So you’ve invested in a property and want to find the best tenants to occupy it – but how do you do it?
Blogger: Cindy Knight, general manager, Time Conti Sheffield Victoria Park
One of the best ways to get good tenants is to use a local property management company, as they will be able to conduct reference checks and access information that you may not be able to. They will also have a database of potential tenants who are looking to rent in the area and may already have excellent candidates on their books. But there are a few other things you can do to improve your chances of attracting great tenants.
1. Know your target market
Knowing what type of tenant you want to attract is key to a successful lease. Hopefully you would have done your research before investing as to what sort of people are likely to rent in the area. If it’s close to schools, you would be best focusing on attracting families, especially if it is a sought-after school in the area. If it’s close to the city, you could use this to attract commuters. If it’s a haven for retirees, you could focus on the over 55s niche.
2. Play to your strengths
Many listings for rental properties tend to focus on the features of the home – four bedrooms, two bathrooms, double garage. Anyone can see that by looking at the pictures. But what about other not so obvious characteristics in which tenants would be interested? Is it close to shops, schools or medical centres? Does it have oodles of storage or established fruit trees scattered around the garden? Is it walking distance to the beach or near a train station? Make a note of all these ‘hidden’ features and include them in a well-written property description.
3. First impressions count
Take a walk through your property and see it through the tenant’s eyes – does it look in good condition, well-taken care of and loved? Properties that are looked after tend to attract people who will continue to look after them. If your property is run down and needs some TLC, chances are you won’t attract anyone who will want to improve it, rather you will more than likely end up with tenants who don’t really care about where they live. Also, first impressions these days are mostly made online. So when tenants view your online listing, make sure it has great photos – no photos often means the property may be older and run down, so may put people off even looking at it.