You’ve got a healthy rental portfolio. You’re happy with your property investments, and you’ve built up some solid equity in your properties. The only problem is, you can’t seem to find or keep the right kind of tenants, and you find yourself scrambling to fill vacancies a lot more often than you’d like.
Believe it or not, you’re not alone, but there are several things you can do to change all that.
Know Your Ideal Tenant
The very first thing you need to do is define your ideal tenant, and be realistic while you do. If you’re renting out a plain but serviceable apartment that’s close to public transport, you’re not going to be renting to slick young professionals.
Likewise, if you’re renting a home that’s near to the best school in the district, you should be tailoring your rental to families with school age children, rather than trendy young hipsters.
The most important thing you can do is to have a clear picture of who your ideal tenants are, and what’s important to them.
Be Honest About the Property
Take a long, honest look at the property that you hope to rent. Is it clean? Functional? Does it have an orange ‘70s kitchen and grimy grout lines?
If you’re trying to rent a property that you can’t imagine yourself ever living in, you can’t expect to find great tenants, so if things need a little refreshing, it may be worth making the investment.
Make It Easy to Rent from You
Most people these days find apartments to rent on the internet. So, if you’re still advertising in the newspapers, you’re probably missing out on the majority of tenants in your area.
Sign up for internet rental sites, and consider other convenience upgrades, like making it possible for tenants to pay rent by credit card or even PayPal! The easier it is to rent from you, the more likely people will be to make that initial call.
Don’t Skimp on Screening
If you haven’t had tenants in your property for a while, it can be tempting to rent to the first person who contacts you. That’s the biggest mistake you can make, and you are not only taking a gamble that the tenant is a good one (and not a complete nightmare), you’re putting your property investment at risk!
You should always conduct a thorough tenant check, including rental reference checking, bankruptcy searches and credit reports, and criminal record checks. The only way you can be sure you’re not renting to someone who is going to avoid paying, or turn your basement into a meth lab, is to do those checks!
Be a Good Landlord
The secret to profitable rental properties is not only to find great tenants, but to keep them. If you can keep good tenants in your property for several years, you have hassle-free, regular income on tap. The best way to do that is to be a good landlord.
Be reasonable, be available when they need you, and make sure that you carry out all your responsibilities on time. After all, you can’t expect your tenants to be perfect if you’re not willing to do the same!