Buy & Hold 101: How We Find Good, Quality Tenants
You know all about property managers, don’t you?
In fact, I’ll bet you’ve become a true virtuoso, a mastermind at finding good property managers.
How do I know this? Not because of my crystal ball (but man do I wish I had one). I know this because when we last met, I shared with you some awesome tips on how to find, interview, and communicate with good, quality property managers, and I know that you’ve since applied what you learned and put the lessons I shared to practical use in your own businesses.
(Round of applause!)
But today, it’s all about finding good, quality tenants for your rentals, and believe it or not, it’s pretty simple.
So how to you find rock solid tenants who won’t cause you headaches and premature grey hairs?
Craigslist, backpage.com and rentals.com
I know, I know... some of these sites have a bad rap, but trust me on this...
Craigslist is actually one of my favorite websites to market on for tenants, and both backpage.com and rentals.com are widely known to produce quality candidates as well.
I’ve had great success finding good tenants with simple, straightforward and inexpensive marketing there. Will you need to weed through some shady characters to find the good guys? Sure. But it’s well worth the screening process and (little) effort it will take to find top notch tenants through these sites.
This one may not be as widely known, but I started using this resource recently. So far it’s provided me with lots of good tenant leads. This site is especially useful if you're looking at the lower-income type properties in Section 8.
What about finding tenants offline? Is it possible?
Absolutely! It’s possible and probable. I’m talking about good ole’ fashioned bandit signs, which are by far the best way to find tenants.
>But remember this – drivers have only seconds to see your bandit sign and understand the who, what, when and where, so make sure your message is large, clear, direct and attention-getting. Your main attention-getter should be the largest wording on your signs, with the phone number being the second largest.
If you prefer to drive people to your website to capture data, then display your website instead.
Baddabing, baddaboom. It’s old school... and it works.
Need an example to bring the picture into clear focus?
“Your apartment sucks! Rent my house.”
This message along with the phone number (and maybe number of bedrooms and bathrooms) is a powerful one. I love it! It’s a great conversation piece and ice breaker too during that first call, which is a huge bonus.
It’s also a great way to market your properties on fliers, which brings me to my next back to basic resource for finding good tenants...
Church Fliers & Announcements
Same rules apply to this marketing resource, but a word of advice...
You may want to consider toning down your message a bit. “Your apartment sucks” may be offensive to some church goers, so just be mindful of your word choice. You’re laughing right now, and I get it... Lots of church goers have potty mouths (not me, of course), but I would still air on the side of caution. Push the envelope, but keep it classy... always.
If you’re lucky – and this does happen – the pastor may even announce your listing to the church during a service. Here’s a suggestion, a win/win for both you and your church; let them know that you will donate a few hundred dollars from the first month’s rent if they help you find a tenant.
Not a bad deal, right? You get the tenant you need, and your community benefits as well.
Negotiate a flat fee if you’re going to use the MLS to have someone post your property... and do
Real estate agents don't have to be property managers, so they can literally just post it up on the Multiple Listing System, make a fee for placing the tenant and then be done with it, which means you’re left to manage it yourself.
Food for Thought
Remember, my friends, that regardless of your faith, we’re all in this business not only to make money but to help others. So when it makes sense, donate to your church or other community organizations and local charities in exchange for a little help finding good tenants.
Until we meet again, keep it classy.
Got any other tips for finding good tenants? Share below.