No landlord can be successful without the right tenant. Nightmare tenants mean high expenses that cut into your rental profits.
But if you know how to find good tenants before buying your first rental property, you'll build your real estate portfolio much faster. Check out this guide to finding, and keeping, good tenants.
How to Find Good Tenants
The first step in finding good tenants is marketing your property to the public. A good rule of thumb is to test out a variety of marketing strategies to learn what works best for your market and property type.
You might be surprised to learn that a 'For Rent' yard sign yields more calls than an ad in your local paper. Track marketing progress by adding 'How did you hear about us?' to the rental application.
If your tenant is working with a realtor, be sure to send a thank-you note to the realtor for bringing you a new tenant. The next step after you begin receiving calls about the property is to meet with each tenant face to face.
This is an important step in the process because it gives you the opportunity to understand your tenant's personality. There's only so much you can learn from a rental application.
Always opt for in-person meetings instead of phone meetings when possible to learn nuances from the kinds of questions they ask and their body language. Sometimes, you'll just have a gut feeling around a person that tells you something isn't as it seems.
It's difficult to follow your instincts about a person's character when you only have their application facts to go on.
How to Choose a Good Tenant
You can't choose the right tenant without due diligence.
It's up to you, not the tenant to learn the applicant's background. The applicant should provide a minimum of three references including former landlords.
You'll need to call the landlords to learn how the tenant behaved in the last place. It's better to get an office or business number for each reference so you can easily verify their identity.
Make sure you get a professional background check done on the tenant and any co-signers on the lease.
Taking Care of Long Term Tenants
The longer tenants stay in your home, the easier it'll be to profit on your rental property. Good tenants are hard to find but easy to keep. The key is making sure you maintain your property and listen to concerns.
If something breaks in the home, repair it immediately. Perform inspections at the time intervals outlined in your lease agreement.
To a good tenant, this is a sign that you care about your property and take your agreement with them seriously. If you notice places where you can make improvements, do it before the tenant has to ask.
If you're ready to find excellent long term tenants, contact our property management team today.