Skip to main content

THE SECRETS TO FINDING AND KEEPING GREAT TENANTS

by Marcel Dybner
January 2, 2020

PART 1:

HOW T O FIND GREAT TENANTS

The key to any good investment property is finding and keeping good tenants.  How do you attract top quality tenants that are going to treat your property like it’s their own and consistently pay their rent on time? Well here are three things to consider when you begin your search for great tenants.

1. How is your property being presented?

When your tenants move out, it’s a good time to take a good look at the presentation of your property. Start from the outside and work inwards because most people will judge your property by what it looks like before they step inside. The garden should be well-kept and the property needs to be neat and tidy. In a competitive rental market, tenants really do notice the little things. They’ll scrutinise the condition of the carpet and condition of
the blinds. They may look a little closer at the stove hot plates or wonder why the bedroom fan is stuck on the highest setting. These may seem minor to you but it could be what stops a prospective ‘great’ tenant from applying for your property and prolong your vacancy periods. What landlords need to be asking themselves (especially if they haven’t lived in the property) is if they would be happy living in the property and paying the rent they’re asking. If the answer is negative, then find a quality property manager who can offer expert guidance on renovations and repairs. Remember that the presentation at the beginning of a tenancy is going to set the tenant’s expectations on
how they’re to return the property.

2. Marketing your investment property

When it comes to marketing the property, your property manager needs to be clever about attracting the right tenants. It’s not as simple as throwing the property online and hoping someone shows up to an inspection. Nearby amenities should be taken into account and the marketing campaign targeted appropriately. If the property is a family home near schools, then families will be the target market. Close to hospitals? Market to hospital staff.
It’s essential that you take the time to consider who will best suit the property and location and target the marketing campaign to that demographic. If you advertise too generically, you’re going to risk missing your target audience altogether.

3. Price your rental property competitively

It is crucial that you set the right price for the property, especially in areas where the rental market is on the slow side. If you set the rent too low, you’ll risk missing out on valuable rental income. Place the price tag too high and you’ll be stuck with an empty property potentially for weeks or even months at a time. While a lot of owners are reluctant to reduce their price, it can mean the difference between leasing the property or it being vacant. If you’re struggling to find good tenants, try reducing the rent by just $10 or $15 per week to attract more people. Your aim should always be to put the best tenant into your property, not necessarily the first. A bad tenant can cost you far more during the tenancy than a small rent reduction.

PART 2:

WHERE T O FIND GREAT TENANTS

If nobody knows your property is available, there’s a %0 chance of it renting. Focusing on finding good tenants will not only reduce your vacancy period but it will also set you up for a stress-free tenancy. Before you start advertising your property, make sure you have good photos, a clear and accurate description of the property and its surrounding areas, mention if any bills are included and make it easy for prospective tenants to contact you or arrange an inspection.

Here are 8 places you should be advertising your property to get the maximum exposure for your rental property:

Online Portals Eg: Realestate.com.au, Domain.com.au etc

This is where most people look when they start their search for a rental property. There are costs involved to list your property but it will guarantee your property is being seen by people actively searching for a rental property in your area. What landlords need to be asking themselves (especially if they
haven’t lived in the property) is if they would be happy living in the property and paying the rent they’re asking. If the answer is negative, then find a quality property manager who can offer expert guidance on renovations and repairs. Remember that the presentation at the beginning of a tenancy is going to set the tenant’s expectations on how they’re to return the property.

‘For Lease’ Board

Often criticized as serving agents more than the property itself, a For Lease board on a busy street is a great way to let people know the property is available to be leased. We always get enquiries when we have a board up on a main street.
Social Media – Your immediate network

Once you have good photos and your property listing is up online, make sure you share it across all your Social Media platforms. You’ll be surprised by the reach you’ll get by sharing it across your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Private Social Media Groups

There are private groups on Facebook where people advertise their properties to people looking to rent a property. More often than not, these pages are for shorter term accommodation or share accommodation and usually populated by backpackers. I recommend being even more thorough when vetting applicants from private Facebook groups.

Letterbox drop the street

Let the neighbours know there’s a property available. I’ll often have enquiries come through from people in the same apartment building who are either looking to upgrade their apartment or have a friend or family member who’s looking for something in the building/street.

Work lunch room

Your next tenant could be the person sitting right across from your right now! If your investment property is close to your place of work, then putting up a flyer in the lunch room could get the attention of the right people. Notice boards at universities, hospitals etc. If your property is near a University, hospital, army base etc then it could be worth putting a flyer up on a local notice board. Most people want to live close to where they work and live so this could be a great source of tenant enquiries.

Tell your friends and family

Don’t forget to tell people about your property (tastefully). I always have friends and family referring me to people who are looking for a
rental property. A personal recommendation is a great way to find good tenants.

PART 3:

MAKING Y O UR PR O PERTY STAND OUT ONLINE

According website analytics information found on www.similarweb.com, Australia’s most popular real estate website, www.realestate.com.au has had over 30 million visits in the last month. A mind boggling statistic considering the population of Australia is only 24.1 million. On average, someone will spend roughly 8 minutes on the site flicking through property listings and swiping through photos – an estimated 12.25 pages per visit.

It’s my job to make sure your property stands out amongst all of the other listings and make prospective tenant prioritise viewing your property over hundreds of others currently on the market. Here are my rules for making sure my clients listings look as appealing as possible to potential tenants:

Professional Photos

These can be taken once and then used over and over the next few years when the property becomes vacant. Make sure you use a professional photographer who’ll pick the right angles and use professional equipment to make sure the property looks it’s best. Photos are the most important part of the online listing and will get the most engagement from prospective tenants.

You’ll want to have between 5 – 10 photos depending on the property but at a very least, make sure you have the following:
· Facade
· Kitchen
· Bathrooms
· Bedrooms
· Loungeroom
· Any outdoor space (balcony, backyard etc)
· Any communal amenities (pool, spa, gym etc)

If you have a floorplan, it’s also great to include that in the online listing. Feature Packed Heading Use the heading/title to highlight the most attractive aspects of the property. You’ll only have a couple of seconds to keep viewers attention so using the title – which is bold and in a larger font size –
can help keep potential tenants attention for longer.

Description

The truth is that most people will only skim through the description of the property – they’re more likely looking for keywords like ‘air conditioning’ , ‘heating’ and ‘pool’ than actually reading everything you write.  I like to use dot points to clearly explain all of the property features.
This makes it easier to read and find any specific features that might be of interest.

Building Amenities

There are a lot of apartment buildings in our area and I’m surprised to see other agents forgetting to add photos or mention of any amenities in their listings. Pools, gyms and 24-hour concierges are some of the key reasons people want to live in an apartment building yet some agents completely forget about them.

The building amenities are just as important in your online listing as the internal features of the apartment.

Location

If you’re using realestate.com.au or domain.com.au then they’ll help by showing a map of the local area. Highlighting some key locations will help describe the area better. Make a list of good café’s, trendy restaurants, shopping centres, public transport options, parks and schools in the area. As good as the property is, it’s often the location of the property that will make someone want to live there.

Pet Policy

Finding pet friendly accommodation is HARD. So, if you have a pet friendly property on the market, this should be in big bold letters throughout your title and description.

Utilities

In some buildings, some of the utilities may be paid for by the owner.  If you have a property like this, you should also include this in the title and within the description. It’s a great selling point – much like being pet friendly.

Call to Action

Make sure there’s a way for prospective tenants to contact you or have advertised inspections times available for them to book in for an inspection. Make it easy for them to take that next step to either book in online, call or email you. The harder it is for them to take the next step, the less chance they’ll take it.

These are just some of the steps we take to minimise any vacancies for our clients.

Top 10 reasons clients have transferred their investment properties over to Besser+CO to manage. I was recently contacted via LinkedIn by a
property investor who was unhappy with her current Property Manager and was looking to change agents. After catching up with her to
discuss the problems she was having and her needs moving forward, I heard the same story I’ve heard over and over again about what
makes landlords transfer their properties over to me to manage. Her issue was that she had 4 properties being managed by one of the larger agencies in the area and in the last 12 months had gone through 4 property managers. To make things worse, anytime she called her property manager, she wouldn’t answer her phone or return her calls. Even when escalating the matter, she was dealing with someone who knew
nothing about her properties.

Here’s the top 10 reasons my clients move their properties from their current property managers over to me:
1. Lack of communication from their existing Property Manager.
2. High staff turnover and not sure who their Property Manager actually is.
3. Maintenance not being attended to in a timely manner.
4. Rent not being reviewed in order to keep up with market rates.
5. Property not regularly inspected by Property Manager.
6. Finding random charges on their monthly statements which they didn’t approve.
7. Insurances, Council Rates, Bills and other expenses paid by the agency don’t get paid in time and incur additional fee’s.
8. Property Manager doesn’t “have their back” – always favouring the tenant.
9. Long vacancy periods between tenants.
10. Inexperienced Property Manager managing their portfolio.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, then it’s time we have a chat.