It is the dream of every Landlord to find a “good” a reliable tenant to fill their rental properties. But most Landlords end up having tenants that are way out of their “perfect” tenant’s picture. In this article, we would be discussing some of the most effective ways of finding a good and ideal tenant.
Most Landlords have this misconception that letting an agent provide you with all the skills and resources needed to find a good tenant is the best. But one thing they forget is that all these skills are skills that that Landlords themselves do not know and with the right training and resource, they can duplicate these skills making them an agent of themselves. This will help them to find and manage tenants themselves at a fraction of the cost that most of these agent take.
Let take this scenario: An agent who charges 8% – 15% rental income for their services find a tenant who is ready to commit to a 12-month agreement. Assuming the rent per-month is £1000 and taking into consideration the lower end 8% fees, we would be paying the agent a fixed annual amount of £960. Most agents also do charge renewal service fees if we wish to keep the same tenant which means we would be paying additional fees on top of the fixed annual amount.
All this can be avoided as you can choose to spend around £1000 on an agent or probably spend £0 – £100 learning these skills yourself. Remember this is a business and the most important aspect of business is about keeping the cost down when necessary.
Cost Effective and efficient ways of finding tenants.
Online Letting Agents:
One of the most cost effective and efficient ways of finding tenants is by using online letting agents. Most high – street agents generate almost all their enquiries through websites like Righmove and Zoopla. But the problem for private Landlord is that they directly put their vacant properties on these websites and here is where these agents come in. At a small cost (about £50), they can help you put your vacant property on these websites.
All you need to do is just sign up for and online letting agent site and provide them with all the information they would need including the pictures of your properties; sit back and watch the enquires roll in.
Gumtree which is one of the biggest classified websites in the UK is one place to find tenants. Some Online Letting Agents might advertise your property on Gumtree but other would not. Gumtree is free and allows private Landlords to post their properties on their site to its daily millions of visitors. This is good for those on a tight budget that cannot afford the fees of the “big fish” in the industry.
These are tenants who receives Housing Benefits mostly from the government. These tenants are easy to come by and the probability of your meeting one during your property rental application process is high. Also you have to be familiarised the what DSS Tenants are so as to know what you are getting into.
It might sound wired but it sometimes works thought it is not an effective way. For instance, you can search for Facebook groups in your area that is about renting in your area, join them and post your offer. Also a simple tweet about your property might get you a tenant. Who knows? There is no harm in trying.
This might be an old technique but still works. As your neighbours about whether they know of anyone who wants to rent a property and you might be surprised someone close is looking for one or knows someone who is looking for one.
Research on Asking Price
As much as every Landlord would want to maximise profit on their rental property, it is also important to keep in mind the asking price in your area in other not to scare people away. For example, if the rental rate for a 3 bed room is £1500 in your area, then is best to market yours at say £1400. This way you would get more enquires which will reduce the void process. Also tenants would consider this as a good deal and will often stay longer which in turn will make you more money than if you have gone with the market price.
When listing your property, be descriptive as you can whether you are listing it on one of these big website or on a free classified listing site. Description goes a long way as that is what tells the potential tenant all that they need to know about your property. Detailed description also helps avoid answering some common question for which these potential tenants would not bother asking if they do not find it in the description of you listing. Including the feature below will make your listing stand out.
- All Public transport links to the property
- Local schools around the property
- Crime rates in the area (if it’s low)
- Available Parking space
- Front/back garden (if any)
- The Number of bedrooms and its dimensions
- Number of bathrooms in the house
- The Condition of property
- Local amenities/attractions around the property
- If furnished, include items e.g. sofa, tables, beds etc
- Mention any white goods that come with the property
Know your Target Audience
When marketing your property to get tenants, one factor you have to consider is your target audience. For example, if you want a tenant for your 1-bedroom then you don’t go looking for tenant with a family (wife and kids). In this case, you would probably target students, young couples or single.
People react to incentives like crazy. You can offer your potential tenant free broadband or Digital TV and this would skyrocket your chances of landing your dream tenant.
Before renting out your property, make sure it meets the legal requirement in your area. These requirements include:
- A copy of the Government’s ‘How to rent’ checklist
- Electricity Safety Certificate
- Details of the Deposit Protection Scheme
- Landlord License
- Valid Gas Safety Certificate
- Energy Performance Certificate
- PAT Testing Certificate
When all these factors are taken into consideration during the process of finding a tenant, then you are surely guaranteed to find your dream tenant.