If you’re like many other entrepreneurial spirits in the country that have decided to invest in real estate and rent it out for profit and supplementary income, you’ve likely realized this endeavor comes with its fair share of challenges. As you begin your journey as a landlord, there are many stressors and factors to consider. However, few are as important as getting off on the right foot and finding the best tenants for your first go-around in the rental industry. Taking the time and investing the money into searching out the best renters can change the entire experience and mean the difference between your success and failure as a landlord. Before handing over that lease for signing, keep these facets in mind and avoid the nightmare tenant you’ve always feared.
Advertise the Right Way…In the Right Place
Taking a few photos with your smartphone and throwing them up on Craigslist will see you with some responses, but if you’re looking for quality, you need to provide it. Borrow a friend’s high quality camera (or invest in one yourself!) or hire a professional for an hour to get high-quality imagery of the property. This will automatically provide your listing with a professionality that will attract higher-paying tenants. Take your time to write up a quality property description. Consider all the amenities offered, and provide all of the details tenants are looking for. Once you’ve refined this description and you have numerous photos, it’s time to examine the options for placement. While you can still utilize free sites like Craigslist, it’s a great idea to pay a small nominal fee to use higher quality sites. You can make up for the cost in application fees for serious tenants, and using these bona fide sites usually give you access to a wider demographic of quality renters seeking quality properties.
Screening Your Tenants Thoroughly
There’s nothing more important than screening every applicant thoroughly before picking someone to live in your place. Once that lease is signed, you’re bound to this tenant, and should anything happen in the future, you should know the courts usually side with the tenant. Instead of running a simple credit check, take advantage of a service that can help you interpret tenant credit reports, run background checks to search for criminal history, and find out about any evictions in the applicant’s past. You can never be too careful, especially when allowing a stranger to live in your personal property.
Enhancing the Curb Appeal of Your Property
When tenants drive up to take a tour of the property, make sure they want to step inside that front door by improving your curb appeal. The interior can be as luxurious as possible, but if the yard looks like a trash bin, you can pretty much assure they’ll be driving off before they even cross that threshold. Adding the right greenery and landscaping features can actually significantly increase the value of your home. A single tree alone can improve the resale value of a home by thousands of dollars. Consider using a professional landscaping service, at least for a consultation, and give your property’s back and front yard as much tender, loving care as you provide the insides of the home.
If you want tenants to be willing to pay more for your property, you need to make it competitive. One easy way to do this is to host open houses on your rental where all applicants are encouraged to attend. It’s human nature to desire what we know others want, and this may see you garnering higher quality tenants.
Allow for Tenant Personalization
One gripe renters have with their living situation is the lack of personalization they’re allowed. If you’re looking to secure long-term tenants, allow some wiggle room for tenant upgrades and additions to the property in your lease. This might be a provision allowing for paint changes, so long as the space is returned to original condition when they do decide to move out. The more a tenant feels like a place is “theirs”, the more likely they are to take great care of it and stay longer, preventing costly turnover.
If you’re just embarking on your landlord business venture, start off on the right foot with the ideal tenants.