If you are in the business of rental income properties then you are in the people business. The success of this real estate business is dependant on attracting and keeping the right people that will respect you and your investment.
It won’t matter how good of a deal you got or what your cashflow was if you sign a lease agreement with someone who is a nuisance or constantly damages your property.
Use these straightforward, yet powerful tips to attract the best rental property tenants.
Take the right safety precautions
The safety and wellbeing of your tenants should be your primary concern and you have to duty and responsibility to provide a safe environment for your tenant. Make it clear to prospective tenants that the smoke detectors are regularly tested, provide a small fire extinguisher in each suite, remove hazards around the property, and research the crime volumes in the area. All of this is peace of mind for every potential applicant.
Quality of neighbourhood
The best tenants are usually ones who want to live in the best neighbourhoods. Purchasing in the favourite areas of town usually come with a premium investment, but it also come with premium rents. Look for up and coming neighbourhoods with popular shops, grocery stores, coffee shops or pubs, easy transit and lots of smiling faces on the streets.
10 minute drive to good schools
If your rental home or apartment is close to good schools more families will be interested in your product. The nice thing about renting to families is that they usually stay a quality tenant for many years as they don’t like uprooting and starting over.
Move in ready (or drawings)
Not everyone has a creative eye to see what you see. For example, you may have a wonderful vision of a luxury suite but it’s currently just bare studs, piles of tile, and mountains of dust. Showing the finished product, or pictures and drawings of the final product, appeals to more of the rental pool and they will appreciate your extra effort.
Close to employment centers
People love a quick commute! The closer you can get to city centres or major work areas the better. Take some time to go and speak with some of the local owners of small businesses and ask if you could have a coupon for their product or service to give to new tenants. Most businesses are accommodating and your tenants will love you for it.
Upgraded or Renovated
“Average efforts equals average results”. If you want an above average tenant selection you have to have a product that is also above average. Don’t forget to maximize your renovation investments for the best return on investment, but also be cognitive that the best tenants will be looking for a quality place to hang their hat.
This is a must if you want to attract the upper level of renters. Including a washer & dryer, dishwasher, and a microwave will be important for a high quality, or “A-Class”, tenant. And if you want to go above and beyond you can instal a towel heater in the bathroom, heated floors, gas stove or BBQ, or security systems.
Transit has been mentioned previously in this most but is crucial enough that it deserves its own paragraph. Having easy access to good transit is a powerful selling feature for most tenants. It gives them the ability to have options. Options like, saving money on a car and using transit instead, or bussing versus paying for an expensive cab ride. Also, in the older demographic, some seniors do not have the ability to walk or drive themselves and a good transit system nearby allows them to live a higher quality lifestyle.
Age of home
Newer homes usually come with less concerns. It’s not uncommon in older buildings to have problems with heating, plumbing, ventilation, noise, or water (my least favourite of all). Issues within a dwelling means issues for your tenants. And you know what that means don’t you. This is a good thing to be aware of when you are comparing different investment opportunities throughout your city.
Rent to value balance
Ultimately this is a business decision and you have to make money to operate a healthy business. If you can offer a high quality home for people to live in it will always be desirable. See if you can be the lowest rental cost in the best rental bracket. This will ensure that you have the most amount of applicants to choose from and then you are not forced to choose a questionable tenant just to fill a vacancy.
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Best wishes for your real estate investing endeavours!