When it comes to real estate investment, there is nothing worse than having a great property sitting empty for an extended period of time. Not only does this cost you money in paying the mortgage, taxes and upkeep, but it also means that you are not earning any rental income, which you can use to build equity in the property faster. You can then use that equity to purchase additional rental properties, allowing you to generate even more income. However, it all starts with getting qualified tenants into your current property. Read on for our tips to help streamline the process and get your property rented in less than 30 days.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
In real estate investment, the amount of success you will have all depends on the location of the property. It doesn't matter how beautiful a home is if it is in an undesirable neighborhood. Look for properties in high-quality school districts and with easy access to conveniences, like grocery stores, gas stations and freeway entrances. Keep an eye on the local real estate market as well. It will be much more difficult to find a tenant in areas that have a lot of available properties. Instead, look for areas with few rental properties available so that renters won't have as many options to choose from.
It's hard to find a tenant for your property if prospective tenants do not know that it is available. To help get the word out, make sure that your property is listed on popular real estate websites, like Zillow and Trulia. Craiglist can be useful as well, since many renters search the site for listings. When creating your listing, the more information you can provide about the property, the better. It is hard to sell prospective tenants on the merits of your property if you don't tell them what those merits are. List desirable features, including air conditioning, included appliances and any other key drawing points of the property.
SHOW, DON'T TELL
Listings with photos perform significantly better than those without. Try to take the photos during the day to show what the property looks like in natural lighting. Take at least one photo of every room in the house, especially the kitchen, living area and master bedroom, as these are typically the most important to prospective tenants. If the property has a yard or patio, be sure to show that as well. It is much easier to generate interest in your property when renters can see what it actually looks like rather than having to wait until they take a tour.
Keep in mind that the market value of your property is not the amount that you would like to receive for it, but rather the amount that renters are willing to pay. If similar properties in the area are renting for $1,000 per month, it is unlikely that you will find a tenant willing to pay $1,500. Don't try to get into a bidding war with neighboring rentals either. You don't want to set your rental rate so low that you end up losing money on your investment. Try to stay in the general range of your competitors, and don't be afraid to negotiate with prospective renters if necessary.
INSTALL SOME UPGRADES
Upgrading your property is a great way to attract more attention to it. Focus first on the kitchen and bathrooms, but don't invest exorbitant amounts of money. The goal is to improve the property while still allowing yourself to make a profit. With targeted improvements, you may even be able to raise your rental rate, ensuring higher profits in the future.
With these tips, you should be able to attract new tenants to your property in no time. If you are still having difficulty, you may wish to contract with a property management company to handle all of the details for you. A property management company will have the experience and marketing expertise necessary to get your property in front of the most qualified tenants. As an added bonus, you'll have more time to focus on other aspects of your life, like family, friends and personal hobbies.