FINDING A GREAT RENTER - PART ONE

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Success in renting  home boils down to the ability to secure wonderful rental clients.  We have been blessed and amazed by the quality of people that have rented our homes.  We find these great people by looking for great people. The best way to find them, is knowing what they are wanting in a home, and making sure you provide that.  Renting a home is a lot less tricky when you know what your clients are looking for. 

This is the first in many posts I will make regarding things we have learned in managing our rental properties (and, quite frankly, learned from having rented homes ourselves!  We were very aware of what we wanted as renters too!).   The list is long, so I am breaking it up over several posts, so be sure to check back for more details!

We have always had the philosophy that if we took good care of our clients, they would take good care of us and our home.  The golden rule of life: do unto others as you would want done to you.  It naturally makes sense that you would then look to offer qualities in your rental home that prospective clients would want. Thus, it is good to have a global understanding of things that matter to lots of prospective clients so that you can be attractive to them and hopefully gain a great renter in the process!

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SAFETY

Everyone wants to be safe.  According to recent market date, nearly 70% of prospective renters indicate their home safety as a top priority in their home rental decision.  Safety is a basic need in life.  When choosing rental properties as investments, choose homes in safe locations.  Homes that have access to fire hydrants, fire stations, and law enforcement offer inherent safety measures.  Neighborhoods that are well cared for with neighbors that look out  for one another increase the safety of homes.  Street lights and proper traffic signs, sidewalks, and crosswalks all factor in to improved safety measures.  If your client asks to install a home security system, by all means let them.  Provide fire extinguishers for their use, and change smoke detector batteries each time a new client moves in.  Offer proper exterior lighting to ensure safety outside the home, especially at night.  Inform them of community programs that are created to enhance their safety, including neighborhood watch, community briefings from law enforcement, and more.  Be helpful regarding safety and what measures they can take to be safe. 

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ONLINE ACCESS

This is no surprise.  The number one way prospective clients look for a new home is through online searching.  There is no easier and more efficient way to look for homes, especially if they are making a long distance move.  Showcasing your property online is essential to making sure they can save time and energy in their search, as well as discover your property.  The more information you can provide them, the better.  Don't limit the information to just details about the home for rent.  Educate them in the community, neighborhood, schools and more.  Help make their distance move easier by answering any questions they might have.  If you want to go a step further, offer them the opportunity to transact online. If you can have electronic delivery of your rental documents, your forms, rental payments, and maintenance requests, that is even better.  Renting is moving to an online platform and you'll want to be a part of it for maximal success.

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GOOD REPUTATION AND EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION

You need to be an excellent communicator to have excellent clients.  Try to respond to each request from a prospective client (and current renter) within one day.  I personally strive to respond within an hour if the request is made before 9 PM or after 7 AM.  Have you ever rented a home?  It is frustrating to have issues arise and to have to wait for them to be dealt with.  Even if you cannot solve the problem in that first contact point, acknowledging that you have received the problem is enough to help with your client's piece of mind.  Have you ever been searching for a rental home?  When you made inquiries about properties, you likely were more interested in the properties that had managers that responded more quickly. Your response rate is an indicator of priority.  If you respond quickly, you indicate that need is a priority and therefore your client is a top priority.  Personally, I am so thankful when our clients let me know there is an issue so that I can care for them AND care for our home.  I also love getting inquiries about our properties for rent.  It is my chance to educate them on the many offerings of the Haymount community. 

The shift to the dominance in online rental home research has also led to more people wanting reviews or testimonials about their prospective rental home.  Prospective clients want information on previous or current clients' rental experience.  This is not only in regard to the rental home itself, but it means how their experience renting from YOU or your company was.  Prospective clients not only want a beautiful home, but they want to be assured they will be taken care of too. As a former renter, I expected the same, and it is important to take care of your clients efficiently and with integrity.  If you can, offer these reviews to prospective clients. They will be happy you did.

Earn your success based on service to others, not at the expense of others.
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The bottom line is, the better you are at offering what renters are looking for, the better your response from prospective clients will be.  Your goal is to engage quality individuals that will value a quality home and rental experience.  In order to do that, you need to provide that quality to them.  This is just the beginning of the list, but it is a good place to start.

Are you renting your home for the first time? Are you nervous about securing quality renters?  Have you had a good experience as a renter? What made it good for you? I'd love to hear from you!

- Casey