Real estate has been a popular investment choice for decades, and many entrepreneurs have decided that renting out a property can be a lucrative second income. As the rental property market has heated up, many investors have been scrambling to find ways to attract the best tenants willing to pay the highest rates.
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Take Your Time With Applicants
Don’t ever rush into a tenancy. Before handing over that lease for signature, make sure you’ve got the right tenant. How? Be rigorous with your screening processes. That means in-person interviews, practicing due diligence with contacting references, and using a certified service like Transunion MySmartMove to get information on their criminal history, credit score, and eviction history. Take note of the applicant’s manners when you meet them. Are they on time? Do they respond to texts or calls promptly? Are they polite in person? All of these can give you a generally good inclination of what you can expect when they move into your property. Note: On the flip side, you need to show the same respect. Your rental property is a business, and it’s important to approach any interaction involving your property with professionalism. Be prompt in your communications, show up in business wear for any showings, and show that you mean business—this will let prospective tenants what they can expect from future interactions should they choose to rent from you.
With that said, keep in mind that first impressions can be deceiving in your screening processes. That’s where references come in. You asked for them for a reason, so be sure to use them. No one’s going to be able to give you a more accurate portrayal of your tenant than their previous landlord. Be sure to email or call and get their take on the person in question, and be wary of allowing candidates to use friends and family as references. While you won’t always be able to talk to a former landlord, it’s a good idea to ask for it, even if you don’t make it a requirement for the application process.
Renters are increasingly eco-friendly and conscious of the impact they have on the environment. Save money and create a more appealing and profitable rental property with energy efficient upgrades and appliances. Whether you invest in Energy Star appliances or replace your central air condition unit, little improvements can make all the difference when it comes to attracting higher-paying tenants—not to mention the long-term energy savings. Many states and counties employ PACE programs that provide financing for energy saving home improvements so you can find a way to fund your improvements and start saving (and collecting higher rent rates) sooner.
Consider the Curb
Many tenants will do a drive-by of the residence before attending an open house or asking for a walk through appointment. Make sure they’re not scared off by shoddy curb appeal. Hire a landscaping service to give the home’s front yard a face lift. There are certain landscaping features that can not only impress potential renters but also increase your property’s value. Adding an earth berm to the front yard can cut down on energy costs and add some character to your rental property’s outdoor space. Adding a tree can increase the home’s value by thousands of dollars in one fell swoop. Consider what types of vegetation and landscaping features would best match the neighborhood and entice your ideal tenant. Whether it be drought-friendly yard designs that would work for a California rental or lush vegetation that cultivate that tropical vibe Floridian renters desire, be sure to use additions that complement the structure itself, as well. Apply a fresh coat of paint, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional painter to give the home a pop of color.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your rental property revenue, keep these tips in mind and your property will be poised for success.