A step-by-step guide to attracting better tenants
High-quality tenants make renting your investment property both easier and more lucrative, but how do you actually find them? Along with well-written rental ads, we look at some other ways to get high quality people into your investment property.
There are several ways to finding your dream tenants: you can reach out to your personal networks, arrange a long-term rental through a reputable agent, or opt for shorter-term but higher-paying corporate rental arrangements.
Tap into your networks
The first step is to ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations. Perhaps they know a family friend, or even their own son or daughter, who is moving out of home and would fit the bill. If your property is big enough for a family, your connections might know of people relocating for work. They also might know of a stellar agent or property manager, or be able to share useful tips.
Find an agent
If that avenue fails, or if you want to take a step back from managing your property, do your homework to identify and select a reputable agent. They should be able to demonstrate a strong marketing program and well-managed processes for organising rental payments, repairs, maintenance and inspections. Also ensure that your agent has an excellent screening process, including checking prospective tenants’ rental, credit and employment history, and asking for professional references.
If you own an apartment, ask other owners in the block if they can recommend a reliable agent. You could also ask the body corporate chairperson, as it’s in their interest to attract good tenants. Speak to your agent or property manager about any current issues affecting the apartment block, such as noise, parking, pets and communal areas.
Conduct a professional campaign
Your campaign should advertise more than just the property’s amenities and location – it needs to sell the lifestyle. Insist on professional photography, and review the copy provided to ensure it’s accurate, expertly written and conveys your property’s character, facilities and strengths.
If you want to attract families, who tend to stay longer in rental properties, the description needs to mention local schools, playgrounds and facilities. To attract professional tenants, the local shops and restaurants, cultural centres and outdoor amenities such as parks, cycling trails and walking tracks should be highlighted.
You could also consider hiring furniture to attract quality renters during the open house campaign.
Consider the corporate sector
If your property is as impressive as the tenants you want to attract, you could consider becoming a premier provider of furnished accommodation to business clientele in the corporate sector.
Look for an agent with a specialist corporate division, or seek out a relocation company. The reputation of these companies rests on providing high-quality accommodation for their executive clients – a stringently vetted and regulated client base of customers who expect to pay more for a premium property. The companies advertise in the Australian and international corporate markets, and will match the lifestyle and suitability of prospective tenants to your property and location.
Corporate rentals are generally designed for extended periods, from several months to more than a year. Your agreement will include cleaning and maintenance, a condition report, thorough property inventory, professional photography and marketing. Expect a higher return if you offer the property fully furnished.
A less traditional option is to list your property on an accommodation website such as Airbnb.
Airbnb has a high-standard vetting system that allows you to tailor guest guidelines to suit your standards and preferences. You can outline your house rules to set expectations – if a house rule is broken, you can cancel a reservation at any time.
Though Airbnb isn’t yet in the market of long-term rentals, the upside is that you will have the option of occasionally staying in your property. Before listing your property, though, it’s important to consider whether there are any local or state government restrictions covering Airbnb. Also, if your property is a strata apartment, make sure your body corporate doesn’t have any rules regarding Airbnb.
While finding high-quality tenants can take a little bit of effort, it can be as beneficial for your bottom line as your peace of mind. Taking steps up-front to find conscientious, hassle-free tenants is much better that setting the bar low and regretting it down the track.
To discuss your home loan options, and to improve your property to attract great tenants, contact your mortgage broker.