As a property owner, it is in your best interests to attract and maintain good tenants. Good tenants are hard to come by, so the effort you go to attract them will certainly pay dividends – they are usually easy to manage, low maintenance, communicative, and profitable. If you’re managing one property or a whole hive of units, these rules all apply.
It is a good idea to attract a swarm of potential tenants when you advertise your property for rent, and play the numbers game. It is here that you will be able to evaluate each candidate to get a gauge of who would be the best fit.
Creating Buzz about your property
- Develop a marketing plan
This is a plan where you write down all possible avenues you could go down to gain interest in your property. Think of all the places you can advertise, including community bulletin boards, direct mail, fliers, rental publications, online listings, classifieds, signage, social media, the list is endless. Write a basic plan of action for each avenue.
- Determine your target market
Who would bee your ideal tenant? Take into account your property and its features. Depending on its size, location, and amenities, the property will suit different types of people. If your property were located near a place where a lot of people work, these people would be good to target, for example. Single renters or couples will like smaller units, while larger properties will attract families.
- Choose the best place to advertise
Using your marketing plan, establish which avenues will garner the most attention for your property. Advertising can be expensive, but listing on Craigslist, Padmapper, Gottarent, Rentals.com and Kijiji are just some of the places people are going online to find their new home.
- Focus on Curb Appeal
Properties are often judged on their merits depending on what they look like. Standing on the curb, you can assess your property’s curb appeal straight away. Has the lawn been mowed? Are the grounds clean and tidy? Does the property look well maintained? You can instantly add curb appeal by doing a little landscaping, planting flowers, giving a place a fresh lick of paint, or doing an external property wash.
- Know the law
When renting your property, you will be subject to fair-housing laws, and at the very least, the Human Rights Act. These laws protect people from being discriminated against. You can’t discriminate against a potential tenant based on their race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, or conviction for an offense for which a pardon has been granted. (Department of Justice Canada, Canadian Human Rights Act). Discriminate on any of these grounds and the long arm of the law may very well sting you.
- The sweet side of pet ownership
Pet owners will appreciate and gravitate to your property if you have space for their furry friend (and bonus, these owners are generally more conscientious of their surroundings and often make superb tenants.) If you have a ‘no pets’ policy, note that some service and medical animals may have rights to live in your property, regardless. The tenant usually will be able to provide evidence of their need for the animal from the health professional.
Working your advertising – some sweet tips
Property signs: highly economical and the most popular form of immediate advertising for your property. Working in with your curb appeal assessment, a sign out front should be one of the first advertisements you create. Ensure the signs are well positioned, have a clear font, and have your contact details on them. If you are worried that the property may be vandalised or broken into while unoccupied, you could put a statement such as ‘please do not disturb the occupant’ on the sign, too.
Newspapers: this tried and true method can be very effective. As long as your advertisement attracts attention, keeps the reader’s interest, has all your contact details, and includes the rent price, you can guarantee a prospect will call you. Choose a newspaper that is circulated in proximity to the property. Decide if you want to use the classified advertorial section or the display advertising. The larger your advertisement, the more it will cost. Remember, potential tenants will be combing this section of the newspaper quickly, so try to stand out. Include geographic location of property, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, features and amenities, your contact details, and price of rent monthly and whether the unit is furnished.
Internet advertising: the go to for most people when they are looking for a new home, ensure your advertisement incorporates the same elements as a newspaper article, but with more detail. As long as the basics are there in terms of details about the property, you can spread your creative wings and write a longer description about the property, and include nice images of the property, perhaps touch on who already lives at the address (if you are renting a room), and what you are looking for in an ideal candidate. It’s good to put an email address on your listing, or in some cases, a phone number, but remember to take the listing down once you have found a good tenant because otherwise you will get unnecessary calls.
Get busy, keep at it and good luck – hopefully you’ll hit the jackpot and welcome your new tenants soon! Easily accept rent payments online for free: rentmoola.com/managers