It’s the goal of every landlord to attract long-term tenants. This is because, among other things, long-term tenants mean having a steady stream of rental income as well as cost savings on rental advertising expenses.
That said, attracting a long-term tenant isn’t always easy. It can be a difficult process, especially if you’re just starting or are in a competitive marketplace. Luckily for you, there are a couple of proven strategies you can implement to help you attract and retain tenants. They are as follows:
Market Your Property Consistently
Doing this will ensure that you’re able to generate interest from prospective tenants on an ongoing basis. For the rental marketing process to succeed, the following are some of the things that you must get right.
First and foremost, set a fair and competitive rental price. Don’t overcharge or undercharge your tenants. You must find the perfect balance that ensures you’re able to reap maximum ROI without sacrificing the property’s competitiveness in the market.
Next, craft a rental ad. You need to entice prospects with quality photos, video tours, a click-worthy headline, and an engaging description. Then you must distribute the ad far and wide to reach as many prospective tenants as possible.
Please note that you must create a Fair Housing Act-compliant property listing. The Florida Fair Housing Act requires that landlords create rental ads that don’t discriminate against a prospective tenant based on their race, color, religion, nationality, sex, familial status, disability, and pregnancy.
Invest in the Right Upgrades
While upgrading your rental property will mean spending some money, look at it as an investment. An attractive rental property will benefit you in a few primary ways:
- You’ll have an easier time attracting tenants which will lower your vacancy rates.
- It’ll help you boost your tenant retention ratio which will mean saving on advertisement expenses.
- You may even be able to charge more, helping you maximize your return on investment (ROI).
Not all upgrades are created the same, though. Some are better than others from an ROI point of view. You want to invest in upgrades that draw in tenants rather than ones that appeal to you personally. Ideally, you should consider the following for a better return on investment:
- Pressure wash the exterior
- Add a fresh coat of paint to the interior and/ or exterior walls
- Replace damaged or dated cabinets and appliances
- Install a new flooring
- Put a washer/dryer in the unit
- Spruce up the curb appeal
Screen Prospective Tenants Thoroughly
One of the most important aspects of renting out a property is tenant screening. Ignoring its importance could not mean a potentially stressful leasing experience.
Screening tenants allows a landlord to gauge whether or not a tenant is going to be the right fit for their property. The following are some of the things that you should consider when screening tenants:
- Income Level - In addition to checking the tenant’s credit rating, also check how much income the tenant is making. The goal here is to determine whether the tenant is in a financial position to afford the rent payments without issues. Request their pay stubs, W-2s, and bank statements. Ideally, only consider tenants making at least 3X the monthly rental price.
- Credit Rating - This will let you know whether or not a tenant is financially responsible. Generally speaking, a high credit score is an indicator that the tenant will pay rent on time and care for their premises.
- Rental History - You should call prior landlords and learn more about how the tenant behaved. Did they pay rent on time? Were they respectful? Did they cause disturbance to other tenants? Did they abide by the rental terms?
Even once you've landed a good tenant, when it comes time to renew their lease, be sure to conduct a renewal screening to make sure their situation hasn't changed.
Make Tenants Feel Welcome and Secure
Moving can be a stressful process. In fact, according to a study by the New York Post, it found that 45% of the respondents found moving to be by far the most stressful life event.
With that in mind, try to make tenants feel welcome and at ease when they move to your property. You can do so by doing any of the following:
- Provide a welcome letter. In the letter, provide them with crucial information such as your contact info, instructions on setting up utilities, a map of the area, and information about nearby stores.
- Tidying up the property before the tenant moves in. A clean space will make the rental more inviting.
- Introducing the tenant to the neighbors
- Answer all questions they may have
When a tenant feels welcomed and appreciated, they are more likely to reciprocate the good gesture by renewing their lease.
Respond to Maintenance Issues on Time
Nothing jeopardizes a landlord-tenant relationship more than an unresponsive landlord. As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to provide your tenants with a habitable rental property.
If you fail in this important responsibility, you’ll not only be unable to retain a great tenant but you may also find yourself facing legal issues.
Long-term tenants are the key to running a successful rental investment business. These tried and tested tips should help you get started in that regard.
For expert help, turn to the professional and trusted team at State Property Management. Our property management services will guarantee you peace of mind and help you maximize your income. Get in touch to learn more!