One of your primary responsibilities as a property owner is finding high-quality tenants to fill your units. Your tenants are the people who will be living in and taking care of your property, so it’s important to find good ones. Here are five ways to find great tenants for your rental property:
Start with a Strong Screening Process
One of the best ways to find good tenants is to start with a strong screening process. This means doing the following:
- Running credit checks
- Criminal background checks
- Employment verification
It would be best if you also determined the minimum tenant requirements, like their acceptable credit scores and lifestyle—do they smoke? Do they have pets? To verify the minimum requirements you set, you can check their social media profiles and talk to their current and previous landlords.
Use a Professional Property Manager
A professional can help you with screening applicants, marketing your units, and handling all the paperwork for renting your property. The best property management company deeply understands the local rental market. It may already have a list of ready, willing, and qualified tenants. They also know how to set the rent competitively to help you attract good tenants while still making a profit.
If something goes wrong with a tenant, a property manager can handle the situation quickly and efficiently, so you don’t have to deal with it. They also know how to spot a red flag and can help you avoid problem tenants before they move in.
Advertise in the Right Places
When you’re ready to start marketing your units, advertise in the right places. This means using online listings and print publications targeting a local market. Advertising in the right places will attract high-quality applicants looking for a place to rent. If your target is families, consider listing your units on family-friendly websites and in community newsletters.
You can also advertise using “For Rent” signs in strategic locations near your property. Include your contact details and ensure that it is visible. Be sure to follow your city’s ordinances when placing these signs, as there may be restrictions on where you can put them and how large they can be.
Utilizing social media would also be beneficial to cast a wider net and reach individuals outside your immediate area. Be creative in making your rental listing stand out from the rest by using attractive photos or graphics and keywords that potential tenants would be searching for.
Require References from Previous Landlords
Another great way to find good tenants is to require references from previous landlords. This will give insight into an applicant’s rental history and whether they were respectful of previous landlords and properties.
If an applicant doesn’t have any references from previous landlords, that’s usually a red flag that they might not be the best tenant for your property. However, there are always exceptions to the rule: maybe they’re new to the rental market or had a bad experience with a previous landlord. In these cases, you can ask for character references from friends or family members instead.
Conduct Face-to-Face Interviews with All Applicants
Finally, once you’ve narrowed down your potential tenants, conduct face-to-face interviews with all applicants before deciding. This will let you know the applicant personally and see if they would be a good fit for your property.
During the interview, ask questions about their rental history, employment, and why they’re interested in your property. This will help you weed out bad apples and find the best tenant for your rental property. You can also personally ask about their credit score and rental history during this time. Don’t beat around the bush—you want to find the most qualified tenant possible, and asking directly is the best way.
Face-to-face interviews capture verbal and non-verbal cues. This way, you will be able to see and observe things that you wouldn’t be able to through a phone call or email exchange. Make sure to ask each applicant the same questions so that you can fairly compare their responses. And if possible, have another person present during the interviews in case you miss anything.
Listen to what the applicants say, but trust your gut. If something feels off about an applicant, trust your instincts and move on to the next.
In the End
Finding good tenants doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming if you know what you’re doing. Following these five simple tips, you can quickly screen applicants, find high-quality renters, and fill your units with great tenants in no time!