Not matter how much care you put into your Montgomery County rental properties, if you don’t have tenants your investment will sink.
But, you don’t just want any tenants. You want great tenants.
No matter if you have the help of a Montgomery County property management company or are trying to find tenants on your own, getting the right tenants is vital for your business.
Here are five strategies that will help you attract the kind of tenants that make your investment payoff.
1. Market Where Your Ideal Tenants Already Are
You should have an idea of what your ideal tenant is like.
Think about what traits your best tenants have shared. Were they young professionals? Have you had success with graduate students? Is your property more suited to growing families?
Whatever your ideal tenant act like, the key to attracting them is to focus your advertising and marketing efforts somewhere they will be seen by those ideal tenants.
The web offers many powerful tools for marketing directly to your ideal customer. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to run ads that are narrowly targeted. You can advertise to a narrow geographic region and focus on a particular income bracket. You can even focus on specific interests.
There are also plenty of low tech ways to focus your marketing. If you want students, you can notify local colleges and universities about your openings. Tell neighborhood groups and churches when you have a vacancy.
The more creative and focused your efforts are the more likely they will lead to finding the kind of tenants you want.
2. Offer Referral Bonuses to Existing Star Tenants
People tend to associate with others who are similar to them. You can use this to your advantage by asking your best tenants to help you find other tenants just like them. People are busy with their own concerns and may forget about trying to help you fill their vacancies unless you offer them an incentive.
Start a program where you offer referral bonuses to tenants who help you find other tenants.
The bonus can be anything, but remember the point of the bonus is giving your tenants an incentive to be your marketing team. This means $1 probably won’t cut it. However, some percentage discount off a month’s rent will likely get them brainstorming on ways to help you.
The referral program needs to be crafted so that you know you have a good tenant before you pay the bonus. This means you need to tell the tenants that the bonus is not just for filling the vacancy, but instead will be paid out after the new tenant has paid two months of rent, or something similar. They key is to balance the bonus so that it pays off after you know the tenant is a keeper, but not so long that tenants feel they are never going to get the bonus.
Your existing tenants are one of the most powerful marketing tools you have.
3. Use Social Proof
Finding a good rental from a tenant’s perspective is a little like dating. They often don’t know much about a property and they worry about making a mistake that will make them feel foolish or unhappy.
We all feel better when we can get some verification that our choices will be good ones. Social proof is the perfect way to reassure cautious tenants that your property is the right fit for them.
Social proof is simply reviews and testimonials from real tenants.
Quotes from happy current and past tenants can be used on a website, in ads, or even on a simple flyer prospective tenants are given by a Montgomery County property management company when showing the property.
The best way to collect this kind of social proof is to periodically ask your tenants, especially your best tenants, to evaluate the property and their experience. If the feedback is glowing you can go back and ask if they would mind if you used a quote in your marketing.
Never use their full name or picture without their permission in writing. Most people are happy to help. Even if you only use their first name and last initial, having quotes form real tenants will make your rentals stand out.
4. Take and Share Great Pictures of the Property
There was a time when renters made choices based on plain text or a fuzzy black and white photo in the classified section of the paper. Those days are gone forever.
Instead, renters are researching online.
Like everyone else, they are busy and do not want to waste their time. They want to be able to easily access your property features and benefits, and often make snap judgements to rule out properties that don’t stand out to them.
When you have high quality pictures of both the inside and outside of the rental available online, you will attract tenants who care about the way the property looks and is taken care of. You also make it easier for potential tenants to envision your property as their new home.
Remember, you are competing with other landlords for the best tenants out there. Most landlords in Montgomery County are probably also looking for tenants with a similar profile to the ones you are seeking.
Taking and sharing great pictures of the property will set you apart. High-quality pictures will virtually guarantee that any online listing you have will get more exposure. And if you plan on sharing your vacancy on social media, having pictures will also make your offer stand out.
The more attractive your pictures are, the more likely people will want to come and check out the property in person. Once you have someone physically at the property it is much easier to close the deal.
Great tenants won’t find your property on their own. You need to do your part in drawing them in.
Don’t waste time trying to get the attention of just anyone. Focus on your ideal tenant and make them the center of all of your marketing efforts.
5. Focus on the Benefits of Your Property, Not Just Cost
Humans like to think of ourselves as rational beings that make decisions based on careful thought and planning. But, almost all our choices are really heavily emotion based.
Advertisers know this. Think about the ads you see on TV and in magazines. Most of them tell us how a product will make us feel, what it will do for us. The ads talk about the benefits and then mention the specific features of the product.
When marketing your property you can do the same thing. You should focus on the great benefits of your property. Is the property stylish or in a trendy neighborhood? Perhaps it is close to great schools or near a new shopping center. Put these things in your description of the property. Make them the first thing people see.
The features of your property like the cost of the rent, the number of bedrooms, and the square footage are important, but they are not as persuasive as the benefits. You want to attract tenants that feel a certain way about your property. The last thing you want is a tenant who is solely focused on the rent amount.
Tenants who rent based on the cost alone will complain the most when the rent goes up, when anything goes wrong, and will always be ready to leave when they can find a better deal. You want tenants who love the neighborhood and the property because they will never want to leave.
No time to dedicate to marketing your rental property? No problem!
Bay Property Management Group has a team of experts who are very familiar with property management in Montgomery County. They know what high-quality tenants are looking for in the area and how to reach them. Using a variety of marketing tools and a rigorous screening process, they can help you fill your rental vacancy quickly.