By Mat Piche, Real Estate Expert and Author
The key to being a successful real estate investor is to have great tenant’s living in your properties. Without customers (tenants) paying you rent - you don’t have a business! But we don't want just any tenant. We want quality tenants!
I’m sure you’ve heard the many horror stories of bad tenants trashing homes and not paying rent for months on end. We don’t want these stories happening to us! As landlords, we only really have one shot to pick the right tenants. So how do we attract quality and responsible tenants the first time?
Great Area = Great Tenants
It sounds obvious but you’ll be surprised how many ‘investors’ are buying in the wrong areas! A big ‘rookie’ mistake that I often see is focusing solely on the purchase price of a property. For example, cheap properties are usually in bad areas. Bad areas tend to attract bad tenants. It’s not rocket science, but you may have to increase your budget if you want to sleep at night. So where should we be looking?
Quiet and mature areas near amenities, for starters. Quality tenants want to be living in quiet and safe areas where their kids can happily play outside. A neighborhood lined with big mature trees is really going to set your property apart. They also want to be close to amenities and grocery stores, but not too close! The rule of thumb I try and follow is within a three to five-minute drive to a plaza or shopping mall.
The third component of a great area is being close to highway access - but again, not too close. Our tenants don’t want to be listening to speeding cars all day. Being within 10-15 minutes of a major route or highway between other cities is key. Remember, we want hardworking and responsible tenants living in our properties - and these tenants may work out of town. Giving them the option of living in your property is the goal.
Paint the entire unit with ONE light color
You want your property to feel bright, spacious, and inviting. A great way to achieve this is by painting your entire unit in ONE light color. When you leave the bedrooms one color, the kitchen another and the living room another, you are not only making the space feel smaller by making the home feel choppy, but you are also personalizing the unit.
And while some prospective tenants will certainly appreciate your design choices, most will not! The whole idea is to attract AS MANY prospective tenants to fill out the application. From there, you can choose the best applicant. Everyone will appreciate a bright space that has flow. Investor tip: The color I use on ALL of my properties is called “Burnished Clay” by Behr.
Curb appeal is the single most important tip that I can recommend to investors. If your property looks bad from the street, your prospective tenants will drive up for the appointment and keep driving!
When looking for new tenants, maintain your lawn and keep sidewalks and driveways clear during the winters. Make sure the exterior of your property is in good shape as well i.e. Roof, siding, windows, and doors etc. First impressions are everything and we want to ‘wow’ them as soon as they pull up.
Conclusion for Attracting Quality Tenants
If you’re investing in real estate the right way, your business should be boring! It’s not supposed to be ‘exciting’ and ‘wacky’ like the T.V shows - sorry! The reason why we invest in real estate in the first place is to fund our lives so we can do the fun and ‘wacky’ things that make us happy. We don’t need to be chasing tenants for missed rent payments!
Implement these three tips into your business and start attracting QUALITY tenants in your rental properties!