Attracting Good Tenants to Your Rental Property

Reliable renters mean reliable income for your property investment

An obvious but often overlooked goal of a property owner should be to attract good tenants - tenants who pay their rent on time, keep the unit in decent condition and don't disturb the other people living in the building. It's not as easy as it sounds. Most good tenants probably aren't moving, and the bad ones - well, they're just plain bad. Finding quality tenants is the difference between a good investment experience and a rotten one. Which would you prefer?

Finding good tenants is like finding good employees: it takes an ongoing effort. You need to be recruiting all the time even if you don't have any vacancies. Murphy's Law dictates that tenants will leave in bunches, forcing you to move quickly to replace the pending lost cash flow. If you've developed a waiting list of people interested in living in your rental property, when the time comes you'll be able to bring them in without too many out-of-pocket expenses.

There are many things landlords can do to make their property attractive to both existing tenants and prospective ones as well. The existing tenants need to be reassured that you are interested in continually maintaining and improving the property, giving them less reason to move. However, should they do so for reasons beyond your control, you'll have a unit to market that's in first-rate condition. Here are some suggestions for how to achieve this ideal environment:

  • Ensure that every appliance in the building is energy efficient, especially if the tenants are paying the utilities.
  • Consider replacing the windows if they're a considerable age. New windows will keep the warm air inside the unit in winter and the cold air inside during the summer.
  • Ensure all the walls are in good condition and freshly painted. Even if the existing tenant doesn't feel compelled to repaint their unit, doing so will show you care about where they live.
  • Make sure the electrical is modern and a sufficient number of outlets are available in every room. In today's computer age, households often have five or six electronic devices working at any given time.
  • Provide better-than-average flooring, lighting and bathroom fixtures and a quality kitchen including cabinets and countertops. Again, you don't need to go overboard but a few nice touches make all the difference.
  • Take care of problems. Tenants love it when landlords provide quick and easy solutions.

Attracting good tenants is all about providing excellent customer service. The better you are at meeting legitimate needs, the better the quality of tenant you will have now and into the future.

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