The biggest concern a landlord has is getting and keeping good tenants. Placing your investment property, likely worth a sizeable amount of money, into the hands of a near-complete stranger is stressful. So taking the time and spending the effort to find great tenants is important.
Here are five steps to follow:
- Define your ideal (but realistic) tenant. Write down on paper the characteristics of a person or persons that will best match your property. Certainly credit scores and references are foundational qualifications but go beyond that. Match the candidate to your property, its needs, and its characteristics. Who will enjoy your property and value living in it?
- Create a marketing campaign to match that ideal candidate. You don’t need to advertise to the whole country. Thousands of views by the ‘wrong’ candidates won’t help you. Advertise to the right persons. Where is your ‘ideal’ candidate likely to be reading, searching properties, and/or working? Find creative ways to connect with them.
- Connect with applicants. Don’t rush applicants through your open house. Use the time to get to know them, assess their personality and gauge their sense of responsibility. Are they a match with your property?
- Do your research. Credit, criminal, and eviction reports. Call references. Talk with employers.
- Demonstrate you care about your property. If you maintain your place, act professionally, and fulfill your obligations and responsibilities as a landlord you’re more likely to get the same respect in return.