Landlords worldwide took a dramatic hit at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. As businesses temporarily closed their doors, people found themselves unemployed. Consequently, tenants weren’t able to keep up with rent. While some people moved out, moratoriums prevented property owners from taking legal action for non-payment of rent during the pandemic. Though some landlords could get financial assistance, the past year has been nothing short of a struggle.
Fortunately, there are vaccines, and new COVID-19 cases are declining. These changes have encouraged the reopening of countries worldwide. Job availability has increased, meaning landlords can create payment arrangements to recoup what was lost during the pandemic. However, property owners with vacant units have a different challenge – finding responsible tenants. Below are some suggestions to consider.
Update The Property
Although it seems counterintuitive to invest money into a property when you’re already strapped for cash, it’s quite the opposite. The more comfortable, functional, and aesthetically appealing a house is, the more potential tenants you can attract. Landlords should also know that the right home renovations can increase the property’s value. That would mean that you could increase your rental rate even if you need to pile up some short-term expenses like painters, contractors, and a pod rental for what’s currently inside your units.
Attractive property upgrades include new kitchen and bathroom designs. If you have the means to modernize your investment, you can use resources like HomeAdvisor to find the right team of contractors to get the job done.
The competition will be stiff when it comes to finding suitable renters. If you want to stand out from other landlords, you should consider offering incentives. You can waive the first month’s rent, cover the cost of utilities, or offer a lower security deposit requirement. Each of these incentives saves the tenant money, increasing their ability to afford your rent without a hitch. It also gives you a leg up above other properties for rent in the area.
Plan An Open House
If you thought open houses were just for properties for sale, think again. Rental property owners can reap the same benefits by showing their investment to potential tenants. After you’ve completed any renovations, schedule an open house. Hire a home staging company to bring furniture and decor. Finally, invite people from the neighborhood to see the results. You can have potential tenants complete a rental application on the spot.
Beef Up Your Marketing
If you want to find reliable tenants for your rental property, you have to expand your reach. Beyond placing an ad in the local paper and hanging flyers, you should also use the internet to your advantage. Place an advertisement on real estate sites, post availabilities on social media, and share pictures or live stream videos of the property.
Rely On Existing Tenants
If you have tenants in other properties, consider relying on them for assistance. Their opinion about their experience with you as a landlord could prove valuable. Ask your tenants to write a review or record a video discussing their experience. These positive reviews, once posted, can encourage skeptical people to complete an application. Just ensure that you thank your tenants for their help. You could get them a gift card for coffee or take a few bucks off their rent for the month to show your appreciation.
Flexible Rental Agreements
While the tenant is only renting the property, they want to feel like they’re at home. Unfortunately, some rental agreements are so strict that tenants can’t do much of anything. As long as it won’t damage your property’s value, be open-minded about things like painting the walls, hanging photographs, and even pets. You might also be lenient regarding credit checks, as the pandemic has been brutal on everyone.
Many landlords hung on by a thread as their investment properties lost money amid the pandemic. Although the journey was difficult, they managed to make it to post-pandemic days. While recouping the damage caused by the global health and economic crisis will take months or even years, there is light at the end of the tunnel. By attracting qualified and reliable tenants to your rental unit, you can cover your expenses and begin rebuilding your finances.