The tenants you attract to your rental property can make or break your investment. A problematic tenant can be a nightmare. They can cause all manner of headaches and usually rent for a shorter term before taking off.
On the other hand, a good tenant is every landlord’s dream. They will take care of your home like they would their own, notify you of maintenance issues, pay rent on time, and rent for a longer amount of time.
The million dollar question is – how exactly do you attract a long-term tenant? Well, this is what today’s article aims to answer.
Here are 7 tips to attract a long-term tenant to your rental property.
Tip #1: Refresh the look and feel of your property.
Does your property look like it has seen better days? If so, consider investing in projects that can help refresh its dated look. No quality tenant would want to live in a home that looks all beat up and faded.
Check the paint work. Does it look chipped and uninspiring? If so, this may be the best time to revitalize the look of the walls. What about the lawn? Does the grass look green and well manicured? If not, consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.
In addition, check to see whether certain elements in your home require some repairs. Check everything from the door hinges to light bulbs to the faucets. Take the time to give the space a facelift, and the quality tenants will come pouring in!
Tip #2: Market your property to the right audience.
How you market your property can also determine the kind of tenant you land. Therefore, it's important to take the time to plan your marketing strategy.
For starters, do a bit of research on the current neighborhood surrounding your property, and see what other properties in the area are doing on their listings. This can provide you with examples of what works, and also may help inspire you in your own listings.
Next, begin drafting a rental listing that aligns to your objective and is unique from the current offerings. Include a catchy headline, a detailed description of the property, and a bunch of quality photos. Don’t also forget to include important information or features of the property. For example, the location, number of bedrooms, rent amount, nearby amenities, and available appliances are all valuable things to put in a property listing.
Once you have your listing prepared, consider having a professional look it over before you start the marketing process. If you are just starting out as a landlord, this can be an especially valuable service.
But why? You see, there are certain statements that, however innocent they may sound, may be actually discriminative to prospective tenants. For instance:
- Ideal for a professional
- Not suitable for children
- Christian neighborhood
All these statements are considered discriminative, as outlined by the Fair Housing Act.
Once you've ensured your listing is ready, and free of any discriminatory language, it's time to start marketing! Use a combination of online and offline strategies, such as posting the listing on various property listing sites, to hanging up posters in the neighborhood to advertise availability.
Tip #3: Screen prospective tenants thoroughly.
No two tenants are exactly alike, and before you take a chance on any particular one, you might want to double-check that the prospect is trustworthy. That’s where a good screening process comes into play.
Important things your tenant screening process should cover include:
- A tenant’s rental history. This should help you find out previous landlords’ experience with the tenant.
- A tenant’s creditworthiness. Look for tenants that are financially responsible by setting a minimum credit rating.
- A tenant’s monthly income. The last thing you want is to rent to a tenant that won’t be able to pay their rent on time.
- Employment status. Is the tenant able to keep a job for a reasonable amount of time?
Again, make sure your screening process is in line with the Fair Housing Act. Certain questions are hugely problematic and can land you in hot water with the legal system. “Where are you originally from?” or “Is that a service dog?” are two examples of such questions.
Tip #4: Give your tenant a warm welcome.
Moving is a stressful life event. As a matter of fact, some studies even rank it up there together with spousal death, divorce, and unemployment. With that in mind, consider doing things that can help ease any stress your new tenants may have.
Small acts of kindness can go a long way in helping reduce the stress of your new tenants:
- Introduce your tenant to their new neighbors.
- Ensure the property is thoroughly cleaned.
- Answer any questions the tenant may have.
- Consider gifting them something useful. For instance, a bag of snack food or coffee, paired with a neighborhood information packet, or local shopping and dining coupons.
Tip #5: Keep the premises well maintained.
Neglecting your maintenance responsibilities as a landlord is against the lease agreement and can ultimately drive a wedge between you and your tenant. As a landlord, you should always ensure you respond to maintenance requests as promptly as possible.
Failure to take your maintenance responsibilities seriously can land you in trouble. Besides the risk of losing a potentially long-term tenant, you may also find yourself in trouble with local authorities for operating an uninhabitable rental unit.
On top of that, neglecting property maintenance reduces your property's quality over time, which can decrease its value and put a damper on your finances!
Tip #6: Respect your tenant’s privacy.
Although you may own the unit, you should show some tact when navigating your tenant’s space. All tenants have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their properties.
If you are planning to enter a tenant’s unit, make sure you notify them at least 24 hours beforehand. Schedule a date and time with them and let them know the reason for your intended entry.
Common reasons for landlord entry include:
- To respond to a maintenance request.
- To inspect the unit.
- Due to a court order.
- During an emergency.
Tip #7: Consider hiring professional help.
Are you just starting out as a landlord and lack the skills and experience to manage a property? Do you have multiple rental units and are beginning to feel overwhelmed? Do you lack the time to carry out your landlording responsibilities effectively?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, hiring a professional property management company may be in your best interest.
A good property management company will be able to help you sort out all of your property's management needs.
From finding and screening tenants, to rent collection, and even to maintaining the unit, a property management company will help you achieve peace of mind by expertly handling the day-to-day minutia that comes with owning a rental property.
You will want to ensure you are working with a reputable company that has experience in your local area, so make sure to do your due diligence and research your options prior to hiring!
As you can see, attracting long-term tenants isn’t exactly rocket science, it simply requires thoughtful planning and dedication. Still find the process daunting? If so, consider hiring Anchor Real Estate – a professional property management company. Anchor has the property management services you and your North Carolina property needs.