For an investment property to be successful, it needs to attract ideal tenants that will commit to renting from you long-term.
So how do you find the best tenants for a condo? Finding the right tenants can be an involved process with interviews, background checks, and reviewing proof of financial stability, among other things.
Before you even arrive at the application stage, there are steps you can take to attract the right people from the start.
Knowing exactly the type of renters you want for your condo is an important first step. Do your research on the type of people who’d be interested in the neighbourhood, nearby amenities, and search for comparable rent amounts for properties in the area.
When you determine exactly who your preferred tenants are, you’ll also have a better idea of how to market your condo to reach these individuals.
Great tenants are those that pay on time, every time, and commit to staying in the condo for the long term. They’re also tidy and care for your property as though it were their own. Be sure to also make a list of solid interview questions to determine if your applicants fit this description.
Once you understand your ideal tenant, you can determine if your condo needs any upgrades to fit these potential tenants’ expectations.
These decisions can make the difference between just any tenant applying and the right one. Now, if you have a brand new investment condo, many of these questions don’t matter anymore, as you won’t have to worry about maintenance for quite some time.
Your condo’s advertisement is key to attracting the right kind of tenants. Highlight the features of the property you feel your ideal renters would be seeking, such as great views, nearby amenities, perfect location, etc.
It’s a good idea to specify if pets are allowed, if there’s parking and outdoor space available, and any other features that may be important. Most importantly, ensure you’re using quality photos and/or video of the property in your listing.
Be specific in your listing about the criteria you’re looking for in an applicant. What information will you require them to submit? It’s recommended you ask for a minimum income amount (typically 2-3 times the rent amount), credit score, and rental history and references. Having your criteria clearly defined makes the screening process easier for both parties.
You may be most comfortable using one specific platform to find renters, but sometimes using multiple channels extends your reach to the right people.
If you’re used to using Kijiji, give RentFaster.ca a try, or even Facebook or LinkedIn. Be sure to use great visuals of all the major spaces in your condo to entice visitors to click on your listing for more information.
A great owner/tenant partnership begins by showing your prospects that you are a professional. Respond to any inquiries you receive from your listing quickly and informatively. Answer questions as best you can and don’t leave them guessing in any way.
It’s best to get everything out in the open early so you can screen the prospect and determine whether they’re worth spending more time on to encourage an application. This also shows the potential renter they can trust you’ll respond to any type of request - such as a maintenance task or repair - promptly as well.
Once you’ve decided who gets the keys to your investment condo, you’ll want to do what it takes to keep these great tenants long-term. There needs to be an element of trust on both sides: you’ll want your tenants to keep your property in great condition, as well as pay their rent on time. By addressing concerns and requests quickly, and in a courteous manner, your tenants trust that their home will remain in the condition they signed up for.
Maintain open lines of communication, and make it easy for your tenants to reach you. If repairs need to take place, be sure to make it convenient for your tenant when access is required.
When it comes time to renew the lease, give plenty of notice and clear instructions on how to renew. Keeping the rent amount the same - or very similar - from year to year as long as possible will also entice your tenants to stay put, saving you the costs of advertising, screening new tenants, and making move-out repairs. It may also be of value to consider offering a reduced rent amount for a longer lease term.
Most importantly, respect your tenant’s privacy. It’s important to understand your legal obligations and rights as a landlord, and those of your tenants. Give the proper notice when you require access to the property and allow your tenants to live their lives without frequent communication or visits.
Finding the best tenants for a condo takes a bit of due diligence, but when you find those quality renters who pay on time, keep the property tidy and maintained, and stay for the long-term, your investment is sure to provide the return you expect.