Everyone dreams of the perfect tenant; the type of tenants who pay their rent on time, don’t cause any damages, follow even the smallest of rules, and end up staying in your property for years. They’re the type of tenants that look at your property and instantly feel like its home. It’s that HGTV happy ending that we all crave with keeps our net operating income high.
Unfortunately, attracting the ideal tenant isn’t so easy. We can’t all have a TV show promoting our property, and the reality is that time is not on your side. So what are you waiting for? Here are a few tips to help you jumpstart making your dream of the perfect resident, a reality:
Advertise, Advertise, Advertise and Repeat
You’ve been doing this, but have you been doing this well? The most basic factor when it comes to successfully advertising your property is visual information, and lots of it. Nothing weeds out good potential applicants faster than a lack of information. In fact, according to Zillow.com, “having fewer than nine photos of your property lowers your chances of selling in 60 days by two percent,” the optimal photo number being between 16 and 21. While this data isn’t based on rentals, it shows the consumer mentality people have when researching their home leans to the visual and informational side. So don’t be camera shy and snap away.
In addition to posting complete information about the property, it’s good to imagine the type of tenant you’d want. Maximize the strengths in your property by highlighting family friendly amenities and schools, millennial friendly universities and coffee shops (with free wifi), or local events perfect for all ages. This will make your listing jump out among the others and better attract your ideal tenant.
Now that you’re set on what type of tenants you want to attract, it’s time to think about what websites you’d like to advertise your listings on. While advertising everywhere and anywhere might seem like a good idea for exposure purposes, posting on sites like Craigslist don’t always give you the most reputable inquires. Picture the type of sites your ideal tenant would visit and then post it there.
Sharing is Caring, Entice Your Residents’ Friends and Family
Bring word of mouth tactics into the digital age by posting your property listing on your social media sites. Entice your current residents to share the post with their family friends by making it a contest. For every application that goes through with a referral give the referee (aka one of your current residents) a gift card of their choice or a discount off rent. By having your residents share your listings it not only reaches potential applicants who are in the area and are already looking, but makes it all the more likely that the new tenant will stay in your property longer.
Stage Your Property like a Boss (I Mean Realtor)
When you’re ready to show your property, take a page out of the realtor’s book and do a little staging. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 49% of Realtors surveyed believe staging has an effect on the buyer’s view of the home, with the vast majority finding it to be positive. This doesn’t mean you need to do any Extreme Makeover changes, but just add a few little touches to make your potential applicants have the same flabbergasted response.
If you have a staged room with furniture already placed in it, get the dimensions of your big furniture and use painters tape to play with better ways to display the space. This way you’ll maximize your time for other things and maximizing the features of your property.
If you don’t have a pre-staged room or furniture, search for staging companies in your area to rent some minimalistic furniture or invest in some furniture for showing purposes. When plotting out what to rent, focus on what the NAR deem is the top 3 rooms to stage: the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom and bring in 2-3 key pieces for each of those rooms. For the living room place a couch, coffee table and entertainment center around the space. For the kitchen, get a kitchen table and chairs. And finally, for the master bedroom get a complete queen sized bed and nightstands.
After your done grappling with the furniture, open the curtains up, turn on all the lights, bring in some plants and candles, arrange a few accessories like throws or books, and reel in the rental applications.
While finding the perfect tenant is definitely not as easy as it’s seen on TV, it’s not impossible. With a little patience, some hard work, and a bit of luck, your ideal resident is just an application process away. Of course, you’ll also need to screen them and make sure everything aligns to your standards, but knowing your ideal tenant, they’ll probably pass with flying colors. Cue the happy dance.