Renting out your property can be daunting. While you don’t want your property to be vacant, you want to make sure you aren’t renting to tenants that will disrespect your property, neglect to report maintenance issues, or fail to pay rent in a timely fashion.
It’s important to be picky. If you have low quality tenants, you might find yourself losing money due to missed rent payments, eviction costs, and unnecessary maintenance. The wrong tenant can leave you feeling like the whole property rental process to be a major headache.
However, finding tenants that will make renting out your property a hassle-free experience can be easier said than done, especially if you don’t know how or where to find these high-quality tenants. Fortunately, at Rent Simple, we are experts in this area, and we have tips to share about how to find great renters.
Here are a few ways for you to find dream tenants for your Virginia rental property:
Offer a great property
The first step to finding a great tenant is to list a great property. If your property is in dire need of maintenance or there are several features that need an upgrade, you aren’t going to attract the quality of tenants you want, especially if your rental rates are high.
Why would a high quality renter seek out a low quality property when they have the ability to rent something better?
Why would a high quality renter seek out a poorly maintained property that costs as much as a well-maintained, upgraded property?
Before you list your property, make improvements to your property so that it will be desirable to good renters in the area and set fair rental prices.If your property looks good and your rental rates are good, you will have a far better chance of finding good tenants for your rental property.
Know where to list and market your property
If you only market your property on free sites like Craigslist, you are not going to find the caliber of tenants you want. While you might not want to pay for each property listing, advertising your property on reputable websites will help you attract more reputable tenants.
Make sure to keep best practices in mind when listing your property:
- Add well-lit photos
- Write attention grabbing headlines and descriptions
- Set an appropriate rental price for your property
- Be clear about any included amenities and utilities
This will make your listing stand out among the competition and make it more attractive to renters.
Again, great renters want to find great properties. Put your best foot forward with your listing and list on reputable websites, and your property will catch the eye of a quality tenant.
Seek out referrals
In addition to listing your property on these websites, you will also have a better chance of finding good tenants if you reach out to friends and family members that can offer you good recommendations for prospective renters. If you’ve had great renters before that eventually moved out of your property, consider asking them if they know anyone who is looking to rent a home in the area.
While you will still want to be sure to screen these recommended renters, it will improve your chances of finding someone who will be a quality renter.
Provide clear expectations
If you are upfront about your rental expectations, it will weed out tenants that aren’t interested in following your guidelines.
For instance, if you make it clear that your property will be smoke-free, then you won’t receive applications from people who would prefer to be able to smoke in their unit. If you emphasize that you would like to be notified about maintenance and property concerns, the prospective renters who reach out to you will be ones who are okay with this rule.
Think about what behaviors you want tenants to avoid and provide clear expectations in your rental listing so that tenants that aren’t willing to meet your expectations won’t even apply.
Detail when rent will be due, the consequences for late rent, and any other policies sooner rather than later.
This way, you will already know that the tenants that do apply for your listing are ones that are going to meet certain criteria.
Create a detailed rental application
Requiring interested tenants to complete a rental application and pay a rental application fee (not to exceed $50) will help you only receive serious inquiries from people who are more likely to care for your property properly. Someone who isn’t willing to fill out an application or pay an application fee would likely not be the type of tenant you would want renting your property.
Furthermore, a rental application will give you a tool to help screen prospective renters before you start your actual screening process.
As a part of the rental application, you can ask interested renters to provide references from previous landlords and other non-family individuals who can vouch for their character and renting history. You can also ask them to provide information about factors that will influence the upkeep of your property, like the number of pets they own.
Their rental application should also include information about their employer, income level, and current job. This will help you see if they meet an income threshold that will make timely rental payments feasible.
Applicants with strong applications are likely to be high quality tenants.
Screen prospective tenants thoroughly
Nowadays it is not enough to only run a credit check when screening tenants. You need to implement a comprehensive screening process that will include a variety of factors:
- A background check
- A credit check
- A social media check
- An eviction history report
- A reference check
With a thorough tenant screening, you will be able to verify their references and see if their previous landlords had any concerns, see if they have a criminal history, determine if they have ever broken a lease or faced eviction before, and discover other pertinent information that a credit check alone cannot provide.
When a renter can “pass” a comprehensive screening with flying colors, it is an excellent indicator that they are going to be the type of renters that will take care of your property, pay rent on time, and avoid giving you any trouble.
Here are some of the best tenant screening services you can use to get detailed screening reports that go beyond a simple credit or background check.
Hire a property management company
The best way to find tenants for your rental property is…not to find them at all. Instead, have experts find tenants for you! The right property management company will have the expertise, experience, and resources necessary to find quality renters.
They will know and have access to the top online resources and websites to market your property to great tenants, have tried and true systems in place to screen potential tenants, and have the resources to conduct thorough tenant screenings that consist of more than just background and credit checks.
Don’t risk your investment venture by trying to find tenants on your own. Trust the experts and know that you will have great renters without having to jump through hoops to find them.
While these strategies can help you find great tenants to rent out your property, if you want to retain these tenants, your job is far from over.
Avoid turnover and prevent yourself from having to start from square one looking for new tenants again by doing everything you can to keep your tenants happy.
At RentSimple we have what it takes to find and retain great tenants for your property. We will do all of the heavy lifting for you so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy renting out your property.
Forget the hassle of listing your property, crafting rental applications and lease agreements, and screening tenants, and let us take care of everything for you.
Call us today to see how our property management company can find top tenants for your Virginia rental property and provide services that will guarantee tenant satisfaction and reduce renter turnover.