As a real estate investor, landlord, or income property owner, you should only be renting your property out to qualified, responsible tenants. Having reliable tenants that treat your property like they would their own home can reduce stress and the costs associated with damages that would lead to costly repairs or affect your property’s value. Preventing tenant issues like non-payment of rent will also protect your cash flow.
But before choosing the right tenants from your pool of applicants, you need them to first express interest in your unit. With the right strategy, you can attract great tenants!
What Makes a Great Tenant?
A great tenant is responsible, reliable and considerate. They will treat your property with respect and care. They will have stable employment income, a positive rental history, and the ability to communicate openly with the landlord or property manager, reporting any maintenance issues or concerns as soon as they arise.
It’s important to note that in Ontario, the Human Rights Code (the Code) prohibits discrimination in housing, including the tenant selection process – this includes things like age, marital status, gender, and other factors.
Defining Your Ideal Tenant
Your ideal tenant is the tenant you are trying to attract to your income property. This might depend on a number of factors such as the size of your rental unit, what type of property it is, as well as the neighbourhood your property is located in. Your ideal tenant may be a young family if your rental property is a single-family home in a suburban neighbourhood close to parks and schools, or it may be a single professional who works from home if your property is a two-bedroom condo in a downtown business district. Identifying your ideal tenant will help you make decisions to tailor your property and listing to appeal to them.
If you’re renovating a property, you have more flexibility with who you want to attract. Based on their lifestyle, you can ask yourself – what amenities would they appreciate most? A luxury kitchen? In-suite laundry? Extra parking space? In-home office space? Once you’ve narrowed down the features that would fit your ideal tenant’s wish list, prioritize adding these things to your rental property.
No matter who your ideal tenant is, they will appreciate moving into a well-maintained, clean property. Before showing the property to any potential tenants, it’s important to conduct any necessary repairs or property maintenance to ensure it’s in good condition. Preparing the property for new tenants will include tasks such as adding a fresh coat of paint, doing a deep clean and ensuring the appliances are working.
If you’re going to be showing the property, consider property staging to present it in its best light. Oftentimes having nice furniture in the right places can make a world of difference. You want your future tenants to be able to envision themselves living comfortably in the space. A property management company will carefully prepare the property for the listing and tenant placement process to maximize your rental’s potential.
Effective Marketing Strategies
Marketing your property effectively will allow you to get your listing in front of the right people. When listing your property, call out the features and details that will be the most appealing to your ideal tenant. This can include things like parking, laundry, any upgrades or recent renovations, as well as any relevant neighbourhood amenities or highlights. Take quality pictures to get high-quality images for your listing. This makes a big difference and allows your listing to look professional and polished. First impressions matter!
Once your listing is complete, you’ll have to select the ideal advertising channels. Depending on who your ideal tenant is, this could include channels such as online marketplace websites, social media platforms, and/or other advertising mediums. Choose platforms that your ideal tenant would frequent to ensure that your listing is seen by the right people. A property manager can help with this process since they have expertise on how to market your income property. Oftentimes, they have a network of contacts that they can draw on to gain more exposure for your listing.
Building Positive Relationships
Attracting your ideal tenants requires building positive relationships. The best tenant relationships involve open communication and attentive customer service. This begins even before your prospective tenant submits an application or signs a lease. Start by establishing clear communication channels where tenants can contact you and receive prompt responses.
By answering inquiries and addressing any concerns efficiently, prospects learn that they can rely on you. This begins when potential tenants reach out to apply for tenancy or to schedule showings and ask any questions they may have. By establishing clear and positive communication from the start, your rental listing will stand out.
It's also crucial to set boundaries with your tenants. Property management companies allow landlords to stay at arms length with tenants making it easier to maintain a great relationship and keep things more professional and less personal. This is not to say that you shouldn't be friendly or approachable, but rather that having a professional buffer like a property manager can help keep interactions focused on business matters and minimize the potential for emotional entanglements. One of the advantages of hiring a property manager is that it allows you, as the landlord, to maintain a certain level of distance or separation from direct tenant interactions. This can be particularly beneficial for preserving a positive relationship. Sometimes, direct interactions between landlords and tenants can become emotionally charged or lead to misunderstandings. By having a property manager act as an intermediary, you can reduce the likelihood of personal conflicts interfering with the business aspects of property management, as well as reduce the number of potential inquiries.
Maintaining a Well-Managed Property
Maintaining your property is a long-term commitment. The first goal is to have qualified tenants move in. The second goal is to retain them. Proactive maintenance of the property will go a long way towards making their living situation comfortable and enjoyable. Scheduling regular property inspections and routine maintenance will keep the property in good repair and ensure it stays in compliance with all rental unit regulations and legal requirements.
Many landlords employ a property manager to stay on top of maintenance tasks, as well as being their liaison for any repair requests. Having a dedicated property manager ensures that your tenants feel attended to and cared for when they bring property-related issues to your attention. Not only can a property manager help you keep your property in tip-top shape, but they will also help you maintain a positive working relationship with your tenants.
Find and Retain Your Ideal Tenants with the Help of DORE Property Management
Remember, attracting high-quality tenants is crucial for the success of your rental property. By following these strategies, you can increase your chances of finding a responsible and reliable tenant while ensuring a positive rental experience for both parties involved and protecting your property.
If you’re looking to outsource these tasks to an experienced professional, DORE Property Management is here to help. We are an Ottawa property management company that has over 20 years of experience in the business. Get a free quote here.