Owning a rental property can be a powerful way to build wealth. In the real estate market, owning property is an advantage–landlords are able to wait for the market to increase the value of their property, but they can also make cash in the short-term by renting to tenants and turning the property in question into an income property.
But, of course, it’s not all roses: there are expenses and risks that come with owning a rental property, too. That makes it important to ensure that your property is occupied and making you money efficiently so that the income the property generates from rent is there to offset costs and risks related to owning the property.
But finding the right tenant and making sure that your property is always generating income is more easily said than done. As in any other business, there are competitors: other landlords want the best, neatest, most conscientious, and highest-paying tenants to rent their apartments and homes instead of yours. That’s why it’s so important to stand out in the rental market.
The Right Property
When it comes to attracting the right sort of tenants, some key factors are just plain old common sense. Think about what you’re offering–a space to live in–and what potential tenants will be looking for.
While keeping location in mind, focus on keeping your property clean and in good repair. Make upgrades to your rental property that you think will make big differences to potential clients. Some rental property improvements are more cost-effective than others, so make your move judiciously–for instance, replacing sink backsplashes can make a big impact on a small budget; whereas hiring a roof replacement contractor may be a more involved and expensive project.
A newer, freshly-renovated space will draw in a higher class of tenant. (But don’t let the apartment’s cleanliness blind you to the need for improvements!) You’ll want to make sure that the apartment is clean when you show it or photograph it. Scrub the tile, banish the dust, and make sure that the windows are nice and clean so that potential tenants really see the light coming in.
Of course, no matter how nice your apartment or house is, tenants won’t sign on to lease it unless they know that it exists. It’s essential that you make your space known to the market!
In this day and age, that means making sure that your property is listed on the internet. Try to make sure that your rental property is visible everywhere, including real estate-specific sites and general boards like Craigslist. Depending on your preferences and priorities, you can make your space available through realtors, directly through a leasing office, or both.
Once your property is known to tenants, make sure that it’s also easy for them to view it and apply to rent it. Online pictures are essential, as are open houses and viewing availability. Use rental property management tools to post online rental applications and review applicants quickly and efficiently. Such programs should also allow you to perform background checks to ensure that you’re getting the very best tenants possible. None of this has to be expensive–there is free landlord software with all of this functionality.
Every landlord wants good tenants and a profitable property. By making sure that your space stands out from the rental market crowd, you’ll give yourself the best possible shot at getting precisely those things.