‘Finders keepers, losers weepers.’ It’s a timeless rhyme used every day in school playgrounds and all over the UK. It often applies to someone finding something that’s unowned or abandoned. But it also resonates with local landlords when it comes to having the second most important piece of the rental puzzle – great tenants.
Finding these excellent tenants is one thing. Keeping them is another. And some landlords lose these precious people because of basic, unnecessary errors. It’s enough to make a good landlord weep. But put the tissues away because here are seven ways you can win at Rental Finders Keepers.
- Use a good letting agent. Earlier in this article, we mentioned that tenants were the second most crucial piece of completing a rental puzzle. The first? Well, in our opinion, it’s an excellent letting agent. That’s not because we are one, by the way. It’s because, over the years, we’ve seen countless landlords go down the DIY route to managing their properties and getting themselves in a stressful and expensive muddle. Look for agents with experience, testimonials, industry qualifications, and a clear plan on how they’ll market, manage, and maintain your tenancies.
- Know your target tenants. An experienced letting agent will be able to advise you on who your property will most appeal to. Is it a growing family, young professionals, or a retired couple? Knowing this will help with the next ultra-important step.
- Marketing matters. Perhaps the biggest error DIY landlords make is not taking the marketing of the property seriously enough. You are ‘selling’ an expensive product after all. This is why photography, property descriptions, and online advertising should be handled by professionals who do it day in, day out. The better your property’s marketing, the better calibre of tenants it will attract – giving you more choice when it comes to the next step.
- Setting the rent. By knowing your target tenant, marketing correctly, and listening to expert advice, you’ll be able to set your rent at the right amount. A correctly priced rental (not too cheap or expensive) will attract more interest and ultimately, more offers from quality tenants.
- Be prepared for questions. Good tenants tend not to just turn up at a property and say: ‘It’s great, where do I sign?’. It’s a big decision for them, and they’ll have questions such as ‘What council tax band is the home in?’, ‘What are the parking arrangements?’, ‘Are utilities included in the monthly rent?’. Remember, when it comes to the best tenants, this is a two-way selection process as they are savvy enough to research the rental market, so you’ll also need to make a good impression on them.
- Check them out. A tenant worth having will have no issue going through a referencing process. Here’s another area where a good letting agency reduces your risk of problems further down the line. Please don’t be shy about asking your letting agent for proof of the referencing process they’ve carried out, which should involve financial, employment, and past landlord checks. Skip this part at your peril.
- Keeping them. So, once you’ve found a great tenant, how do you go about keeping them? Well, this is an entire article in itself, but it would be along these lines: Be a good landlord by maintaining the property properly, dealing with issues quickly, charging rent fairly, and acting professionally.
At Newton Fallowell, our job is to help landlords find and keep great tenants. To ask us anything about the local rental market, contact us today.