Finding great tenants will make life as a landlord so much easier than renting to bad tenants. Great tenants will care for your property as if it were their own, regularly communicate when issues arise, and most importantly will pay their rent on time. But what can you do to find great tenants? These 5 tips to finding great tenants will help you.
Make your rental listing attractive and professional
Although it can be time-consuming, creating an attractive and professional looking rental listing will help you attract great tenants. Often time great tenants gloss over vague rental listings that seem incomplete or lack photos. When writing your rental listing, be sure to include detailed descriptions of the property and highlight attractive or important features. It is also imperative to include clear, well-taken photos of your property because pictures are worth a thousand words. As a bonus, if you can ask prior tenants for testimonials you can include in your listings. Keep in mind that more than likely you can reuse the listing the next time the property is available for rent, so it is worth putting in some extra effort to get better tenants. And remember, the rental listing is not only a prospective tenant’s first impression of the property but also of you.
Maximize your rental listing’s exposure
Once you have a great rental listing composed you want to maximize its exposure so more great prospective tenants will see it. Although you should advertise your listing on as many websites as possible, approximately 90% of searches occur on just three sites – Craigslist, Trulia, and Zillow so at the very minimum list on those sites. A word about Craigslist, you must remember to renew the listing every couple of days so it remains at the top of the list, however, don’t renew it too often or the listing will be “ghosted” (won’t show up in searches).
Great tenants want to rent from great landlords so it is important to sell yourself from the very beginning. Great tenants want to be sure that their landlord will be respectful of their privacy and time and will be quick to respond to any maintenance issues. Promptly responding to inquiries about the property, dressing professionally when meeting with prospective tenants and never showing up late for showings are great ways to communicate to prospective tenants that you will be a great landlord. Ultimately, this is your business and acting professionally communicates to prospective tenants that you take your business seriously.
Great tenants will not rent from you if the property is not priced appropriately. Be sure to stay on top of the current market rental rates in your area before setting your rent. Trulia, Craigslist, and Zillow are great resources to use to compare similar properties in your area to yours.
Screen, screen, screen!
No matter how great a prospective tenant seems to be sure to thoroughly screen them. Have them fill out a rental application, which includes at least three years of their rental and employment histories. You should also run credit reports and criminal background checks on all prospective tenants. Take the information you collect and actually call their prior landlords and bosses. You should speak to at least two of the past landlords, if applicable because the current landlord might be hesitant to say anything negative hoping to pass a bad tenant onto the next landlord. And don’t worry that screening might put off a great prospective tenant, being screened will not scare off tenants with nothing to hide.