One of the best ways to find a qualified tenant is to attract the largest number of applicants possible. If your rental isn’t garnering the interest you hoped for it might be time to tweak a few important factors. By investing the time upfront to market your property effectively, you will be rewarded with a larger pool of applicants to choose from. If you aren’t sure where to begin, check out these four effective methods for attracting more applicants.
1: Start With Property Improvements
The first place you should begin is with the property itself. Have you been putting off some minor repairs? Is the yard a complete disaster? Take a look around and see if there are items that are off putting. You can usually determine that the property is the problem if you lose a lot of interest after showing the place. While you can get carried away with property improvements and actually cost yourself more than you will ever make back, there are some cost effective changes you can make to increase interest in the property.
- Clean the interior: It may seem like it goes without saying but cleaning the interior of the property goes a long way in selling it. If you aren’t talented at cleaning, hire a professional to deep clean the place. A dirty and dingy appearance will be off putting to potential renters. Once the place is clean, keep away dust and cobwebs by doing a quick clean up every time you are going to show the place.
- Finally tackle repairs: If there are small repairs around the property that you have been putting off, take care of them before your next showing. Even if you intend to repair the property before you rent it out, it is hard for potential tenants to see past the issues during a showing. They also don’t know you yet and might not trust that everything will really be repaired before they move in.
- Tidy up the yard: While the interior of the property sets the tone for how homey your rental looks, the yard still leaves an important impression upon potential renters. While there is no need to spend money on a major overhaul, you should make sure the yard is tidy and well kept. A mowed lawn, a cleaned walkway, and a yard devoid of trash will help make the place more attractive for quality renters.
2: Ensure You Have Competitive Pricing
Often, a property that isn’t seeing a lot of interest is a mispriced property. Make sure you understand the market around your rental property and price it accordingly. If you need to lower your price, start with a small decrease to see if this helps garner more interest. Be careful when lowering rental prices. While you might find more renters, you might also find less qualified renters. Start your research by running a rental comparison report, like those found at Rentometer. Next, peruse ads in the area on Craigslist, Zillow, and other major listing sites. Take note of the price differences between certain neighborhoods and even streets. Finally, make sure you are comparing your property to properties that are similar in size and in what amenities they offer.
3: Improve Your Property Listing
If your property is in great shape and you have set a competitive price, consider spending some time working on your actual property listing. A poorly written listing can cost you countless leads. Remember, when someone is on the hunt for a new home, your property listing is all they know about you and the property. If it’s missing important information, lacking photos, and difficult to read, they will not spend the time to reach out to learn more. For example, take note of the differences between the following two property listings:
Property Listing A - No Photos “2 bedroom duplex in northern part of town. Rent $1,200 a month with a $1,200 deposit. Tenant pays electric and gas. Contact Bob for more information.”
Property Listing B - Gallery of Photos “Schedule a showing to tour this charming 2 bedroom duplex. Located in the northern part of town, only minutes away from downtown, the country like setting creates a peaceful space.
840 square feet, this rental boasts a large kitchen with the ability to utilize part of the space for a dining area. The kitchen includes a dishwasher, microwave, oven, refrigerator, and garbage disposal. A washer and dryer are also included with the unit and are located in a small mudroom adjacent to the kitchen. The mudroom opens up to a small private outdoor patio area, with a privacy fence.
The rent is $1,200 a month. The tenant is responsible for gas and electric and the landlord covers the water, sewer and trash. The deposit is $1,200. Pets are negotiable. Operated by an independent landlord, this property is a must-see! Contact Bob to schedule your showing.”
You can easily see why the second listing would garner more interest. Take the time to go over your current listing with a fine toothed comb. Do you talk about everything important such as bedrooms and included appliances? Are you highlighting the best features about your property? Be sure your listing sounds inviting. While it is fine to talk about some of your policies, such as non-smoking applicants only, don’t spend the whole listing focused on all the “don’ts” and “no’s”. This will be off putting to even responsible tenants.
4: Advertise In All The Right Places
Another way to boost the number of interested applicants for your property is to advertise in as many places as possible. While having a yard sign is a great place to start, it is far from enough. Gone are the days of placing an ad in the newspaper and calling it good. You need to invest time in advertising across the web. Most renters will be looking for a place on major listing sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Craigslist. Utilize a free tool, such as ours at TurboTenant, to create one property listing that is then posted automatically across dozens of listing sites. By increasing the number of places your property is listed, you will see a spike in the number of interested parties. By working on these four methods for finding more interested renters, you can increase your chances of finding the ideal and qualified tenant.
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