There are always going to be (hopefully rare) emergencies or unexpected repairs. But eleven months out of the year, being a property manager is generally a breeze!
And then your tenants let you know they’re moving out.
Do you scramble to find new tenants every time your rental hits the market? Are you new to property management and tenant turnover? Then this post is for you! Today, we’re sharing our top 12 tips and tricks to help you find tenants quickly for your rental property.
Prep the Space
The surest way to get the best price for your rental is to be confident that you’re offering a quality space. After tenants move, you’ll inevitably have some basic maintenance to complete. Follow your property maintenance plan to clean the property from top to bottom and complete any repairs. If you can, invest in small upgrades for your rental. A few simple updates, like new fixtures in the bathroom, can go a long way to helping you find tenants for your rental. A home security system is also a great investment; it will alleviate concerns of tenants new to the area, and it will potentially deter thieves and prevent damage to your property. While you’re in maintenance mode, refresh your curb appeal, as well. It will help attract potential renters who drive by the property before making an inquiry.
Invest in Quality Photography
Whether you’re renting or selling, quality listing photography is the key to attracting inquiries. If the rental is empty, consider staging the space. Use classic furniture and decor, and you’ll be able to use the photos again next time you need to advertise the property. For rentals with tricky light, or if you don’t own quality photography equipment, hire a professional. It will be worth the investment, especially if you’ve seen high tenant turnover in the past. Include quality shots of the rental’s interior and exterior, as well as any features that make it unique or that add to its value.
Understand Your Renters
College kids are looking for very different features in a rental property compared to young families or retirees. To find the best renters for your property, you’ll need to know who you’re marketing to. If you have a long history with your rental, you’re probably aware of some trends. But if the property is new to you, there are a few ways you can narrow your focus. First, consider the community and amenities surrounding your rental property. Is it a block away from a college, across the street from a primary school, or down the road from a community center with lots of senior programs? Those amenities will attract different tenants. Also consider your property’s features. Is it accessible? How many parking spots are available? Is the neighborhood quiet or busy?
Nail the Advertising Copy
Once you’re confident in your space, photography, and core audience, it’s time to write the best rental description you can. Brainstorm a number of catchy titles—the catchier the better! Your property title or headline will be the first description people see about your rental, so you want to use it to capture their attention. In the body of your description, be sure to include any recent updates or upgrades. Mention any features that make your property unique. And don’t forget to market the community, as well. Whether applicants are moving across town or across the country, they’ll want to know what your rental is near (e.g., parks, shopping, dining, schools, health care).
List for Free Online
You now have all the materials you need to advertise your property for rent. There are many websites specifically designed for advertising your rental listing. And a good number of those are free! You can also advertise your listing on local newspaper sites. Make a list of all the websites where you advertise your rental. That way, you won’t forget to take the listing down from all sites once you’ve signed a lease with new renters.
Pro tip: When you show the property, ask where people saw the ad. Focus on those sites next time you need to find new tenants for your rental.
Don’t Forget Social Media
In addition to rental websites and online local newspapers, social media is a great place to advertise your property for rent. Put together a social sharing plan that includes several different social platforms, as well as different features on those platforms. For instance, it’s great to post about your rental on your Facebook business page, as well as on Facebook Marketplace. Collect useful content to post, and plan several weeks’ worth in case you don’t find new renters right away. Lastly, consider investing in social media ads. You’ll be able to set different ad goals and tailor your budget to your needs.
Tell Your Friends
Never underestimate the power of the word-of-mouth news network! Share about your rental on your social accounts, mention it to colleagues, and tell your preacher, your barber, and your grocer. Mention it to people who live around your rental, if you see them strolling by. You never know where a great lead will come from. Use your extended network to your advantage!
Get Sleek Signage
With all the advertising you’ve done, you may think you can skip a sign. But we encourage you not to. Placing a quality “for rent” sign in front of your rental does several things. One, it alerts neighbors, who may mention it to friends in need of a new home. Two, it attracts passersby who may be exploring a neighborhood they already like in search of a place to live. And three, it makes it easier for people who found your listing online to find it in person. The last thing you’d want is an interested renter getting discouraged because they couldn’t find the place.
If that’s not enough, a professionally made, branded sign will help you grow your business. Especially if you have several properties for rent in a given town or neighborhood, adding signage will help increase your name recognition and credibility.
Hold an Open House
Need more exposure for your property? Is your rental in a new construction neighborhood or in an area with a lot of foot traffic? Pull out all the stops and hold an open house! An open house event will encourage people to walk through and check out the space. Even if they’re not in the market themselves, attendees may have friends they can refer. Worried about walkthroughs if you still have existing tenants in place? Video open houses and 3D tours of the property are also great options!
Roll out the Incentives
For hard-to-rent properties, or places with high tenant turnover, you may want to consider incentives. Adding a “bonus” may encourage an inquiry looking for a six-month rental to sign a 12-month lease instead. And your incentives don’t have to be huge. Waived fees, move-in specials, gas or gift cards, or free security features should do the trick. Get creative, keep your ideal renters in mind, and give it a try!
Make a Mark in the Community
If you own several rental properties, you may be committed to property management for the long haul. In that case, it helps to earn community support in the neighborhood(s) in which you rent. Show your support for the community by sponsoring little league teams, hosting a booth at a local festival, or donating time to local organizations. In turn, you’ll earn positive brand recognition within the community. As a trusted community member, neighborhood residents will be even more likely to recommend your properties to friends.
Alright, so you’ve done all the steps above for your current available rental. Why would we list “be proactive” as our last tip? Because now it’s time to keep up that work for the next time you’re in need of tenants. Don’t wait until the property is empty again to update your listing description, plan for small upgrades, march in a local parade, or order new signage. Do as much as you can now, every day, to build your brand and develop interest before you need to advertise. You’ll thank yourself later.
Property Management Help Starts with NAI Beverly-Hanks
Still have concerns about how to find new tenants for your rental properties? Commercial property management is, by necessity, a collaborative enterprise. From the owner and property manager to tenants, maintenance employees, accounting professionals, and others, it takes a lot of expertise to maintain and enhance a property.
At NAI Beverly-Hanks, it’s our job to facilitate this collaboration. We can help you make operations more efficient, tenants more satisfied, and maintenance less expensive. Proactive collaboration in real time helps us handle the little things today so they don’t grow into big problems tomorrow.