How to Find Reliable Renters for Your Properties (2021)
May 10, 2020
To have good tenants, your rentals need to be promoted effectively. You need to know the different ways on how to find renters. Landlords have vast options when searching for prospective tenants to fill vacancies in their properties. However, the search is never easy.
As a property manager, you also need to make sure your tenants are good, reliable and will not cause any problems when it comes to paying rent and not just
1. Advertise on Rental Websites
As we have mentioned earlier, the internet provides numerous opportunities. You can advertise a single apartment on different online sites, and most of them are free. Other websites have features that enable tenants to narrow their searches based on the area, price, and the number of bedrooms and baths. Some websites offer some amazing perks for property managers and landlords such as the tools to create virtual tours for rentals.
One of the best ways to reach a wider range of potential tenants is by posting property listings on different websites.
If you do not have any idea on which multi-listing real estate website you can advertise your property vacancy, you can refer to the following:
- Avail – If you want to advertise your vacancy for free, Avail is at your service. Avail is a free property management software offers lots of tools that can help landlords get your listings out there. It can also be used to collect rent, manage maintenance requests, sign electronic rent agreement leases, and more.
- Socialserve.com – If you are trying to reach the proper market, this website will be a great help, but that’s if you are interested in accepting government-subsidized housing.
- Cozy – This website is perfect for landlords as it offers various features for free. Apartment listing is included. Your listing will be populated to other sites such as Doorsteps and Realtor.com.
- Craigslist – Landlords with a free account on this website can post apartment listings in a particular area of a country. It can include photos of the apartment.
- Zillow Rental Manager – In this website, landlords or property managers can post a free advertisement as long as you have an account – pretty similar to Craigslist. Your listing will automatically populate to other sites, including Trulia and HotPads.
If you own two or more properties, it will be better if you develop your own website. If you do not have any idea about and you’re not tech-savvy, you can always hire a professional.
2. "For Rent" Signage
Using signages such as “For Rent” signs are the simplest and easiest way to advertise your vacant property. It may be old school, but it’s still a great way to search for potential renters. Signages can be placed in the property’s yard, window, or on any strategic corners not far from its address.
However, you should be very careful in placing signages because some cities have a community or local ordinance. Before you put signages in an area, make sure it is not against the area’s local ordinance.
3. Your Website
As advised earlier, landlords with multiple properties should start considering making a real estate website for all your available properties. With your own website, you can show prospective tenants that you’re professional. You’ll also be able to provide the necessary information, including the neighborhood, location, as well as pictures and videos that will help them with their selection.
You can also include all of your luxury amenities such as how secure your property is. Add information about how you protect your properties by using security devices such as Netgear Arlo Pro 3. This will increase the chances of finding tenants, especially if you ensure that your properties are secured.
4. Social Media
Lots of people utilize social media sites as part of their daily routine. You can use this opportunity to reach more prospects. If you have a company, you can create a Facebook Page, Instagram account, and even a Twitter account. Or you can use personal accounts instead to inform other people that you have a vacancy in your property.
Facebook, in particular, has a feature called Facebook Marketplace. Here, you can list your property by posting a status on your account, add pictures, and include all the necessary information needed by prospective tenants. You can also join Facebook groups and post your available listings. Always read and follow the group guidelines so that your listing will not be removed.
You can also use Instagram to pose photos of your property vacancy. Instagram is a great spot to highlight the visual aspects of what gives your rentals character and is a great tool for independent landlords finding new tenants for open units.
Twitter, on the other hand, will allow you to send tweets to your followers, informing them of your listing. Pictures can also be posted on Twitter. However, there’s a certain limit of pictures that can be uploaded in a single tweet.
5. Print Media & Local Newspapers
Just like physical signages, print media or newspapers is an old-fashioned way of advertising. However, it is still a viable option. As landlords and property managers, you can also use local print media such as local free-press publications, newspapers, and community newsletters to find new tenants.
It may not be as effective as other options like rental websites, social media, and Craigslist, but it is still a good way to advertise your listing. Also, it is what the older generations prefer.
6. Word-of-Mouth & Referrals
Never underestimate the power of spoken word. Word-of-mouth referrals can give you the best applicants you can find. It’s because the referrer can vouch for the potential renter. But just like any other applicant, some referrals can turn out badly. If ever it happened to you before, don’t make this unfortunate experience destroy a good relationship with a family member, friends, and acquaintances.
Some landlords are generous enough to pay the referrers for each referral. The tenants you have now are also a good source of referrals.
7. Hire a Realtor
Most brokers charge a pretty expensive fee for their services – usually a commission of one month rent and sometimes even more. So, passing your responsibility to a realtor is usually the last option for landlords. Hiring realtor can be the most expensive means of advertising your listing. But, it’s the best choice for those who want to save themselves from the headaches and hassles that comes with dealing with potential renters.
Also, by using a realtor, your property can be advertised on the Multiple Listing Services (MLS), which will increase the exposure.
Download our free rent agreement lease template for landlords to lock in new tenants.
As a landlord, your job is not only to find tenants to fill vacancies in your property. It’s also your job to screen prospective renters using a tenant screening service, as well as your own tenant screening criteria. The last thing you’d want is to have a renter who can’t and won’t pay rent on time or violates property rules.
Read the tips below to help you determine which tenants are the reliable ones.
1. Choose Tenants with Good Credit
Look for a tenant who’s financially responsible. Check if they are paying their bills on time. If yes, then there’s a high chance they’ll be responsible for your apartment and pay their rent on time. You’ll have to pay for a credit check, but most landlords pass the fee to their applicants.
For new landlords, uou can check a prospective tenant’s finances in two basic steps – verifying their income with a digital or physical pay stub and running a credit check.
2. Ask for Previous Landlord References
When reviewing a prospective tenant’s application, don’t forget to check the last landlord’s reference. It’s an essential piece of information that will help you get to know the tenant better.
You can ask the previous landlord if the potential tenant had any issues with his neighbors, the duration of his stay, and if they were able to return the security deposit of the tenant or they need to hold it for repairs.
3. Provide Clear Rules & Regulations for Your Rental Properties
If you have more people per apartment, chances are there will be more noise and greater wear and tear on your property. You need to set clear rules and regulations for your rental properties. We suggest a maximum of two people per bedroom.
It’s already considered reasonable under the Fair Housing Act, but it comes with the following exceptions:
- State and Local Law – The landlord must follow the existing housing codes in his state or locale.
- Size and Configuration of the Property
- Number and Age of Children
- Limitations of the Sewer/Septic System
4. Trust Your Instincts
Always trust your instincts because it’s the best judge of character. If you feel that something is off with a particular applicant who has a clean record, you might want to consider double-checking his background.
You might find out that the applicant is using another person’s identity to apply for your listing. You can thoroughly screen applicants, but you should never ignore your instincts.
Make sure you have a concrete qualifying standard for all tenants. Also, it would be best if you familiarize yourself with the Fair Housing Act to avoid accusations related to discrimination.
Basically, there are seven options on how to find tenants for your property. Each option has different limitations and benefits. No matter which option you do, your goal is to gather as many qualified candidates as possible. From there, you can select the best tenant by screening them.
Additional Resources for Independent Landlords & Property Managers