In the world of rental properties, the age-old adage “it’s not just about bricks and mortar” rings especially true. Savvy investors know that it’s the people who reside within these walls that truly make the difference.
A perfect tenant doesn’t just pay their rent on time. They also take care of the property as if it were their own, communicate openly and, ultimately, provide the landlord with that all-important peace of mind.
Fortunately, finding (and keeping!) great tenants isn’t just a question of luck. With the guidance of a seasoned property manager and a bit of knowhow, you can ensure your property is lived in and looked after by high quality tenants.
To help you find the best tenants and retain them, we’ve put together ten tips to consider for your rental property.
1. Choose your property manager carefully
As your representative in a lease agreement, your property manager is a key part of a successful tenancy. A top-tier manager will have strong communication skills, be super organised, and attend to any problems or queries quickly and efficiently. Importantly, they will also screen potential clients thoroughly, checking their references and gauging whether they fit your needs as a landlord. You should feel comfortable turning to your property manager whenever you have a question or need advice about your investment property.
2. Remember that presentation matters
Tenants gravitate towards homes that spark their interest. As the proud owner, ensure your property is in tip-top shape and check that the listing shows it to advantage. Don’t forget the street view, as walk-by tenants may be tempted in to a viewing and prove to be the ideal match! A manicured garden, fresh paint, and clean windows are simple things that significantly boost your property’s appeal. Remember, first impressions last.
3. Set a market-competitive price
While it’s tempting to aim for the top-dollar rent, it’s essential to strike a balance or prospective tenants may be scared off. Consult your property manager and research similar properties in your area to ensure your price is sensibly competitive. Careful pricing will attract a wider pool of potential tenants, giving you a better chance to cherry-pick the best.
4. Be clear on your criteria
Draw up a list of what your requirements are in terms of rent per week, lease terms, start date and any other aspects that are important for your tenant to know about. You might like to consider things like who will be responsible for garden maintenance, too - some green-thumbed tenants might relish the thought, others may baulk at the idea. Having everything clearly stipulated from the start makes everything easier for you and for your tenant!
5. Foster good relationships
You’ve landed a fantastic tenant – now, how do you keep them? The landlord-tenant relationship is a two-way street, mediated by your property manager. Ensuring timely communication and addressing any reasonable concerns the tenant raises promptly will keep things rolling along smoothly.
6. Keep up with maintenance
Few things frustrate tenants more than a leaking tap or a faulty fuse that take months to fix. As a landlord, be proactive in maintaining your property. Regularly check-in with your property manager and ask them to make sure there are no ongoing issues. Demonstrating that you care about the property not only encourages your tenant to do the same but also fosters a sense of solidarity and loyalty!
7. Consider longer leases
For those fantastic tenants who’ve truly turned your property into a home, you might like to consider offering a longer lease to give them a sense of security and reduce your turnover, which can be both costly and time-consuming.
8. Pets? Maybe it's time to reconsider
Australian households are filled with furry friends. A staggering number of potential tenants could be overlooked by sticking rigidly to a ‘no pets’ policy. While it’s essential to set ground rules, being flexible on this front can significantly widen your tenant pool.
9. Offer incentives
Want to stand out from the crowd? Think about the little perks or incentives you can offer. Maybe it’s paying for a professional gardener once a month, or a fresh coat of paint in their chosen colour, a new kitchen appliance or a little flexibility in allowing your tenant to personalise the space. Simple gestures can keep tenants happy and encourage them to care for your property as if it was their own.
10. Keep an ear to the ground
Stay informed about what’s happening in your local area. Is a new shopping centre opening? Are there plans for improved transport links? Sharing this information with potential tenants could be the clincher. After all, people don’t just rent a house; they rent a lifestyle and a community.
When it comes to leasing your rental, a great property manager plays a pivotal role, but there is a lot that you, as a landlord, can do to attract and hang on to great tenants, minimising vacancies and maximising care. By ensuring your property is well-presented, setting clear expectations, and fostering a positive relationship with you tenant, you’re setting the stage for a harmonious partnership. After all, bricks and mortar might form the house, but it’s the people inside that turn it into a home.
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