If you want to attract the best tenants possible, then you have to make yourself attractive to the best of the best. People do look at the behaviors of landlords and avoid certain red flags. Even if you’re a great landlord, if you do one of these things, it might turn off potential tenants.
About 40 percent of potential tenants are overwhelmed with the cost of living and pay more than 50 percent of their income in rent. Those statistics increase the likelihood of late rent payments. The ability to attract tenants without these issues can make or break your investment. Here are seven things you might be doing that may be red flags for potential tenants:
1. Not Keeping up Maintenance
Everyone gets busy, especially a landlord with multiple properties and a full-time job. However, it’s important that you keep your properties well maintained or possible renters will see this as an ongoing problem that will continue when they rent from you.
Keep the lawn mowed and landscaping neat and weed free. If anything breaks, fix it immediately. If you’re unable to keep up with these things, hire a property manager or maintenance man to stay on top of upkeep.
2. Being Difficult to Reach
Is it easy to reach you and set up an appointment to look at the property? If a renter can’t reach you to look at the unit, this is a big red flag for many. It indicates you might be stretched too thin or you don’t care enough about renters to respond quickly.
Make it easy for potential renters to get in touch. Regularly monitor text messages, emails and phone calls and either answer or return the call promptly.
3. Avoiding Questions
Before a lessee signs on the dotted line, they may have a number of questions about the property, what’s expected of them and what amenities are available. Be upfront and direct when answering questions. If you don’t know an answer, find it and get back to the person as quickly as possible.
If you avoid questions, your potential renter may feel you aren’t being upfront and honest. They’ll wonder what you’re trying to hide, even if you aren’t hiding anything at all.
4. Not Requiring a Lease
Scammers often collect high security deposits and then run away with the person’s money, leaving them with no apartment or house to rent. If you say you don’t require a lease, this will turn off tenants who may think you’re trying to scam them.
In addition, you put yourself at risk when you don’t have the renter sign a lease. What happens when they don’t pay rent? It can take months to get a nonpaying tenant off your property, and they can do a lot of damage in the meantime.
5. Treating Past Tenants Poorly
Understand that people may contact your current or past tenants in order to ascertain if you’re a fair landlord or not. If you’re running an upfront operation and treating your tenants like humans, most of them will have nice things to say about you.
Be good to your tenants because it’s the right thing to do. The payoff will be that they will sing your praises when you need to rent to a new person.
6. Arrive on Time
If you have an appointment to show a rental or meet to sign a lease, be on time. Arriving late shows you don’t value the other person’s time. It’s best to get there a few minutes early.
If something does come up that is unavoidable, let the other party know as soon as possible so they aren’t waiting around on you. This presents an overall appearance of professionalism that renters appreciate.
7. Renting Quickly
Even though it’s good to keep your units filled and income pouring in, don’t be in such a rush to rent that the tenant feels you are pushing them into a lease.
Instead, take your time so the renter is happy with their decision and you’re happy with your renter.