If you want to be found by prospective tenants, you can’t necessarily rely on “the way you’ve always done it”.
Successful landlords with low vacancy rates understand that if they want to keep their units occupied, they need to understand how tenants search for their next rental.
Signs: Oftentimes, tenants will choose their prospective neighborhoods first, then they take the next step to drive, walk or bike around the area, looking for rental signs.
Therefore it is not only important to have your “For Rent” sign prominently displayed in front of your unit, but also to think about curb appeal.
High quality tenants are sensitive to signs of neglect. After all, the outside of your unit (their new home) is the first impression that all their friends and colleagues will form when coming to visit.
A unit that looks neglected will quickly get passed over by discerning tenants, and you’ll never know.
The Internet: Even though tenants may focus on areas and neighborhoods where they want to live, they are still going to use the Internet to find these units. Craigslist and other listing services are extremely popular, so you’re losing out if you’re not using them.
And if you do use the Internet to advertise your rental, be sure to remember that it is a visual medium. Your rental ad will be skipped over in a New York second if you don’t have pictures. Where possible, use video and audio features. It can go a long way toward making your unit shine, and attracting the type of tenant you want.
Real Estate Brokers and Apt. Listing Services: Tenants have busy lives just like the rest of us. Facing that reality, many tenants will go straight to the local apartment listing services or real estate brokers, since they know these services will help save them time and hassle.
In fact, in a recent study from New York City, real estate brokers with primary resource that tenants used to find their next apartment.
Referrals from Other Tenants: If you have a unit coming up for rent, be sure to let your existing tenants know of the upcoming vacancy. Having friends occupying multiple units is a great way to retain tenants. You may event want to consider tenant incentives for those who recommend other prospective tenants that end up working out.
Availability: One of the reasons that tenants are attracted to large managed complexes or use real estate brokers and other services is because they want to know the agents are available to them when they need them. Regardless of whether you are managing the unit yourself or outsourcing it to a 3rd party, you can maximize the likelihood of attracting quality tenants by being responsive to their needs and showing you care about them.
The good news about this extra attention? Your new tenants will be more likely to care about your unit!
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for all your property management needs. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.