Finding Tenants for Your Rental Properties
One of the fears that many first-time investors have is “where will we find tenants? What if we can’t find anyone to rent the property?” Of course, there is always the possibility that it will be difficult to find a tenant, but in general, if you select a well-located property, prepare it nicely, and ask a reasonable rent, you should have little or no problem finding acceptable tenants. You may, actually, have more of a problem choosing a tenant rather than finding one.
Getting the Property Ready for Showings
Before you begin marketing the rental property, make sure that it is in a marketable condition. Nothing will turn off a potential tenant faster than an unkempt, dirty house. If you have tenants presently in the property, make sure that they are aware that it must be available—in good condition—for showings. Don’t take their word that it is clean or you will run the risk of a big surprise to you and your prospective tenant. See the home for yourself before you make appointments to show it to someone else!
Marketing Rental Properties
Next, come up with a coordinated plan for when you are going to begin marketing the rental property and where. If you have had success with a specific method, use it again. Here are some marketing ideas:
Word of Mouth
The easiest and least expensive way of getting the word out: let friends, family and co-workers know about the property. If you have already had the property rented, start with the tenant that is moving from it. They often can give you a good lead.
Classified advertising generally works well, since it is the first place that most prospective tenants look when they are trying to find a home to rent. Advertising on sites like Craig’s List is free, and you’ll pay a nominal fee for advertising in your newspaper’s classified section (most likely you’ll have options for advertising in the actual paper and on the paper’s website).
Describe the property colorfully but honestly, state the amount of the rent and any basic rules (for example, “no pets”) in the ad. You’ll save a lot of wasted time not showing the property to those who will not qualify.
”For Rent” Signage on the Rental Property
These are especially effective if the property is on a heavily traveled road, but they also work well for another reason: neighbors will call people they know who are looking for a rental.
Many grocery stores, universities and libraries have bulletin boards that allow landlords to place a notice offering property for rent.
Continue reading through this section for more expert advice on real estate investing and landlording: