Or, some will copy an entire Craigslist advertisement and simply re-post it, verbatim with photos, hoping to get unsuspecting clients to pay a deposit. In fact, in , the Better Business Bureau claimed to have received complaints about bogus rentals. Vacation rental sites that have built-in rating and review systems will not only help you avoid these scams, but will give you a secondary source of information on the property you intend to rent.
Another option is to do a 'virtual reconnaissance'. Unfortunately this isn't nearly as cool as it sounds, nor does it involve Bradley Cooper in combat gear.
By virtual reconnaissance, I mean using the digital tools at your disposal to check out the property and surrounding area. For instance, check Google Maps to see what businesses are close and consider if they will potentially cause some type of disturbance. Dance club? No thank you! Alligator farm? While you're on Google, you can check the street view function to get real-life visuals to see what the home looks like.
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Yes, the listing will have its own pictures, but this will give you a secondary source of visual information. There is nothing worse than trying to sort out trip details at the last minute. As much as you possibly can, plan your trip well in advance, starting by reaching out to several vacation homeowners to discuss their properties. What I find helps most is planning a vacation schedule at least six months in advance. Half a year before, pick a destination family meeting time! Five months out, find a place to stay. Four months out, organize ground transportation or car rentals. Three months before, plan your activities, and book tours or tickets.
The best way to determine whether a homeowner is legitimate is to have a conversation with them. After sending out several inquiries, you can sit back and see which owners are the most responsive and which ones seem easy to deal with.
In order to discover any weaknesses of a property, I use the 'name your weakness' test. Rather than spending years refining your tenant selection technique, you can rely on the quality systems that others have put their experience and knowledge into building. There are many landlord-focused packages and programs out there that give you the option to pay for a company to gather up some of the following information for you:.
By using our tenant screening service that offers various levels of packages, you can make the selection process much easier. The information gathered gives you the perfect screenshot of each applicant so that you can make a wiser, more informed decision about which tenant will be right for your property. If you want more long-term assistance when it comes to finding tenants, managing their time spent on your property, and other aspects of the property, you may want to look into hiring a property management company.
As a landlord, you can have them help with only specific parts of the rental process, while you may only help with one or two small things. In reality, your quest to become a better landlord should be about more than how to find a good tenant. It should be about how to find and keep good tenants! Finding good tenants, as you have learned, is a very difficult process that can take a lot of time out of your daily schedule.
Once you find tenants that are kind, timely, and respectable, you should try to keep them working with you for as long as possible.
To keep good tenants in your rental system, make sure that you do the following:. This is basic, but every landlord should remember that tenants can and do! If you have a tenant that you really like renting to, make sure to treat them well. Speak to them kindly and often. Send them cards for holidays. Be a friendly force in their lives. Tenants who like their landlords are less likely to move unless they absolutely have to, and this can make your business more profitable in the long run. From the beginning, let your tenants know that you are open to any feedback or concerns that they have about your management or the property.
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You can even set up an anonymous link where they can submit misgivings that they are too nervous to talk to you directly about. You want your tenants to tell you the things that frustrate them about the property or your management style. With this information, you can ensure smooth communication between you and your tenants. Good communication leads to good relationships, and good relationships lead to longer rental periods! When writing up a rental contract, be sure to include maintenance request times for problematic and emergency issues that may arise in the property.
Go over this information with the tenant before signing so that they know how long it will take you to get back to them. Even if a good tenant loves your property, they may need to move into a bigger space or to another area of town for various reasons. Make it a habit of letting your tenants know upfront that you have other rental properties around the area.
Keeping good tenants in your business is a great way to secure your future cash flow. When you meet up with a rental applicant to tour the property, be sure to talk about the property with them and ask them questions about their needs, hopes, and rental goals:.
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By asking the applicant many questions and getting to know them, you will gain an instinct about what type of tenant they will be. This landlord instinct will need to be cultivated over time, but it will ultimately help you to be able to choose a great tenant more frequently. Finally, be patient. The right applicant may not be your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd application, and it can often feel like a waste of time to wait for that applicant to come in.
But it is worth it! Settling for a less-than-ideal tenant often leads to problems such as evictions, late rental payments, and property damages. All of these things will cost you more than simply waiting for the right applicant, so have patience when seeking tenants. There you have it: everything that you need to know about how to find and keep good tenants to change the future of your work as a landlord.
With these changes to your approach to being a landlord, your entire work outlook will be changed, and with that change will come more time, better profit margins, and a happier experience for everyone involved. Last Updated on July 5, Working as a landlord is like having a never-ending list of responsibilities. What To Ask For Personal References Ask for two to three personal references, preferably those that are not related to the applicant.
Employment History Ask for the last two years of employment history. Previous Rental History Not every applicant will have previous rental history, but many tenants have lived in other rental housing before. What Information To Divulge In addition to asking for specific information, it can be beneficial for you as a landlord to divulge specific requirements that you are seeking in a tenant.
Check your local laws. No previous evictions No smokers This information makes it clear what type of applicants you will generally decline. You can ask many questions of potential tenants, but you cannot question about or discriminate based on: Race or color National origin Religion Sex Familial status families with children Disability It is your responsibility as a landlord to follow the Fair Housing Law to the finest detail, and you can be fined or even put in jail if you are a repeat offender of this law.
Property Management Companies If you want more long-term assistance when it comes to finding tenants, managing their time spent on your property, and other aspects of the property, you may want to look into hiring a property management company. To keep good tenants in your rental system, make sure that you do the following: Treat them well This is basic, but every landlord should remember that tenants can and do!