If you own a rental property, then you have probably been faced with an unexpected vacancy which you would like to fill quickly with a quality, long term tenant. With vacancy rates the lowest in years, property managers and landlords are receiving more and more applications for vacancies than ever before. But what do the best tenants look for when deciding where to live? As a property manager operating in Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown, I have found that tenants are like all shoppers: they want “the mostest for the leastest.” If you want the best tenants, then be sure to present your rental property in the best possible light.
Make sure your rental is in “move-in” ready condition. Carpets should be clean and the interior and exterior should be spotless. All of the included appliances should be working and very clean. Also, no prospective tenant wants to live in a property with leaky pipes, loose tiles or continuously running toilets. In short, be sure you or your property manager has everything clean and in working order. The best tenants expect the best value for their dollar.
Start at the right rental price.As a property owner, you want the maximum possible rental income from your investment. It only makes sense. However, if your advertised rent is above the current rental market, you are only delaying an eventual price drop. One should consider long term stable income from the best tenants as a way to maximize the income of your rental property over time. It is very difficult for a property owner to make up lost income due to vacancies by a higher rental rate. For instance, if you leased a property to a long term tenant for three years at $1000 per month (a typical rent in Akron, OH), your rental income would be $36,000 over the three year period ($1000 x 36 months.) If you leased that same property for the same three years at the higher rate of $1100 per month you would think you would make more money. But, more than likely, you will probably have had five months of rental income lost due to vacancies between tenants. Don’t forget, you have to clean, repair, market, and screen for new tenants. Your total income over the same three years would be $34,100 ($1100 x 31 months.) In the long run, a property that is priced right, with a long term tenant, will maximize your income potential.
Market. Market. Market.Marketing your property properly is crucial to finding the best possible tenant. You live in the information age and prospective tenants have mounds of information at their fingertips. Either you or your property manager should post a full description and photos of your property on a variety of websites that specialize in residential rental properties. Sometimes these sites are the “flavor of the month” and change quickly but it is safe to bet that craigslist.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com and Realtor.com will be around for a while. But there is still room for the old school methods too. You will definitely want a “For Rent” sign (if permitted) as soon as you are aware of a potential vacancy. The neighbors will often times tell their friends of the great place that is about to become available.
All County® NEO Property Management property managers are licensed real estate agents, members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Ohio Association of Realtors and the North East Ohio Regional Realtors Association. Our team of professionals offer unparalleled rental property management services in the following areas: Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown and their surrounding communities.