The best way to attract quality tenants is to have a high quality rental property in an ideal location at an ideal price point. Notice how ideal this scenario is?
As a property manager, you might not have control over variables like price and location but there are a number of things you can do to make the property more desirable to quality tenants. You can provide clear information to highlight the property’s best features, present a clean and well-maintained property and represent yourself as a great property manager by demonstrating your communication and organisational skills.
Without further ado, here are 12 ways to attract quality tenants:
1. Lay out your tenant criteria beforehand
Prior to listing a rental or conducting a showing, it’s important to have an idea of what kind of tenant you want. This helps you narrow your focus and gives you a target market to focus on when it comes to writing the listing copy.
Additionally, you should be prepared for questions about smoking, pets and minimum income or credit, just to name a few. Having all this in writing can not only streamline the process but can also protect you from accusations of discrimination if need be.
2. Write a compelling listing
With 91% of tenants using an internet listing service to find their next rental, writing a compelling listing is the first step in attracting quality tenants. It’s the primary way to entice potential tenants to view the property so when you’re writing the listing, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there a hook in the listing’s headline that would pique the interest of my desired tenant?
- Is the listing descriptive and informative yet concise?
- Is it easy for potential tenants to contact me?
If the answer is no to any of the above questions, you may want to take a step back and rewrite your listing. Taking the time to do so will help you attract a larger pool of quality tenants and can also increase your chance of leasing the rental sooner!
3. Don’t skimp on professional photography
On a similar vein, no listing is complete without great pictures. They create visual interest and allow your potential tenants to really picture their lives in the space.
According to Wall Street Journal, listings with no images have about 2 seconds to capture the attention of potential tenants while those with one image have a full 20 seconds. If you have three images, that’s a whole minute to entice tenants!
So if you have a spacious, sunlit double bedroom with west facing windows and art deco furniture, don’t leave it up to the imagination! Bring it to life with professional photography or better yet, take it to the next level with a video or virtual tour.
Not convinced? Check out how great photos helped sell a home in 8 days after it was on the market for 8 months.
4. Regular maintenance is key
Another way to attract quality tenants is to perform regular maintenance. This ensures that there is less to do when it comes to fixing, cleaning and staging the property for a showing and gives potential tenants peace of mind knowing that the property is in good hands.
Additionally, preemptive maintenance saves you both time and money by reducing the chance of things breaking in the long-term. However, when things do break, be sure to respond quickly as nothing sours the tenant relationship quicker than sluggish repairs.
5. Thoroughly screen your tenants
While this might be a no-brainer, it’s actually a common property management mistake. Prevention is better than cure so put these effective tenant screening procedures in place to filter out undesirable tenants:
- Check up on your tenant’s background, credit score and income
- Call all references and try to speak to previous landlords to see what kind of tenant they are
- Ask questions to build rapport and gauge what type of person they are. e.g. Why are you moving? Who will be living in the property? Have you ever been evicted? Are you a pet owner?
6. Boost value with add-ons
To attract quality tenants, you can use add-ons to broaden your appeal to a more desirable, higher-income market. These add-ons might include extra storage space or lighting, built-in wardrobes, stainless steel appliances, air-conditioning, heating and dishwashers.
While these add-ons are an investment, they will boost the value of the rental property and help you increase your rental yield in the long-term.
7. Know all area amenities
It’s a good idea to be prepared for questions regarding local amenities such as public transport, parks, schools, supermarkets and cafes. This helps potential tenants envision the type of lifestyle they could lead and shows them that you’re a helpful property manager with a solid understanding of the neighbourhood.
Additionally, it can make quality tenants feel more at home knowing that the area has all the creature comforts that they’re used to. If you want to go the extra mile, you can create handouts of desirable local amenities including parking options and costs to really impress potential tenants at a showing.
8. Streamline communication
Quality tenants will look for property managers with top notch communication skills. You should open up all lines of communication to make sure you’re always easily reachable and ensure that you can answer all their questions. During the process, you can get a better understanding of where the tenant is in their lives and assess whether they’re a good fit for the rental property.
The easier you make the entire process, the more positive your potential tenant’s experience. This can translate to a happier tenant and a longer tenancy, further building your reputation as a great property manager.
9. Be flexible
Communication and flexibility go hand in hand. If you have superb communication skills but can’t be flexible about meeting potential tenants, don’t be surprised if they just drop off the radar!
Understandably, most tenants will only be able to see the property on the weekend or after work hours so be sure to make space in your schedule to meet them. This allows you to get to know them, ask the right questions and notice any red flags. While quality tenants are definitely worth the time, there’s no need to be overly accommodating to tenants who are considerably late.
10. Don’t forget about word of mouth
According to Nielsen, 84% of consumers believe word of mouth recommendations from friends and family, making it the most valuable form of marketing. This means that the more satisfied your current tenants are, the better your reputation as a property manager and the more potential tenants you’ll attract.
Additionally, if your quality tenant is moving out, don’t be afraid to ask if they know anyone who’s currently looking for a rental property. Chances are the referral will be of similar quality. If the referral ends up leasing the property, be sure to thank and reward the referrer!
11. Ensure current tenants aren’t home during a showing
If the rental property is currently occupied, be sure to plan and prepare for showings at least a week in advance. Give plenty of notice to your current tenant and be respectful of their schedule when discussing showing times. Regardless, make sure your current tenant isn’t home as this will make things uncomfortable for the potential tenant.
Two days prior to the showing, it's a good idea to send your current tenant a reminder in case they need to do some last minute housekeeping. This might include light cleaning, locking up valuables and organising an off-site pet sitter. You should also set expectations by letting them know that you might do some further cleaning and that potential tenants might look inside storage spaces.
12. Use property management software to stay organised
Quality tenants will look for property managers that are organised and efficient. The right property management software can not only help you stay organised but can also automate certain tasks for you so you can focus more on relationships and strategy.
With PropertyMe, you can automate disbursements, reconciliations and messages to tenants and suppliers, track jobs from start to finish and organise inspections to ensure everything is in smooth working order!
Hopefully this blog post has given you some ideas on how to attract quality tenants. Once you’ve found them, make sure you proactively retain them too!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also be interested in 52 Ways to Grow Your Rent Roll, 8 Ways to Attract New Property Owners and How to Grow Your Property Management Business Using Facebook.
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