How to Keep Investment Properties Tenanted with Long Term Renters

The purpose of your investment real estate is to produce positive monthly cash flow and sell for an increased value at some point in the future. The only …

The purpose of your investment real estate is to produce positive monthly cash flow and sell for an increased value at some point in the future. The only way rental real estate will be successful is to have excellent hands-on partners in the venture, otherwise know as tenants. Great tenants are crucial to the financial success of your rental property. In fact it’s been said that the property isn’t an asset without great tenants in it. So where can you find the elusive great tenant? They’re only elusive if you don’t know how to attract them. By being open minded and pro-active, pumping up your ads and sweetening the deal you can attract great tenants like bees to honey.

Five years ago I tried to persuade my property manager to start placing rental ads on the Internet. She flat out refused. In her mind no one was ever going to look online for a property. The only place to advertise was the newspapers, granted it was more expensive but that was the way she had always done it. Now, I exclusively rent on line with great results.  Statistics show that people go to the Internet first to find place to live. In areas where migration is out of state, province or even the country your tenants aren’t going to pick up the local newspaper; their only resource is online. The point is you have to follow your tenants. Be ready to change and adapt to new markets or even set the next trend in rental ads. If times changed and skywriting became the new way to find tenants, you can bet I would do that too.

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When I was a tenant I can’t tell you how many rental ads I combed over looking for the perfect mix of comfort and convenience that wouldn’t bust my budget. The sad part is most ads were written in a language I couldn’t understand. There were a lot of “bdrms” and “bas” and until I figured that lingo out I was lost in the world of Realtor speak. Most of the time I had no clear idea of what I would be looking at until I physically went to the property. Imagine if you wrote an ad that literally put a movie into your ideal tenant’s head.  As they read it they could see themselves living in your house, better yet they couldn’t wait to move in.  How do you do that? Use adjectives, the more the better, and tell your tenants what a great life they will have in your house. The additions of words like beautiful, stunning, gorgeous and stylish are proven to significantly improve the sale price of a house; don’t you think they will attract tenants as well? Turn  “new kitchen” into “the perfect place to start the day with your family” or “3brdm” into “more than enough private space for everyone in your family”. Now doesn’t that sound more appealing?

A vacant property is doing nothing but keeping you up at night. When you have empty investment properties you have a lot more bills to pay, another mortgage and the fear of squatters. If there was a way to keep your property tenanted for long periods you would do it — even if it cost you money. So how much are you willing to pay? Would a few hundred dollars be an extraordinary amount if it kept happy equity building tenants in your suites? Give back to your tenants. If you sweeten the rental pot you’re sure to get tenants who enjoy living in your property and won’t leave unless they are moving to their own home. All you have to do is think what extras people need when they move. Is it free cable? Free internet hookup for a year? Or could you offer one-month free rent if a one-year contract is signed and honored? How about gift coupons for dinner and a movie every 6 months? Little things build a long-term relationship with your tenants. Tenants will stay where they feel good, and remember in an area where vacancy rates are high it’s just as easy to move out of your place into another.

It’s not hard to find good quality, long-term tenants for your rental property. The best thing to do is to treat your renters like the valuable business partners they are. A little positive action goes a long way to making a win-win situation for everybody.

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