From preparing an apartment for viewings to finding and screening potential applicants, looking for a new tenant can be a difficult process. However, it doesn’t need to be as stressful as it seems. Getting the right resident is as simple as properly preparing the property and knowing how to sort through applicants. By following the tips on this list, you’ll be able to show your home at its best and find the perfect person to care for it.
1. Check for Wear and Tear
Check for wear and tear from the last tenant to make sure your place looks its best. Watch out chipping paint, damaged floors, and cracks in the windows. Other signs of wear and tear to take note of include loose hinges, worn floors, loose wallpaper, faded curtains and dirty window screens. These happen naturally over time and can be easily fixed. Once they are, your apartment will look refreshed and more inviting.
2. Hire a Professional Cleaner
The easiest way to attract the best renters is to have a spotless apartment. Clean properties command a premium. While it may be worthwhile to put on your gloves and giving the place a deep clean, think about investing in a professional cleaner who will be able to make sure your place is looking perfect.
An experienced cleaner will know the spots that are often overlooked, such as kitchen cupboards, window sills, floor skirting or bathrooms. They’ll also know how to get stains out of carpets, furniture, and walls. Ask friends and acquaintances for cleaners they recommend. This way you’ll know that you’re hiring someone who will be able to deliver excellent results.
3. Ensure Lights and Appliances are Working
This step might sound simple, but it is one of the most important. Checking now will not only make you look more professional, but can also save you maintenance headaches in the future.
Beyond switching all the lights and appliances on and off, it’s also important to make sure all the outlets are working. Check that everything is installed properly, especially items that the previous tenants installed themselves. Appliances such as refrigerators or central air conditioning systems might need cleaning. Don’t forget to check the cables and the fuse box. For more complicated maintenance, you can always hire a professional.
4. Identify the Proper Price Point
It’s important to price your unit correctly to help attract the right tenants. Search rental sites to see how much other properties nearby cost to get a sense of the average rental price in your area. From there, you can decide to position your property as a high-end option, or a more affordable option.
Checking the prices of rentals nearby will also help you see what they offer, and to see whether your apartment is competitive or not. Don’t forget to compare amenities – a one-bedroom apartment with a garden or a view is often more expensive than a one-bedroom without either. Properties with newer, luxury appliances and more space will command a premium. Meanwhile, complexes with good amenities such as a pool or gym can be priced higher.
Consider location and neighborhood. Does your home offer convenient parking? Is it close to commuter transport where residents can get to work easily? If so, you should adjust the prices accordingly.
5. List Your Property
Searching on the Internet is the most common way for renters to look for homes. Rental sites such as Zillow, Rent.com and Zumper are good places to start. Zillow is one of the largest sites and allows you to see an estimated price for rent in each zip code, which can be helpful when pricing. Rent.com lets renters search virtual tours of apartments and often includes reviews from neighbors in the area. Zumper, on the other hand, offers tenant screening and real-time alerts to help landlords.
6. Identify Primary Selling Points
Your home might be the best in the neighborhood, but potential renters need to know why. Consider the place from the perspective of someone who has never seen it before. What would be important to them to know about your apartment, and how would living in your particular apartment be beneficial to them?
Factors that are attractive to most people include things to do in the immediate area and convenient access to transport or highways, schools and grocery stores. Other benefits your home might have could include parking space, an attractive master bedroom, storage space, having more than one bathroom, a comfortable kitchen or a basement.
Start the process by considering your target audience. Young professionals might be more interested in popular restaurants and bars nearby, while young families may be drawn to good schools and attractive parks.
7. Properly Screen Applicants
Once you have found a few prospective tenants, it’s important to screen them to make sure they will be able to pay rent on time and don’t have a history of violence.
The most common way to check this is to request an application with information on financial stability and employment. You can also ask for personal references and information for previous landlords. If you’re unsure of the process, sites such as Moneycrashers provide detailed resources on how to screen for applicants.
Finding the right renter can take time. However, proper preparation will allow you to command a premium for your home and avoid the headaches of a difficult tenant.
This guest post was written by our friends at Chestnut Portland, a community of one, two and three bedroom townhomes in Portland and Scarborough, Maine, offering a combination of easy access to town, with a little fresh air and breathing room.