When you think about it, renting out an investment property is a lot like handing the keys to your (fictional) Ferrari over to a stranger for a few years and hoping he or she looks after it. Picking anyone who looks your way might not be the best strategy to keep that Ferrari safe and in good condition.
Taking it to the extreme, this recent article from Perth Now highlights a disturbing trend of unsuspecting Perth rental owners waking up to huge damage bills caused by Breaking Bad style tenants who have turned rental properties into drug dens.
So, how to attract a great tenant who will look after your home and pay rent on time?
To attract a great tenant, you first need to get their attention and here are our 5 key points to help you do just that.
So, you want top notch, reliable and respectable tenants who are going to look after your property. But you haven’t fixed up the gardens, the paint on the kitchen roof is coming off and the blinds in the master bedroom are broken. It’s a two way street – a great tenant wants a great property, and lot of the time, small presentation problems ruin the appeal of what otherwise could be a great property.
Owners can also forget that during vacancy, no-one is there looking after the property, so gardens need mulching, lawns need mowing and cobwebs need scraping so that when a prospective new tenant comes a to a viewing, your property is at its best. A quick visit during vacancy will tell you as an owner all you need to know.
So paint that wall, fix those blinds and mulch those gardens during vacancy time so that your property matches the kind of tenant you want to attract. If you wouldn’t want to live there, why would anyone else!
Now you have completed all your busy work, fixed the gutters, painted everything and mowed the lawns, you now need to convey the fantastic presentation of your property through the photography. Photos of your property don’t need to be done by a professional, but they do need to look great.
Mobile phone cameras have come into their own over the last few years and are more than sufficient for images needed for web use. A basic understanding of lighting in is essential, as well as angles and camera positioning. A quick Google search will help you with these skills quick smart.
Another trick we use in the biz is wide angle lenses for mobile phone cameras. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to attach, and give you a fantastic wide image of your space, all on your mobile phone!
if you don’t have an itchy photographer finger, there are some fantastic professionals who will take all the pain away and get it done for a relatively affordable price. Do your research and you should be able to find a good photographer for under $200. You will then have these photos to use for the next vacancy too!
Investing time and dollars in listing your property on the best websites is a must. The big two are www.realestate.com.au and www.rent.com.au. The majority of our quality tenants here at Rent Choice come from these two websites. There are other websites and platforms you can list on, but if you want quality tenants, we recommend focusing on these two. Another option is a sign, especially if you are in a high traffic area. There are sign companies that specialise in real estate signage for around $100.
With all the hard work of attracting the a prospective tenant, it’s time to show them the goods, and we have seen plenty of mistakes when people are showing houses. Firstly, just being available to show anytime is the most important factor when it comes to organising a viewing. Most of the time, it’s very difficult for people who work full time to come during 9-5, so be prepared to show out of hours and on the weekends.
Also, make sure there is a mobile number, the amount listings we see without a phone number is criminal! if someone decides they are interested, you want to be immediately available to lock down that lead, and picking up the phone is definitely the easiest way to do that.
Success, you’ve booked a viewing! Now you want to show the property in the best possible light. Arrive early, turn on the lights, open all the blinds and curtains, even some windows if the house has been closed up and tidy up if needed. Have your application forms always ready to go, making it as easy possible for someone to complete an application on the spot.
We could probably do a whole blog just on on this! But we’ll condense down to the most important points when choosing a tenant from the applications.
One hundred points of identification, as well proof of income in the form a bank statement or payslips all must be provided, as well as previous rental references or personal and professional references. Then run the applications through the tenancy database to make sure they haven’t been red flagged and make sure that all their information as a whole lines up. In the end, go with your gut, if something feels off, it usually is. Remember, this is your most valuable asset, and it needs to be looked after.
So that’s our 5 tips on how to attract a great tenant;
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