5 Tips to Finding Better Tenants

February 21, 2013

5 Tips to Finding Better Tenants

Finding good tenants for your residential rental property is not that hard. It is also well worth the effort. Developing a bad-tenant-proof approach can save you a lot of time and money spent on cleaning up the mess that bad tenants leave behind. Here are some vital guidelines to follow to ensure you get the right tenants from the start:

1. Keep a professional attitude

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People are influenced by our demeanor and the way we handle our affairs. A proper attitude means treating potential tenants with respect because both parties have an interest in reaching an agreement. Tenants are, after all, the lifeblood of the business and therefore deserve to be treated properly. Landlords should also command respect and be clear about their stipulations. This will weed out unreliable tenants who are uncomfortable with this approach. A formal procedure is part of a professional approach in dealing with prospective tenants. This could be a checklist of conditions which need to be fulfilled in order for them to be able to see the property, receive a rental application or agreement, etc.

2. Design your advertisement
By advertising in a particular way you can attract reliable tenants. An eye-catching headline, one that generates interest, will attract more enquiries. By citing the advantages or special features of a particular property – from bike-trails to nearby parks or historical sites – you can attract tenants interested in these specific features. Quality tenants are particular about their desired residence and heed such details. An interesting ad should also include photographs that give a good sense of property and space. Emphasizing that the property is “well-cared-for”, “first class”, or something similar, will also demonstrate that you value it and expect tenants to do likewise.

3. Set rules, guidelines and expectations
Devising a list of rules and expectations for your prospective tenants is an efficient way of eliminating irresponsible applicants. Tenants should understand these criteria before they move in. Guidelines could include how tenants should proceed if there are maintenance issues, what consequences there are to paying the rent late, how the unit should be taken care of, etc. Enforcing rules and being strict about formalities does not mean being rude. It simply means that you will attract like-minded people who are attentive and responsible.

4. Screen your tenants
Tenant screening is an efficient way of finding out who you’re dealing with. It may sound as if you’re being distrustful but real estate is, after all, a business. And trust is something built over time. Therefore, it is best to screen the background of your applicants. You could even include this condition in your advertisement – this way prospective tenants will feel reassured from the start that the property is sought-after and well taken care of.

5. Emphasize appearance
Everyone wants to live in a place which is well-kept. But not everyone is willing to maintain one. That’s the difference between the right tenants and the wrong ones. A clean and nice-looking property is therefore more likely to attract good tenants. You could therefore do some landscaping in the yard, or paint inside or outside, to give the property a fresh look. You could also clean the windows or simply provide more light by changing the light bulbs. All of this will definitely make an impression.

It cannot be stressed enough how valuable a good, long-term tenant can be. If you have experienced bad tenants before, you have probably already done the calculations. Following the above guidelines can prevent another bad experience. And it will also save you a good deal of money. It is worth the time to find high-quality tenants and to create an appealing offer that will make them want to call you and live in your property.

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Jack Beaton Sterling Karamar, Property Management
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