Getting the Perfect Tenant

By: Becky Bower

find the perfect rentersEveryone dreams of the perfect tenant; the type of tenants who pay their rent on time, don’t cause any damages, even make minor repairs, 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.

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

promote your rental listingsYou’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, Trust Your Friends and Family

Bring word of mouth tactics into the digital age by posting your property listing on your social media sites. Ask your close friends and family to help you out by sharing the post. Even if your mom and best friend are the only ones who share your listing on Facebook, you’ll still gain exposure from not only close acquaintances, but people who are in the area and are already looking.

In between tweets and posts about your property, bring it back, old school by making basic fliers. Post them around the neighborhood, on mailboxes and doors, and take advantage of local listing sites. Your neighbors should care the most about who lives next door, so encourage them to share the information. With local ties, your future tenant will be far more likely to stay for the long run.

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.

After cleaning the property and repairing anything that needs fixing, focus on what the NAR deem is the top 3 rooms to stage: the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. For the living room, emphasize the space by turning on all light fixtures and opening up the curtains to bring in the light.   In the kitchen, load up on inodorous and non-greasy snacks and bring in flowers or candles to make the space feel homey. Finally, for the master bedroom illuminate dark corners with lamps and a peaceful setting such as a few live plants. Seeing that there’s something living in the space makes empty rooms all the more enticing, so feel free to show off your green thumb (or your savvy purchases from Home Depot).

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.

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