Q. What's the secret to finding good tenants for my rental property?
The key to any good investment property is finding and keeping good tenants. But how do you attract top quality tenants who are going to treat your property like it’s their own and pay their rent on time?
In my experience, finding the best possible tenants for your investment property comes down to three things.
1. Presentation of your property
When your tenants move out, it’s a good time to take a good look at the presentation of your property. Start from the outside and work inwards because most people will judge your property by what it looks like before they step inside. The garden should be well-kept and the property overall needs to be neat and tidy.
In a competitive rental market, tenants really do notice the little things. They’ll scrutinise the condition of the carpet and condition of the blinds. They may look a little closer at the stove hot plates or wonder why the bedroom fan is stuck on the highest setting. These may seem minor to you but could be what stops a prospective tenant from applying for your property and increase your vacancy periods.
What landlords need to be asking (especially if they haven’t lived in the property themselves) is if they would be happy living there. If the answer is negative, then find a quality property manager who can offer expert guidance on renovations and repairs. Remember that the presentation at the beginning of a tenancy is going to set the tenant’s expectations.
2. Marketing your investment property
When it comes to marketing the property, your property manager needs to be clever about attracting the right tenants. Nearby amenities should be taken into account and the marketing campaign targeted appropriately. If the property is a family home near schools, then families will be the target market. Close to hospitals? Market to hospital staff. It’s essential that you take the time to consider who will best suit the property and location and target the marketing campaign to that demographic. If you advertise too generically, you’re going to risk missing your target audience altogether.
3. Price your rental property competitively
It is crucial that you set the right price for the property, especially in areas where the rental market is on the slow side. If you set the rent too low, you’ll risk missing out on valuable rental income. Place the price tag too high and you’ll be sitting with an empty property potentially for weeks at a time.
While a lot of owners are reluctant to reduce their price, it can mean the difference between leasing the property or it being vacant. If you’re struggling to find good tenants, try reducing the rent by just $10 or $15 per week to attract more people. Your aim should always be to put the best tenant into your property, not necessarily the first. A bad tenant can cost you far more during the tenancy than a small rent reduction.
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