How to Find Tenants

As a landlord, finding prospective tenants is everything.

Sure, there are steps before this, but if you can't reliably find tenants when you have a vacancy? Then it's all for nothing.  

Having a vacant rental property can seriously affect a property's ROI. Even taking an extra week to fill a vacancy costs you money (every day, in fact).

Finding tenants can be a very difficult task, though, if you don't have a process for doing so set up.

That's why, below, we'll take you through the process of filling your properties for the first time and your vacancies when one opens up.

Step 1: How to Advertise Your Rental Property Effectively

How to find tenants with advertising

The most important step in this guide is to make sure your rental property is advertised effectively.

This includes taking high-quality photos and writing a clear and informative property listing.

The more you expose your property, the better your chances become of finding a tenant.

List your property on popular rental listing websites, as well as local classifieds and social media platforms.

This might be easier said than done for some people, depending on marketing knowledge, so let's discuss how to market your property in more detail.

Determine your target market

Before you begin advertising your rental property, it's important to understand who your target market is.

Are you looking to rent to families, young professionals, or students?

Knowing your target market will help you to create effective marketing materials and determine the best places to advertise your property.

Take high-quality photos

High-quality photos are essential when advertising a rental property.

They will be the first thing potential renters see, so make sure they showcase the property in the best possible light.

Use a good camera, and consider hiring a professional photographer if necessary.

Make sure to take photos of the exterior, interior, and any amenities the property offers.

Create a detailed listing

Once you have high-quality photos, create a detailed listing of the property.

Include information such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, available amenities, and any important details about the property.

Be sure to include a detailed description of the property and its surroundings. This will give potential renters a good sense of what the property has to offer.

Use online listing platforms

There are several online platforms that allow landlords to list their properties for rent. Some popular options include Zillow and Trulia. These platforms allow you to create a detailed listing, upload photos, and reach a large audience.

Be sure to include all relevant information in your listing, and be sure to respond promptly to any inquiries.

Utilize social media

Social media is a powerful tool for advertising rental properties.

Create a Facebook page for your property, and share photos and information about the property.

Use Instagram and Pinterest to showcase the property's best features. Utilize Twitter to share updates and respond to any questions or concerns.

Network with local real estate agents

Real estate agents can be a valuable resource for landlords looking to advertise their rental properties.

Network with local agents and let them know about your property. They may be able to find renters for you or at least give you some advice on how to advertise your property.

Be responsive

Be sure to respond promptly to any inquiries about the property.

If potential renters are interested in the property, schedule a showing as soon as possible.

Be prepared to answer any questions they may have about the property, and be sure to follow up with them after the showing.

Be prepared for the legal process

Before renting out your property, make sure you are familiar with the legal requirements.

Be sure to check local laws and regulations, and consult with an attorney if necessary.

Be prepared to draft a lease agreement, and have a plan in place for collecting rent and handling any disputes that may arise.

Use "For Rent" Signs

Lastly, a classic and simple way to advertise your rental property is to use a "For Rent" sign on the property. This can attract the attention of potential renters who are driving or walking by the property.

Make sure the sign is visible, easy to read, and includes your contact information.

Be available for showings

Another way to secure qualified tenants is to be available to show your property to prospects. This will give them an opportunity to see the property in person and ask any questions they may have.

It will also give you an opportunity to meet the prospective tenant and gauge their personality and behavior.

How to Improve the Quality of Tenant You Attract + Tenant Relationship

How to improve the quality of tenant you attract

Now that you have a process setup for finding tenants, let's talk about steps you can take to improve the quality of the tenants you bring in:

Create a detailed lease agreement (and go through it with your tenant)

Before renting out your property, create a detailed lease agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the rental.

This should include information such as the monthly rent amount, security deposit, length of the lease, and any rules or regulations that the tenants are expected to abide by.

Make sure that the lease agreement is clear and easy to understand, and be sure to review it with tenants before they sign.

Communicate your expectations

Before the tenants move in, make sure to communicate your expectations to them.

This could include things like when rent is due, how to report maintenance issues, and any house rules you have in place.

Be sure to provide them with a copy of the lease agreement so they can refer to it later on.

Do a walk-through of the property

Before the tenants move in, schedule a walk-through of the property with them.

This will give you the opportunity to point out any areas of the property that they need to be aware of, such as how to operate appliances.

It is also an opportunity to show them any damages that are present in the property, and document it with pictures and a signed agreement.

Set up a communication channel

Set up a clear and reliable communication channel with your tenants.

Let them know how to reach you in case of an emergency, and establish a regular time for check-ins if necessary. This will help to ensure that any issues or concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

How you do that is up to you, but the easiest is generally property management software, which allows you to centralize communication into a single platform where you also collect rent and handle maintenance requests.

Be available

Be available to your tenants when they need you, both before and after signing the lease. If they have a question or concern, respond to them as quickly as possible.

This will help to build trust and ensure that your tenants feel comfortable and appreciated in your property.

Be consistent

Be consistent in your expectations and your enforcement of them as a property manager.

If you set a rule, be sure to enforce it in a fair and consistent manner.

If you are not consistent with your expectations, tenants may start to feel like you are not taking their needs seriously, which can lead to conflicts down the road.

Be respectful

Show respect to your tenants and their rights to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the property.

Also, be respectful of their time, and don't enter the property without proper notice or permission, unless it is an emergency.

Be open to feedback

Be open to feedback from the application process.

Throughout the tenant screening process, they may have suggestions for ways that you can improve to make the rental experience more pleasant for them.

Taking their feedback into consideration will help to build trust and ensure that your tenants feel respected and valued.

Be prepared for the legal process

Before renting out your property, make sure you are familiar with the legal requirements, federal fair housing laws, and Fair Housing Act.

Be sure to check local laws and regulations, and consult with an attorney if necessary.

Be prepared to draft a lease agreement, and have a plan in place for collecting rent and handling any disputes that may arise.

Be prepared for the end of the lease

Plan ahead for the end of the lease.

Communicate with your tenants about the end of the lease and any expectations you have for the return of the property.

Be prepared to handle any damages or issues that may arise at the end of the lease, and have a plan in place for dealing with them.

The last thing you want is to leave your old tenant with a bad taste in their mouth that results in a bad review, a complaint, or worst of all litigation.

Bonus Tip for Bringing in More Tenants: Offer incentives

Consider offering incentives to potential tenants to encourage them to choose your rental property over others.

This can include things like:

  • Discounted rent for signing a longer lease, or
  • A move-in special on rental sites

You can also offer a referral program for current tenants to refer their friends and family as potential tenants.

An incentive isn't necessary, but if you're having trouble bringing in new applicants, it can be a great way to fill your pipeline.

And Don't Forget: Follow up with your tenants

Follow up with your tenants after they move in. The last thing you want to do is leave your tenants feeling alone after you move them in.

This can include things like checking in on them to make sure they're happy with the property and addressing any issues they may have.

This can also include conducting regular inspections of the property to ensure it's being well-maintained as well as regular tenant satisfaction surveys to give tenants an avenue for voicing concerns and feedback.

Time for Screening

Tenant screening

Finding tenants doesn't have to be difficult.

By following everything we talked about above, you'll be much closer to reliably filling your units consistently.

Also, always be prepared to take action if a tenant is not meeting the terms of the lease or causing problems. This can include things like issuing a warning or even terminating the lease.

It's important to have a clear and consistent process in place for handling these types of situations.

If you clearly stated your expectations when you started, your tenants will know what to expect and what is expected of them, making everything smoother.

Next, we'll talk about how to use screening to ensure the tenants you're bringing in are high-quality.

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