Today we are talking about finding and retaining the best possible tenants. There are three basic characteristics to great tenants. They pay rent on time consistently every month; they take care of your property without damaging it; and, hopefully they will stay for as long as you want them to.
Providing a Good Home
One way to find the best tenant is to have a properly maintained home that’s updated to current standards. Then you have to offer it at a competitive price. Overpricing the home will compromise your ability to find the best tenant. The market changes pretty consistently, so stay on top of what the rental prices are in your area.
Advertising the Property
Once you have your house ready for the market and it’s priced correctly, you need to advertise it properly. Take high quality professional photos. Tenants are looking online to decide whether they want to take the time to come see your property, so avoid blurry iPhone photos and be professional. Do a video tour that allows people to feel like they are walking through your property. This allows them to see the house before they schedule an appointment. Make sure you have good ad copy. In your tone, be a little sales-y but keep the description fact-based. Give people the information they need.
Respond promptly when people inquire. You need to schedule showings without delay. If you advertise without showing your property right away, people will lose interest. Once you have people who want to rent, make the application process easy. Online applications are easy and people can fill out the form and pay their fee electronically. Your screening criteria must be clear and consistent and it has to be compliant with California fair housing laws.
Process the applications quickly and correctly. Don’t skip steps. Check credit and all previous landlords. Call employers and make sure everything adds up. Do a title search on the landlord name so you aren’t talking to friends who are taking the place of real landlords who might not give the tenant a good reference.
Once you accept someone, make sure you have a good lease that is specific to California. You don’t want a generic form lease that you found on the Internet. A strong lease will give you as much control over the tenant and the property as possible.
If you have any additional questions about how to find and retain an ideal tenant, contact us at Advantage Property Management Services.