You’ve got a rental property and you naturally want to get the best qualified tenants: what’s the best way to go about finding them?
The process is going to sound very similar to basic rental property marketing, because it is. An attractive, quality piece of property is going to get the attention of potentially great tenants. Bringing the focus toward them is the key here.
The first step to finding a well qualified tenant will be advertising in the right place. The urge to advertise any and everywhere you can is understandable - after all, that’s how you’ll capture the most eyeballs. But if you are focusing on the right kind of tenants, you may want to avoid certain places.
Advertising on a paid rental property site is your best bet. While the ads may run up to $100 or more, they’ll be seen by people who are likely to be qualified and very motivated. Professional rental advertising websites cater to the kind of people who are serious about finding a new home and have the means to do so. Advertising somewhere free, like Craigslist, may bring in more lookers, but will likely bring in far less qualified prospective tenants.
Related to the prior tip, but no less important, is the idea that you should disclose any important negatives about your property up front in the ad. If there are window AC units rather than central air, let them know. This way you can avoid wasting time with property showings that end in disappointment. There’s something else to consider here too: the prospective tenant has likely been searching for a while, and will want to see your property as soon as possible. Keep it clean and ready to show, exactly as described in your ad.
Another way to ensure you’re marketing toward qualified tenants is to use an official rental application. This means a document that you can use to gather all the personal information you’ll need to run a proper background check. Depending on local laws, you could charge an application fee, maybe around $20 or $40, which will instantly screen out anyone who isn’t serious. If they aren’t prepared to pay, they are either unqualified or not truly interested in the property.
One much more recent method for seeking great prospective tenants is to use your social media network. We don’t mean to turn your Facebook profile into an advertising platform - that’s what your business page is for - but to use the power of your friends to seek out someone who might be in the market for your property. Ask questions, post pictures, and you’ll find out if someone in or near your immediate circle is a potential qualified tenant. Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind that the process needs to remain the same, even when dealing with someone you know. That means using the rental application, doing a background check, and taking any precautions you would otherwise take with a stranger. The great aspect about this method is that a personal connection tends to weed out those who are going to spell trouble.
As with any type of rental property marketing, a solid ad and proactive approach will net you the best prospective tenants. Take good photos, share about all the details, be honest, and put it all where people are going to see it. As long as you’re going through the correct process, you’ll have a screened, qualified tenant in no time.