In our recent blog posts we’ve looked at the business of advertising for tenants, handling enquiries, conducting viewings and choosing the best tenants. Here’s an 11 point overall action plan for getting the very best tenants.
1. Be professional about advertising
It pays to put time and effort into your rental property advertising. Good quality advertising not only attracts good quality tenants. It also gives you more good applicants to choose from so you can afford to be selective.
2. Advertise in all the right places
Think of the type of tenant you want and use advertising that pitches your property fairly and squarely at them. Rather than advertising just anywhere advertise where they are likely to be looking for somewhere to rent.
3. More is definitely more
The more information you include in your ad. the better. Include all the info. a potential tenant is likely to ask and more besides. This will help filter out those who your property isn’t suitable for and pitch it directly at those it is.
Remember that pics and lots of them are essential in any kind of advertising today. Many potential tenants will be attracted to your property (or dismiss it) purely on what it looks like.
4. Time everything carefully
Decide whether you will advertise your property before any current tenant, if you have one, leaves or wait until they have left.
Advertising your property before a tenant leaves can reduce voids. But you’ll need your tenant to be willing to cooperate with this and it can make things more complicated. Sometimes properties look better, look more spacious and tenants can more easily see themselves living there when they are empty.
5. Use a methodical approach
One of the downsides of creating good advertising is that you may get lots of interest and applications. So having a system for handing them will save your time .... and your applicants’ time too.
Set a cut off date for initial enquiries. Then sift through and select the most suitable ones to take to the next stage.
6. Save time and effort with phone interviews
Although it seems like an old fashioned idea, an initial phone interview with potentially suitable tenants is a simple way of screening them. It’s quicker and more cost effective than application forms or moving straight to a viewing when they (or your property) might not be suitable. With a phone interview you’ll get a good ‘feel’ for the applicant too.
7. Have your questions and answers ready
Have a list of questions ready to ask prospective tenants. The answers will enable you to assess if the applicant is a good fit for your property or not. Read between the lines to build up a picture of the applicant and how suitable they are.
Also have your answers ready to any questions the applicant might ask. Again, these will help you identify the best tenants for your property.
8. Draw up a shortlist
From your initial phone interviews draw up a shortlist of applicants who you would like to offer a viewing in person to.
Here’s more information about how to handle enquiries including how to interview prospective tenants, essential questions to ask and how to use that information to select the very best applicants for a viewing.
9. Prepare your property properly
Aim to make sure your property is looking its very best for viewings. Ensure that any necessary maintenance is completed and everything is clean and tidy.
Confirm appointments with prospective tenants the day/a few hours before. Applicants are more likely to keep an appointment if you do this. If they have changed their mind/found somewhere else to rent you can reschedule things to make the best use of your time.
10. Make viewings part of the application process
Viewings are not just a technicality. They are another opportunity to interview tenants and find the most suitable one. Tenants who seemed ideal in a phone conversation might not be.
You can use a viewing to promote the features and benefits of your property and effectively ‘sell’ it to good tenants too.
11. Take your time to select the very best tenant
You might get offers to rent your property there and then, especially in a fast moving market. But don’t rush. Take time to collect any more information you might need and make a decision.
Try to turn down any unsuccessful tenants tactfully. They could be ideal tenants for a future let.
Here’s more invaluable information about preparing properly for viewings, handling viewings and tips and techniques to help you choose the very best tenant.