The best way to attract quality tenants is to have a high-quality rental property in an ideal location at an ideal price point. As a property manager, you might not have control over variables like price and location. However, there are several things you can do to make the property more desirable to quality tenants. As a landlord, you want to protect your investment, but you don’t want your rental unit to remain vacant for a long period. After all, this damages your profit potential. While you might be tempted to rent the property quickly without regard for tenant quality, renting your unit to unqualified tenants may cause costly, time-consuming problems down the road. In this article, we take a look at some key steps to get the best tenants for your rental property as quickly as possible.
What is a good tenant?
Selecting a tenant is a business decision; you should prioritize a good tenant based on objective facts versus subjective opinions. When learning how to find good tenants, keep an eye out for these qualities in applicants:
- Healthy track record of on-time payments
- Steady income
- Positive credit report
- Ability to cover potential property damage with an upfront security deposit
- Good references from past landlords
- Polite and respectful to neighbours
- No prior history of eviction
- No criminal record of lewd or dangerous behaviour
Steps to get the best tenants for your rental property
Layout your tenant criteria beforehand
Before listing a rental or conducting a showing, it’s important to have an idea of what kind of tenant you want. This helps you narrow your focus and gives you a target market to focus on when it comes to writing the listing. Additionally, you should be prepared for questions about smoking, pets and minimum income or credit, just to name a few. Having all this in writing can not only streamline the process but can also protect you from accusations of discrimination if need be.
Write a compelling listing
With many tenants using an internet listing service to find their next rental, writing a compelling listing is the first step in attracting quality tenants. It’s the primary way to entice potential tenants to view the property so when you’re writing the listing, ask yourself the following questions:
- Firstly, is there a hook in the listing’s headline that would pique the interest of my desired tenant?
- Secondly, is the listing descriptive and informative yet concise?
- Lastly, is it easy for potential tenants to contact me?
Taking the time to write a compelling listing will help you attract a larger pool of quality tenants. In addition, it can also increase your chance of leasing the rental sooner.
Conduct a comprehensive tenant screening
A full tenant screening is one of the most crucial steps when learning how to find a good tenant. It can be tempting to just do a quick name lookup on Google or search on social media to uncover applicant behaviour. However, it is unlikely to give you the kinds of data to make an informed tenant decision. Checking their credit, criminal, and eviction history can help give you a well-rounded view of who they are. Plus getting insight into their income will help determine their ability to pay rent on time.
Regular maintenance is key
Another way to attract quality tenants is to perform regular maintenance. This ensures that there is less to do when it comes to fixing, cleaning and staging the property for a showing. It also gives potential tenants peace of mind knowing that the property is in good hands. Additionally, preemptive maintenance saves you both time and money by reducing the chance of things breaking in the long term. However, when things do break, be sure to respond quickly as nothing sours the tenant relationship quicker than sluggish repairs.
Boost value with add-ons
To attract quality tenants, you can use add-ons to broaden your appeal to a more desirable, higher-income market. These add-ons might include extra storage space or lighting, built-in wardrobes, stainless steel appliances, air-conditioning, heating and dishwashers. While these add-ons are an investment, they will boost the value of the rental property and help you increase your rental yield in the long term.
Quality tenants will look for property managers with top-notch communication skills. You should open up all lines of communication to make sure you’re always easily reachable and ensure that you can answer all their questions. During the process, you can get a better understanding of where the tenant is in their lives and assess whether they’re a good fit for the rental property. The easier you make the entire process, the more positive your potential tenant’s experience. This can translate to a happier tenant and a longer tenancy, further building your reputation as a great property manager.