The question “How do you keep your properties rented?” is the one I get asked the most often. As a practicing landlord with multiple rental properties, I thought it would be helpful to put my “system” into writing for the benefit of other prospective landlords. The next logical steps may appear straightforward, but you may be astonished to learn that you are overlooking some crucial details.
Tenants can’t be found without first learning about your rental property. The only way for them to find out is if you promote it. A yard sign isn’t advertising if it’s just sitting there. A for-rent sign in the yard is only visible to other residents on the same street. It’s essential to promote offline and online. There is still value in using traditional classified advertisements to find a rental (especially on Sundays). Newer internet platforms, however, are also great for attracting prospective tenants. You should use both forms of promotion because around half of your target audience may not have access to the Internet.
You should put ads for your property in the local paper, as well as the regional repor
and the Penny Saver. You should also be aware of any such magazines and newspapers that don’t cost money to advertise in. Your rental property will reach more potential tenants if you increase your advertising efforts.
Online promotion can be obtained either for free or for a fee. The two are equally helpful to me. For instance, Craigslist is the most reliable internet platform. Although advertising on sites like Craigslist is free, you should do so as soon as your rental property becomes available. There are a plethora of alternative online resources for renting homes. You may quickly discover several places online to post a free ad offering your rental property.
You must have a website where people may view your home. You can build your own website, or you can hire one of the many businesses out there that specialize in helping people market their homes online. The primary need is a functional website. More information can be gleaned about a property from a well-designed website with photos than from a brief classified ad. You can save time by letting prospective tenants view photos of the property on your website before deciding whether or not to schedule a viewing. You can include a phrase in all your print ads (classified, display, and flyers) that directs them to your website, where they can view more images. To ensure that interested tenants may easily view photos of your home online, always include the phrase “view images at (your website address).
You’ll need a digital camera if you want to share photos online. Since the images created by modern 5-megapixel cameras are too huge for online websites, you can get away with using the cheapest camera you can find. It is recommended that as many of your photographs as possible be uploaded to your website. The kitchen, bathrooms, living room, dining room, bedrooms, garage, and utility room should all be photographed. A picture of the house’s exterior, including the front, back, and yard, is also required.
Writing Tips for Your Ad
Maintain brevity and objectivity while ensuring that you provide all pertinent details. The good points should be emphasized as much as possible. You should highlight the benefits of your property, such as its wide yard or great kitchen. Your home will stand out from the rest with features like a newly renovated bathroom, brand-new kitchen, brand-new appliances, brand-new tiling, a swimming pool, and central air conditioning. Here’s an illustration:
Home for Rent in Port St. Lucie
Home 2249 SE Main St Port St Lucie FL 34952 3 Bed 2 Bath Central Air Large Fenced Yard Nice Quiet Neighborhood
Rent: $795 + $795 Damage Deposit
The cost of moving in is $1,590.
See more pictures and available properties for rent at (your website address)
A flyer with color photos should be used. Include at least four full-color photographs along with the same information that is in your ad on your flyer. If you want potential tenants to see this leaflet, clip it to the inside of the front window of your rental property. If you are not currently at the residence, it is important that they have some concept of its inside. You can also post this flyer in any public place that allows it, such as grocery store windows and coin-operated laundry facilities. Attaching an information tube with this flyer inside to your for rent sign is also a good idea. If you want to avoid having your brochure run out, you should have at least 50 copies on hand.
Provide as much detail as you can on your sign, but remember that the monthly rent, security deposit, and move-in date are the most crucial pieces of information. Many potential tenants may call to inquire about the rent and other costs if you don’t list them. To prevent this from happening, you should display your prices on a sign. This is a crucial step that far too few landlords follow. Your phone number, which should be visible from the street, must be prominently displayed. The phone number should be emphasized, while the rest of the information can be simplified. Signs should not be used again if they include any writing on the back or other information that could confuse a renter. In addition to the flier, you should also place a For Rent sign in a visible location within the window. The reason is that people will still be aware that your property is available for rent even if your yard sign is stolen. Yard signs are a common target for thieves. When kids are being mischievous, they sometimes pull the signs.
Number to Call
The second biggest mistake that landlords make is this. You should have a system in place to ensure that prospective tenants’ calls are answered if you invest time and money advertising a property and making fliers. Using a mobile phone and promptly responding to all incoming calls is one method. Let the prospective tenant know that you are currently on the other line and will return their call as soon as possible. Do not tarry in getting in touch with renters. The tenant is checking the Sunday papers and phoning every rental listing that fits his budget. The new landlord will get through if they can’t get ahold of you. Don’t whine that you can’t find a tenant if you won’t pick up the phone and talk to them. Tenant applicants rarely leave voicemails. You should return their call immediately because they only have one day off to look for a rental. Before you can even get back to them, another landlord will have negotiated a lease with them, unless the rental market in your area is unusually competitive. The second most crucial consideration is this. If you’re too busy to answer the phone, a service like RingCentral may automate the process, recording each incoming call and forwarding the information to the caller along with the caller’s phone number.
Setting a Rental Price
The greatest is reserved until last. This is the number one blunder made by landlords. To get a feel for the going rate for rentals in your area, peruse the classifieds in both the local and regional newspapers. Look for a home with a similar amount of bedrooms and bathrooms to yours. Then, count the number of identically sized rental homes and list their average monthly rents. You can expect fewer inquiries if your rental is more expensive than the competition. Take this into account. The market rate for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house will be $875 if that is what comparable properties in the area are renting for. If you advertised your home for rent and then dropped the price to $825, you’d likely get far more calls than if you’d kept it at the original price. Finding a tenant right now since your residence was so affordable would be preferable to waiting a month to get a tenant willing to pay $875. In fact, your earnings would increase.
$825 x 12 = $9,900
$875 multiplied by 11 would be $9,625
Not only would you save money, but your power bill would be reduced by one month because someone else would be responsible for paying it. Mowing the lawn or performing other care on an empty property is not your responsibility. At last, vandalism will no longer be a concern. Indeed, vandalism occurs in empty homes. When passing abandoned homes, some youths can’t resist the temptation to hurl rocks inside. People will try to break into your home if it sits empty for an extended period. You should start the rental process right away. Having neighbors you get along with is beneficial since they can keep an eye on your house for you. Be friendly and make an effort to get to know your neighbors. Share your contact info and the news that you’re renting your home.
Keep in mind that if your property is vacant, you are losing money every day that passes. If you’re paying $875 monthly for rent, that’s more than $29 a day. Get the word out, reduce the rent, and fill the vacancy quickly. You overpaid for the home if you can’t afford to cut the rent to cover the higher mortgage payment. You have exhausted your options at this point. The classic 1% rule of thumb is a good general rule. Do not overpay for a rental property by more than 100 times the monthly rent.
You should sell the home if you didn’t get monthly rent payments that are lower than your mortgage payment. You should rent the house out if you intend to keep it for the foreseeable future. To avoid losing potential tenants, it’s important to price your rental home competitively with others in the area. It makes no difference what the previous rental rate was for your home. Only the going rate in the rental market should be considered. The market rate would be $800 if you were renting your home for $1,000 before and $800 now. For the past two years, rents have fallen in several regions. As a result of more people losing their houses and entering the rental market, however, rents are expected to rise significantly. The greatest strategy to attract tenants is to reduce the rent till you get calls. You should be available to take calls.
Credit: Lex Levinrad Rights Reserved 2008
Since 2003, Lex Levinrad has devoted his life to investing in foreclosed and abandoned properties. He has bought, remodeled, wholesaled, rented, and sold hundreds of homes in the South wholesale wholesale area. Lex started the Distressed Real Estate Institute, which teaches newcomers to the field how to locate wholesale real estate transactions in the distressed market. Lex is an active landlord who oversees properties worth millions of dollars. And his company, Lex Holdings, is constantly busy with acquisitions.