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BK Blog Post
The responsibilities of landlord-ing are many, but there are plenty of benefits (and profits!) to be gleaned from a successful rental business. The key to making your real estate venture a success? The right tenants. If you’ve ever talked to a landlord, you’ve likely heard at least one nightmare tenant story, but that doesn’t have to be your reality. With these strategies in your arsenal, you’ll be well-prepared to find trustworthy, respectful renters that make your real estate venture as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
While you want a great tenant, searching renters want a great landlord, and more importantly, a great place to call home. Before you put your apartment or house up on a rental listings site, make sure it’s up to par—both inside and out. Even the most beautiful of interiors won’t matter if a tenant isn’t impressed when they drive by. Take the time to improve curb appeal by investing in professional landscaping services, and apply a fresh coat of paint to your home’s exterior.
Moving indoors, consider the ways you can set your property apart from comparable places in the neighborhood. Perhaps that means investing in stainless steel appliances, installing smart technology (Nest doorbells are sure to impress prospective tenants), or ripping out that faded carpet and replacing it with beautiful hardwood flooring. Many of these investments may help you justify higher rental rates and attract quality renters in one fell swoop—that’s an easy double-win. Note: when you do make upgrades like these, be sure to protect your investment. Include a clause in your rental agreement that covers property damage, especially if you choose to install luxury amenities that can cost a fortune to replace.
2. Improve your Property Listing
If you want to attract high-quality tenants, you need to draw them in with a high-quality listing. Shoddy photos taken on your iPhone aren’t going to show tenants the best aspects of your property. Invest in professional photography and have high-quality, high-resolution images taken of the space. It’s important to consider that people remember more of what they see (visuals) than what they read (text), so it’s important to put your property’s best foot forward. Once you’ve honed your listing technique, make sure you’re posting it on the right channels and mediums. Spend the extra $100 or so it takes to use sites like Rentals.com and Hotpads.com, but don’t underestimate the power of posting across a variety of mediums, including free platforms like Craigslist and social media profiles—you might even consider the old-fashioned method of posting flyers on local storefronts and church bulletins.
3. Host Open Houses
Want to entice high-quality tenants to turn in an application? Turn up the heat on the competition. Hosting an open house to show potential renters your property could inspire more people to apply. If a prospective renter sees that other people are interested in nabbing up your apartment or home, that sense of competition may prompt them to see your property in a new way. It’s human nature to want what others do, and you can use this to your advantage.
4. Refine Your Screening Processes
First impressions can be deceiving; even if you like a prospective tenant during their in-person interview, it’s important to do your due diligence and ensure their criminal and financial history checks out. Use certified background check solutions to verify the information your applicant has provided in their application—and to double-check that they’re not hiding any worrying skeletons in their closet. Use tenant screening to get the low-down on your prospective renter’s background. With credit reports, criminal reports, and eviction history, you can be more confident in your decision.
5. Trust Your Instincts
If an applicant gives you a strange feeling or shows signs of red flags during the interview process, pay attention to that instinct. Take your time to comb through applicants; leaving your listing vacant for a month is going to be less expensive than having to evict a tenant down the line. Go with your gut and choose an applicant that checks all the boxes—you’ll thank yourself later.
Landing the “perfect” renter can feel akin to finding a needle in a haystack, but with a bit of diligence you can find high-quality tenants. Use these tips to your advantage and make the most of your real estate investment.