Renting units is hotting up for me because this is our busiest time of year.
Dealing with tenants, prospective tenants, looky lous and just plain crazies is getting to be second nature. You don’t think you can handle it, but guess what, you can. You get better at it with practice.
I have always hated putting signs out, but I understand signs bring in the calls. One of the problems we have come across is that looky lous will call you wanting to see the unit immediately. They also get miffed because you “won’t come to the door.”
They often think the unit for rent is the one where the sign is. I had one lady call last weekend mad because I wouldn’t come to the door and let her look at the unit right then.
“But I’m not even there,” I tried to tell her. “I’m in another part of town.”
“You show it to me now,” she demanded.
I had already rented two units off the sign and the next one wasn’t coming up for about three weeks. My plan was to just let people know about the next unit.
Nope. There was no way I could convince this woman. Besides, I didn’t want the tenant who was living in the unit to move because people were ringing his doorbell constantly.
Solution: I took the sign down. I’ll put it back up later.
Here are 3 tips for getting good tenants
1. Always do a credit history
I keep saying this over and over, but I can’t emphasize it enough. You must know if that person is paying his bills. If not, he is either in financial trouble and can’t or he just won’t. Either way, you won’t be getting your rent on time.
2. Screen traffic
You don’t have time to take the calls from people who want something you haven’t got. You have a two bedroom townhouse for rent. You don’t want to waste time showing it to people who only want a one bedroom.
Also, if they don’t know what part of town your unit is in, that’s a clear sign they probably aren’t going to be too interested either.
Give them as much info as you can before they call. That’s where Craigslist comes in, but take it a step further. Have a link to a free Web 2.0 site like Hubpages or Squidoo or Blogger. Set up a little one page free website and show them more images. Images is what they really want anyway. It’s easy, and it will help you make the sale.
3.Learn how to get vital information from them
Okay, you’ve only got a few minutes, but that time can be golden. The minute they call you find out the most important pieces of the puzzle.
If your policy is no dogs, you need to find that out on the first phone call.
“Do you have a dog?”
Folks, that’s a simple yes or no. If they hesitate, you’ve got a person who probably has one or is planning to get one. That’s a warning.
“Our lease is for one year.”
Do they have a problem with that? If they ask you if you’ll take a six month lease, that’s another warning. That means they will be leaving in six months and they’ll try to break your lease.
If you use good common sense you can find good tenants. Practicing practical landlording will not only give you a good income through these difficult economic times, but will encourage you to invest in more properties so you can build your own real estate portfolio.