seating areas, upgrading your outdoor furniture to something more cozy and attractive can also make your property more inviting to potential renters.
Invest in Quality Marketing
Another key element in finding and attracting the right tenants is to have a quality marketing strategy. The photographs and copy you use and where you post about your property and available units can make a huge difference in how many potential new renters you attract and what kind of renters are interested.
Generally, higher-quality photography and engaging copy will attract better tenants. And it’s important to not just post on the typical rental property sites but to use social media as well. Today’s primary generation of renters are highly active on social media, so if you want to fill those empty units fast, social media is the place to be.
Use a Professional Property Management Tool
Managing a rental property is not easy. There are a million things to stay on top of, so one of the best ways to help you keep organized is to use a property management tool or software. These tools can help streamline property management, which can ease your burdens while also helping you attract and sign tenants.
Again, today’s generation of renters are highly active online as they have been raised in a digital world, so they are more attracted to rental properties that use digital processes that make everything about finding a new place and filling out all the required “paperwork” much easier and more convenient. Even just converting everything over to e-documents for e-signatures can make a huge difference and ensure the process of signing a new tenant is a whole lot easier.
Remember, seamlessly finding and signing quality tenants isn’t just about the tenants themselves but is also about you as the landlord or property manager and the effort you put into taking care of your property and your tenants. Quality renters won’t stick around or sign a lease with you if the property is poorly managed and in disrepair. So it’s important to focus on improving your overall property and management tactics in addition to optimizing your processes if you want to find and retain quality tenants.