How to Attract Long-Term Tenants
Good quality tenants are every landlord’s dream. They pay rent on time, care for the property, and rent long-term. Having tenants like this rent your unit is good for cash flow. They guarantee regular rental income every single month.
How do you attract and retain tenants like this to your rental property in Jacksonville, Florida?
In this blog, we will provide you with 7 tips to help you in this regard.
Tip #1: Make your property look desirable.
Does your property look like it has seen better days?
If it has, you need to invest some time and money into making it look more modern and clean. Remember, prospective tenants have many options to consider. If your property does not look worthwhile, it will not receive much attention.
To bring your property to rent-ready status, you may need to do things such as:
- Re-keying or changing the locks
- Searching for and eradicating mold
- Cleaning and deodorizing
- Testing and servicing appliances
- Deciding if you want to furnish the property yourself
You may also need to service your AC, clean or replace curtains and window screens, spruce up the landscaping, and/or paint the walls.
Tip #2: Target the right type of tenant.
Get an idea of the kind of tenant you want to rent to.
Is it a young professional? A student? A family?
Once you have identified the kind of tenant you want, draft a rental ad that targets them.
Use the ad to talk to your target audience. Make it short and include as many details about your property as possible. Make sure to mention important things like the rent and security deposit amount. You should also describe the utilities included as well as the property size and location.
You may want to state whether or not you allow pets, smoking, and/or subletting. Just ensure that your ad is equal, fair, and adheres to the Fair Housing Laws.
Tip #3: Use the right marketing channels.
You may have the best property, but it may remain unoccupied for a long period of time if you do not get the word out. To give your property as much exposure as possible, use a variety of marketing strategies.
If you are used to traditional methods like “For Rent” signs and newspaper ads, then you may need to change things up. You should advertise your property on popular rental listing sites like Craigslist, Zillow.com, and Realtor.com. You should also promote it on social media platforms.
Your goal should be to reach as many prospective tenants as possible. Consequently, using a variety of platforms will improve your chances of landing the right tenant for your property.
Tip #4: Screen every prospective tenant thoroughly.
After marketing, you should start getting inquiries from prospective tenants. The inquiries will come in the form of calls, emails, or texts, depending on the contact information you provided on the rental ad.
It is during this time that you should be prepared to start the screening process. Having a set of questions ready can help you save time further down the road.
Here are a couple of questions to get you started:
- What is your reason for moving?
- When did you start living in your current home?
- What is your monthly income?
- Do you have any other people that will be living with you?
- Are you ready to move in immediately? If so, are you ready to pay rent and the security deposit?
- Do you have a pet? Read about the benefits of renting to tenants with pets here.
- Do you smoke?
Just remember to keep the Fair Housing Laws in mind when asking these questions. You may want to keep away from questions such as:
- How old are you?
- Are you married?
- Where do your kids go to school?
- Are you pregnant?
- What is your first language?
- Where were your parents born?
- Are you white or Hispanic?
Asking any of these questions can land you on the wrong side of the law.
Once you have narrowed down your candidate list, continue to the next step – property showing. Have every candidate fill out an application form. Once they do this, narrow your list by further screening them based on their monthly income, credit rating, and rental, employment, and criminal history.
Tip #5: Offer a warm welcome.
Tenants usually have anxieties about living in a new place. As a landlord, it is your duty to establish yourself as their go-to contact for questions regarding the neighborhood. You can even provide your tenant with a list of your favorite places in the community.
You may also want to provide them with a small welcome gift. It does not have to cost much, but it will definitely go a long way in showing you care. Examples of inexpensive items you could consider include:
- Map of the area
- Cleaning supplies
- Baked goods
- Coffee beans
Tip #6: Respond to maintenance requests promptly.
Nothing frustrates tenants more than unresponsive landlords. In fact, failure to respond to maintenance issues swiftly is one of the top reasons why tenants move out once their lease is up. Maintaining your rental property, and knowing your responsiblities is one of the best ways to keep renters happy.
It is in your best interest to keep on top of maintenance issues. By doing so, tenants will know that you care for their wellbeing and they will be happy living there.
Tip #7: Have an "open door" policy.
Property management is a service-based business. Sadly, good communication, for some landlords, ends the moment a tenant signs the lease.
To run a successful rental property, you need to keep all lines of communication open. By doing so, it will help make your tenants feel appreciated. It will also foster an atmosphere of mutual respect.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, attracting long-term tenants is not an impossible task. You just need to take the right steps. Long-term tenants will result in financial stability and increased profits for you.