As a property investor, you can look forward to regular income thanks to rental payments…but only if you have tenants. And while some vacant time can be useful for carrying out maintenance and refurbishment work, you want to keep these times to a minimum.
Here are 8 tips to help you find tenants for your rental property.
1. Create an attractive looking property
Before you do anything else, make sure you’ve done everything you can to create an attrtactive, well maintained, property that people will want to learn more about.
However you advertise, people will make an initial judgement based on how the place looks, be it in a photo online or by visiting in person.
If the property is not up to scratch you could be missing out on potential tenants.
So make sure you take care of the outside of the house before you start advertising it as available. Mow the lawn, replace broken fences, clean windows, repaint doors etc.
2. Use a letting agency to find tenants for your property
A local estate agent will usually offer letting services and they can take care of the entire process from start to finish.
They’ll advertise your property on their database, handle all correspondence with prospective tenants, arrange viewings and manage all negotiations.
Although this isn’t a free service, you should benefit from a team that regularly has potential tenants approaching them, after all, if you want a house you go to an estate agent right?
3. Create an online listing advertising your property to let
There are lots of location-focused websites that allow you to create an online listing for your property. It’s a lower cost option than using an estate agent, but does mean you’ll have to do more work in terms of vetting applicants.
To stand out online, make sure to include detailed information about your property, with lots of pictures showing inside and outside.
Be clear about any amenities that your property offers and any restrictions in place (e.g. no smoking, no pets etc).
Include the rental price, the initial rental period and contact details for those who want to learn more.
4. Ask friends, family and outgoing tenants if they know someone
We all have our own social network of friends, family, workmates and even our tenants. If you know the property is going to become available, use this network to your advantage.
Ask if they know anyone who would be interested in renting, share a message on social media and get your network to share it out. They may know someone who wants to move into your property.
Outgoing tenants may also be able to help, if they know others in the area looking to move they can put in a good word for you (which is why it’s always a good idea to be a great landlord!).
You could even offer some sort of referral incentive, e.g. if they find a tenant that stays with you for 3 months, they get a monetary reward. This would be well worth doing as it doesn’t have to be a huge monetary reward.
5. Use Social Media to advertise your property is available to rent
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are excellent tools for marketing your property. Post pictures and information about your property on social media sites. This helps prospective tenants see what your property has to offer.
Posting details about your property on social networks also helps you connect with others who may be interested in renting your property.
Facebook even has its own “property for rent” marketplace, allowing you to list your property and for others to easily find it, directly on Facebook.
You could also try the local social media network nextdoor.co.uk, which is designed as a network just for people in your local area. Like Facebook it has a property rentals section available, but unlike Facebook it doesn’t have a huge number of users.
6. Advertise your property is available to rent in local shops
Most people take the internet first approach, they have a query and immediately head online.
However, next time you pop into a local shop or post office check to see if they’ve a notice board, the type you find local listings on. If they do, place your own notice there, treat it the same as the online listing and include key details, a photo and contact details.
You might want to consider having a pull off contact number to make it easy for people to grab your details for later use. This is a very cheap way of advertising your property for rent.
7. Advertise your property in the local paper
A local paper is a great way to reach a wider audience than just those who visit the local shops. Most papers are run via advertisement fees, so will likely have a ‘homes for rent’ section.
You’re unlikely to be able to fit as much information in the small space available, study the adverts of others listing in the paper and make sure yours is just as good.
Keep in mind this one could be a slow burner as it depends on how quickly the paper goes to print after you’ve placed your advert.
8. Follow up with prospective tenants
If you’re doing a lot of the work yourself, don’t forget to follow up with prospective tenants after they’ve viewed your property.
Send them a thank-you note, let them know how much you appreciate their interest in your property and check if they’ve any questions.
Make yourself approachable, respond quickly, and if anyone asks questions you know you’ve got someone interested.
I hope you’ve gained some inspiration from these tips for finding tenants for your property. Remember, the work doesn’t stop when they’re renting, being a great landlord will help retain tenants for many years to come.