If you ask any experienced landlord out there, they will probably tell you that the biggest factor that will make or break any successful landlord are the tenants that occupy the property. If you do not hire a professional property management company, screening tenants and allowing only the most qualified to rent your property is key. We have given some tips to help with tenant screening in the past, but before that can be done, you need to be able to attract high quality candidates in the first place. In today’s post, we will go over some tips for attracting high quality tenants. Hopefully these tips, combined with proper tenant screening will alleviate many of the tenant issues that some landlords face.
Maintain your property’s appearance
Although this first tip should go without saying, it is oftentimes something that is not done enough. Many landlords do not like to spend money on improving or upgrading their rental properties. Every expense is money is out of their bottom line, so some landlords would rather skimp in this area to increase their profits. They figure that if their properties meet minimum standards, they will still find tenants to rent to and maximize their profits. What must be considered though is the type of tenants that will be applying to move into these homes. High quality tenants normally have standards of their own and do their research before choosing which homes to potentially rent. They will be picking homes that not only have the amenities that meet their needs, but also those that are well kept and look nice. They will not be choosing homes that are run down, so if you are not properly maintaining your property, you will eventually start attracting lower quality tenants who will not take pride in the appearance of their home.
Treat your rentals like a business
If you want to attract and keep high quality tenants, you need to treat your rentals like a business, not a hobby. Although it is ok to be friendly with your tenants, you want to act like a professional at all times. High quality tenants will understand that there will be certain rules that they will have to abide by, so the professional landlord should not have any issues informing tenants about the rules and sticking to them. Your appearance and mannerisms should always come across as professional, as well as any marketing materials that you use to attract prospective tenants. Just as you probably would not want to rent to a tenant that is unorganized or looks unprofessional, high quality tenants will not want to rent from landlords who display those attributes as well.
Communicate that your standards apply to all tenants
Once prospective tenants understand that you are a professional and will be expecting certain standards of them, it will also be a good idea to inform them that the same thing applies to all of your tenants. This is especially important for landlords who own multifamily properties. High quality tenants will expect their neighbors to have the same level of respect for their home that they have. If they get the feeling that their neighbors will be loud, obnoxious, or will not take care of the property, this will most likely deter them from applying. If you can show them that your standards and rules apply across the board without fail, it should give them some level of confidence that your home will be a good place for them.
Become an expert in the local rental market
As the old saying goes, all real estate is local, so you should become an expert in your local market. Understanding the pros and cons of your location as well as what other rentals are offering will give you a leg up in attracting the high quality tenants. There are many different communities in Ventura County, such as beach, downtown, hillside, and even agricultural communities. Each one of these will most likely attract a different segment of renters, so knowing who will most likely be interested in your location will help you market effectively. Also, if every other rental property has an inside washer/dryer and yours doesn’t, you will most likely lose high quality tenants to the other homes that offer that amenity. Obviously lowering your rent may offset this, but then you will have to calculate if the loss in rent you could be collecting is worth not providing a washer and dryer.
Know what neighborhood you are buying in
While you can control the four other tips above, if this one is not done correctly in the first place, you may have trouble ever finding good tenants. Before you buy a rental property, make sure you know as much as you can about the neighborhood. No matter how well you maintain your property or screen your tenants, if your property is in a “war-zone” type neighborhood, your chances of attracting high quality tenants are greatly reduced. You cannot change the location of your home, so make sure that you have a strategy in place that has a high chance of working in whatever neighborhood you do choose to buy in. There are investors who only buy properties in D class neighborhoods and are successful at doing so. You can find good tenants to rent in almost every neighborhood possible, but you may have to do more work to find and screen them in the not as desirable neighborhoods.