Being a landlord can be very rewarding but there are certainly challenges, too. One of the hardest parts is attracting solid tenants. In addition to making sure you screen good tenants, you also want these well-screened prospects to be impressed by your unit. Need a bit of guidance in this area? Read on for tips on how to make your rental property a standout.
Killer Curb Appeal
Many landlords putter around the inside of their rental units, making tweaks here and there, without considering curb appeal. When your potential tenants pull up to check out the place, you want them to impressed from minute one. If you’re not a good landscaper/groundskeeper, you definitely need to hire one to maintain the outside. Overgrown bushes and a rickety porch do not speak well to your attention to detail. Special touches like potted flowers, flowers along the walkway, and/or a porch swing will go a long way in impressing these people before they even enter your place.
Amen for Amenities
Of course, you’re not going to have a stainless steel subzero refrigerator in your rental unit, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stingy either. Nice looking, relatively new, energy-efficient amenities are a huge plus to just about any renter. Of course, any smart features are great for attracting millennials, so consider the ways you can capture this (valuable) subset of the population.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
There is nothing easier and less expensive than giving your property a fresh coat of paint in between renters, and it will make the place look clean and sleek. Sticking with neutral colors is the way to go. You want these prospects to be able to envision themselves living there, and if you’ve got a room with four walls painted bright teal, that might be hard to do. Stick with whites, creams, taupes, and even grays.
Clean or Replace Carpets or Hardwoods
Tenants love hardwood, as it always looks clean and appealing. However, if you can’t afford this, nice, neutral carpeting (like a berber) is always a good choice. If you don’t have the funds to get new carpeting in between all tenants, you should at least invest in a thorough steam cleaning, particularly if the past tenants had pets.
Tell a Tale With Your Advertising
You’ve gone to the trouble of making the inside and outside of your property look fabulous for your next tenants. Now how are you going to describe it to them in your posting? Aim straight for the heart, thinking about what would appeal to you. And be descriptive.
As the TripAdvisor blog recommends in a recent post, go for emotional descriptions instead of impersonal working. “Rather than saying, ‘People often go to the boardwalk for ice cream,’ you should say something like, ‘You’ve gotta check out the boardwalk while you’re here. Your kids (even the big ones) will love to stroll down the pier with a famous homemade ice cream from Ian’s Ice Cream Shop while they watch the birds…”
See the difference? We want to go there … now!
Don’t Just Say It; Show It
You don’t just want to throw up any old posting on Craigslist with photos taken from your cell phone. Instead, invest in a professional photographer to take photos with just the right lighting. This is an added expense, but it will be a huge step towards making your rental property a standout. According to a HubSpot study on buyer behavior, 67% of consumers say that the quality of images is “very important” when making choices.
If you are not going to use a professional, then learn some of the basics of taking great real estate pictures. Having all the lights on or make sure ceiling fans are on high when the picture is taken are just a couple of the “secrets” that real estate photographers use to make sure that a listing look top notch.
Screen Your Applicants Well
When those applications do start rolling in, do your due diligence in placing the right tenant. The screening process is complex; you need to create the ideal application, run credit checks, gather references, talk to past landlords, and figure out how to check for evictions—and usually you want to do this in less than a week’s time. Use a reputable screening service to knock out some of these tasks and take your time finding the right person.
Rentals can seem like a dime a dozen, so you need to go the extra mile in attracting quality tenants. Follow these tips and your property will be a diamond in the rough.