[Guide and Tips] Finding and Selecting a Renter For Your Rental Property | Square One

You’ve acquired a rental property. Congratulations! Maybe you purchased a new home and are going to rent out the old one. Maybe you finished up that basement down below and you’re ready to rent it out. Or maybe you’re ready to move into your basement and rent out the upper level. Regardless, you’ll want to find and select the right tenant. So in today’s video, I’m going to give you some tips of how you can find and select the right tenant for your rental property, and some of the other considerations you should think about as a new landlord. So let’s jump in. Well it begins with preparing the ad that you’re going to post online to attract renters. You want to be very descriptive in both the property as well as the surrounding community, in order for you to stand out from your competitors and other rental properties in the area. You’ll want to be very descriptive in the language you use. And you can use emotional language to help evoke emotion and convince people that it’s the right unit for them. For instance, you can use phrases such as “enjoy the vibrant and sunny rooftop deck” or “enjoy the unique amenities and things to do, this community has to offer.” You can use unique and emotional language to help gather interest. You’ll also want to include important information related to the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms, the laundry situation such as shared or in suite, the type of rental units such as a basement suites ground level or upper floor, any parking spaces available, the rental term, the rental amount and if you allow pets or not. Including all this information will help you save time in avoiding unnecessary phone calls and may help you rent out the unit quicker. And you don’t also want to forget about including any pictures of the rental unit and the surrounding community. Many times renters will skip over ads that don’t have pictures, so make sure to include these. And lastly, make sure to include your contact information such as your name, email address and phone number and best time to reach you at. This will make the renters contacting experience easy. So now that we’ve developed the ad, it’s time that we can post it in a variety of places for advertising. Keep in mind you want to know who your target market is. For instance, if you have a luxury rental suite, you’re going to be advertising in different places than you would potentially for a basement bachelor suite. So keep that in mind as we go through this list. You can advertise through online sites such as Craigslist, Kijiji or Zillow. These online sites make it easy for you to post your ad, and it’s free. And renters are easily able to search through these online sites to find your ad. You can post your rental property ad on all your social media accounts. This will let your network know that you have a property for rent and could help a potential renter find the place they’re looking for. Many people still go to the newspaper, especially on weekends and especially when they’re looking for rental properties. Although this option is not free like the previously suggested options, it can still be a great way to advertise your rental property and reach renters that wouldn’t potentially see it through the online postings. This option may seem old fashioned and low tech, but it can be a great way to find a renter for your rental property. By posting a sign in the window, you can get exposure to people walking by, people driving around the neighborhood, or other people that are renting in the area and want to offer their friend a suggestion for a rental property. Be sure to print your name and contact information in big, clear letters so anyone passing by quickly can easily contact you. Word of mouth can be a really great way to find people for your rental property. So make sure to let your network know that you have a property that’s vacant. They may know someone who’s looking. You can put a sign or flier of your ad on the bulletin boards in any local shops, grocery stores or community centers. In areas like this, you’ll want to keep your target market in mind. For instance, if you have a luxury apartment, maybe you’ll post the ad on the bulletin board in the upscale supermarket. Or if you’re looking for college students, maybe you can head over to the college campus and post the ad there. So now that you prepared the ad and posted it in a variety of different places, it’s time to do the initial renter screening. You can do this initial renter screening via phone so you can save time in commuting to the property. During this screening call, you’ll want to understand the renter and see if they’re suitable for your rental property. For instance, if you’re renting a one bedroom home and notice that the party that’s contacting you is looking to rent a unit for six people, well then they may not be suitable and you may want to move on to look to find someone else. During the call, you’ll want to have a casual conversation, get to know what they do, what they like, and if the property is ultimately suitable for them. If they pass the telephone screening, you can move on to showing them the rental property. And to make this efficient, you can schedule the rental property viewings all on the same day with each 5 minute windows in between. That way, if someone doesn’t show up, you’re not wasting your whole evening just commuting and going to the rental property. Please note that when screening prospective tenants, there are only certain questions you can ask and that’s outlined from the organizations and regulations within your area. Some of these questions you’re allowed to ask include: the amount of income they have and where they work, if they’re a smoker or if they have any pets, the names and numbers of all the people that are looking to live in that units and their level of income, you can also ask if they’ll give you permission for a credit check, as well as if they give you permission to contact their references. Some questions you’re not allowed to ask include their marital status, their plans on having children, if they will be having family over, their ethnic background, or their sexual preference. Even if you are in a hurry to rent out your rental property, take some time and review the applications and conduct background checks. In the end, this could save you a lot of time and money helping you get the right tenant for the property. Your rental application should include a release allowing you to contact the renters employer and the references and confirm any other information they’ve written down and provided. That way you don’t have to take it for granted. You can take that information and verify it. With the consent of your prospective renter, you can conduct a credit check using Equifax or Trans Union. Similarly, you can use a Rent Check Credit Bureau. You’ll also want to contact the prospective renters employer. This way you can confirm their employment, see if they’re full or part time, the salary level and their position. Next, check any references provided. You’ll want to get the contact information of the previous landlord and even better get the contact information for the previous two to three landlords. That way you can phone them and check the references and discuss when this renter was previously renting with them, if they had any issues, if the unit was damaged beyond normal wear and tear, if there was any problems paying rent and any other details you’d like to discuss with those potential references. So now you should have a solid understanding of what you need to do to develop the correct ad where you should place that advertisement and how you can conduct and review the tenant applications and background checks. Ultimately to help you find the right renter for your rental property. So if you’re looking for a home insurance, quote or would like to point your potential renter to a renter’s insurance option, you can visit Squareoneinsurance.com

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