Everything a property investor does should have the aim of attracting more or better tenants. Here are the secrets that will help you to find tenants and increase rental yields.
Every property investor asks the same question at the beginning of their journey.Should I invest for growth or yield when buying a property?If you invest for yield, your tenants are the lifeblood of your investment. Keeping them happy ensures consistent returns, and means you won’t have any issues filling vacancies.But before you can focus on keeping tenants happy, you need to attract them. Here are ten secrets that will help you to attract more tenants to your property.
Secret #1 – Treat Previous Tenants Well
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the world. If people have good things to say about you, others take notice. They’ll be more willing to use your services, which leads to profit.Think of your tenants as customers. They’re paying for a service from you, namely the ability to live in your property. In return, you pledge to keep them happy. That means dealing with maintenance requests and charging fair rents.Eventually, your current tenants may vacate the property. This is when treating them well really comes into its own. Prospective tenants may contact your previous tenants to find out how well you perform as a landlord. If you did your job well, your tenants will have nothing but good things to say about you. This makes the prospective tenant more confident in going through with the tenancy.Of course, the flipside is also true. Treat your previous tenants poorly, and you’ll struggle to attract more tenants.
Secret #2 – Know Your Market
Who’s the ideal tenant for your property? Is it young professionals looking to make their way in the city? Or should your property appeal to families? Perhaps you want to target the growing retired population.Whatever the case may be, you need to know who you’re marketing your property toward. This shapes every decision you make. Knowing your market helps you to choose a suitable location. Furthermore, you’ll understand the facilities your property needs to attract the right tenants. Finally, it also influences the marketing methods you use when you’re looking for new tenants.You can’t attract more tenants if you’re looking in the wrong place. For example, advertising an apartment unit to families may produce poor results. However, marketing it to young professionals means you’ll find the demand you’re looking for.
Secret #3 – Choose the Right Location
Tenants don’t just consider your property when making their decisions. They’ll also look at the surrounding area.As a result, location plays a key role in your investment decisions. It’s also something that you can use to attract more tenants.Ideally, your property will fulfil at least some of the following criteria:
- It’s in an area with a low crime rate
- Tenants can commute easily to and from the property
- There’s access to at least one main road
- The local area has plenty of tenant-relevant amenities and services
The first three are universally seen as good features. However, the fourth point depends on your prospective tenants. Families will favour schools, playparks, and similar services. Pet owners will want to know that there’s a vet nearby.Think about what the location has to offer, and base your marketing efforts around those features. In fact, your location will also help you to determine your target audience. Of course, it’s best to pick your target audience first, and then find an investment property in a suitable location.
Secret #4 – Maintain Your Property
Over time, your property undergoes wear and tear. Paint chips, wallpaper loosens, and the outdoor areas deteriorate with the changing elements. Prospective tenants notice this wear and tear. If you allow it to continue unabated, you’ll struggle to attract more tenants. As a result, place basic maintenance high on your agenda. Furthermore, understand that the property’s exterior matters just as much as the interior.You don’t have to renovate extensively to keep your property well-maintained. Something as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint to walls and windowsills breathes new life into the property. Change threadbare carpets, update the furnishing, and do the little things that make the property pop when somebody comes to view it.Maintenance is an ongoing chore for the property investor. Failing to keep on top of things leads to you falling behind the competition. After all, why would a tenant come to you when they can find a better-maintained property at the same price?
Secret #5 – Be Realistic With Rents
You may have grand dreams of earning sky-high rents, but the reality may be very different. How much you charge has as much to do with location and demand as it does your own desires.Simply put, if you charge too much, people will look elsewhere. This is especially the case if you don’t manage the property to the level tenants expect for the price they pay.So how do you determine the right rent? That’s where market data can help.Look at what your competitors charge, and what they offer for the money. Use this as your baseline, then think about what separates your property from theirs. If you have any unique selling points, you could use them to charge higher rents. But be realistic. If you charge above the average earning threshold for the area, you won’t attract more tenants.Raising rents can be the key to increasing rental yields. But don’t price yourself out of the market.
Secret #6 – Present Yourself Well
Let’s assume that you don’t want to use a property management company. Many landlords go it alone so they can take a bigger slice of the income their properties generate.That’s fine, but property management comes with responsibilities. For one, you have to showcase the property to prospective tenants. When they arrive for a viewing, they expect to see you there, ready to guide them around.Now think about what a tenant would expect to see from their landlord during the viewing. Professionalism counts, so they want to speak to somebody who’s well-presented and eloquent.The first impression you make can help you to attract more tenants. In fact, it may be the deciding factor once tenants stack your property up against the others that they’ve seen.Take care of your appearance, and know what you want to highlight when you show tenants around. This impresses them from the off, making them more likely to rent your property.
Secret #7 – Offer Suitable Lease Lengths
The leases you offer depend on your investment property type. As a general rule, commercial tenants are happier with longer lease lengths than residential tenants. With a commercial property, you can offer leases of between three and 10 years, though this depends on the tenant.You’ll want to keep things much shorter with residential tenancies. Typically, most landlords offer between six and 12 months, especially in the initial agreement. This serves both you and the tenant.This allows tenants to get a feel for the property and to experience whether they’re happy living there. Furthermore, many tenants enjoy the flexibility of short-term agreements. It gives them the flexibility to move away if their circumstances change. Plus, many tenants rent until they’ve saved enough money to buy. As a result, long-term leases often won’t attract more tenants.Short leases also let you scope out the tenant. It’s far preferable to only have a tenant on a six-month lease than a multi-year one.
Secret #8 – Advertise Online
The vast majority of people look at properties online before they arrange a viewing. If they can’t find yours, most won’t waste time on contacting you.Work with your agent to create a strong listing. Prioritise good photos, and create a description that highlights the property’s best features. You’ll attract more tenants if you put effort into your ads.You can still use traditional techniques, like classified ads and signs. However, they’re less effective nowadays. Most tenants expect to be able to find out the key information about your property on the internet.
Secret #9 – Offer Room for Personalisation
Everybody wants to put their own stamp on their home. Most do this through furniture and décor choices. Use this to your advantage to make your property more appealing, and thus attract more tenants.Don’t restrict tenants when it comes to minor décor. Allow them to hang pictures and use similar small items to spruce the place up to their liking. Add a condition that they’ll make good on any changes once their tenancy ends if you’re wary of the cost of changing things back.Allow tenants to make your house their home. They’ll feel more comfortable, which means they’ll be happier.
Secret #10 – Be Available
No tenant wants a landlord who doesn’t pick up the phone. It shows that you don’t care about them or your property.When taking on new tenants, make the lines of communication clear. Tell them how they can get in touch with you, and how long it usually takes for you to respond. If you’re not comfortable giving your phone number out, offer an email address that you’ve dedicated to property management. This ensures you don’t miss out on any urgent messages.Furthermore, be available to tenants who want to view your property. It only takes one missed call to lose a tenant to somebody else.
If you combine these secrets, you’ll attract more tenants. Focus on keeping tenants happy when you have them, but don’t forget about the importance of marketing. Understand your target audience, and what they require. Furthermore, ensure any website listings stand out thanks to the strength of your pictures and descriptions.However, you need to find a good investment property before you start searching for tenants. A buyer’s agent from Cohen Handler can help. Contact us today for help in finding an investment property that produces the yields you’re looking for.