Renting out your investment property is a great way to pay it off faster and even get some good income on the side. Before diving in headfirst, there are a few things to consider before putting the property up on the market, so that you get the best price and good renters for a smooth experience.
Before adding your listing on a rental site, follow these simple tips to get the most out of your investment.
1. Include Lots of Details
Take a look at the rental listings out there and you’ll see a clear difference between the ones that have a lot of detailed information versus the ones that are vague. Good renters want to know as much about a property as possible before they even consider contacting a landlord.
Things your listing should mention:
- Costs (rent, parking, extra storage unit…)
- List of rooms
- Property and room sizes
- Which direction the property faces
- Type of flooring
- Heating and cooling
- Balcony or garden patio
- Transportation access (near highway, bus, train…)
Most tenants know what they are looking for and including lots of information in your listing will help not only help you get inquiries from interested parties, but it will also save everyone a lot of time from asking and answering queries.
Also, consider the type of tenant you are looking for to curate the listing for them. If you prefer young professionals, mention nearby amenities and entertainment. If you want to advertise to small families with children, mention nearby schools, parks, and playgrounds.
2. Include Quality Photographs
Most people want to visualize themselves at home with a property and a set of quality photos of your rental is the best way to get attention from the right potential tenants. Include a variety of wide shots from both inside and out. This is the best way to make your listing look professional and give everyone a visual to go along with all the information listed about the property.
Make sure to have well lit, sharp, and clear photos of each room, all of the living spaces, the outside of the building/house, and anything else you feel would be a great selling point. Also, make sure that your photos are true to what is on offer.
Some of the most common issues with photos are:
- Only one or two photos
- Concept photos in place of real ones
- Outdated photos
- Dark or dim lighting
- Small or blurry photos
- Misleading angles to show spaces are larger than they are
- Photos that crop out unappealing views or spaces
- Closed curtains and blinds to hide buildings or obstructions
- Photos that show untidy rooms
Keeping in mind that all of these issues in a listing instantly makes it look lazy and will make potential tenants suspicious of what a landlord might be hiding. Try to keep photos honest and appealing to save everyone time and energy.
3. Set a Competitive Price
Many landlords make the mistake of pricing their property incorrectly. Rent that’s lower than the average for the area could get less than ideal tenants wanting to move in, but it’s also a loss in the income potential that will get more cash into your pocket. On the other hand, pricing your property too high will narrow the number of potential tenants, which could leave your property empty for a longer period of time.
Make sure to research the rental prices for your area before listing the property. Consider what your competition looks like and what they offer for their listed price. Find out your income potential to make the most of a good rental market.
Think about what tenants desire most, like the neighbourhood, access to public transportation, views, upgrades, and see how your property compares with the rest. Set a reasonable price where you stay competitive and don’t forget to play up your property strengths to justify the price.
4. Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Owning and maintaining a property can be expensive. Normal wear and tear is one of those expenses that come with renting your property to tenants, and having some money tucked away for small repairs should come as no surprise. This is why landlords always aim to find great long-term tenants who will take care of the property as if it were their own.
On top of minor repairs, it’s important to be prepared for major expenses that might come up during a tenancy or between tenants. Consider the cost for things like repairing or replacing appliances, cleaning or replacing carpets, repainting walls, or hiring plumbers and electricians for unexpected issues that will eventually pop up.
5. Take the Time to Find Great Tenants
It might be tempting to snag the first tenants who inquire about your property so you can get income rolling in as soon as possible, but it’s strongly recommended to consider tenants in the long-term. Take your time to find the best tenants for your investment property. They are the ones who will pay on time, clearly communicate with you, and take care of your investment as though it was their own.
Due diligence is the only way to find quality tenants who have the potential to stay long-term and make your life easy. Look for someone who will not just have the means to pay for your listed rent, but they will also communicate well, be responsible for any issues that arise, and be considerate of the neighbours.
Things to consider when shortlisting potential tenants:
- Run a credit check
- Ask for a background check
- Request for proof of income
- Interview them in person
- Ask if they would agree to a security deposit
- Confirm how many people will live in the property
- Contact their references
- Ask if they have any questions or concerns
Consider what you want in your ideal tenants and then consider what they will be looking for in a landlord. Working together to reach a fair agreement is the best way to build a good relationship that could last for years.