Every property manager occasionally has the “what if…” thoughts:
What if I could collect every penny in rental debt?
What if rental debt never even existed?
What if I could just get tenants who always paid on time?
The good thing for property managers is that these “what if’”s aren’t so far-fetched after all.
In fact, many thriving landlords have turned these “what if” fantasies into reality. Rental debt is no longer even a word in their vocabulary.
Are these property managers lucky? Do the right tenants just happen to fall into their lap? Not at all.
These property managers have figured out the formula to attract the right tenants. In our experience, here are some of the most consistent practices among landlords who have successfully pulled this off.
Perception is Reality
Exceptional tenants want to live in exceptional places run by exceptional people.
What are you doing to be perceived as exceptional?
By building one’s online presence, a property manager has the ability to control how others perceive him.
Good tenants wont be bothered with property managers and buildings with an underwhelming or non-existent online presence. The better you present yourself, the better candidates you will attract. It’s as simple as that.
There was a time when an online presence wasn’t essential for property managers. It was enough to stick a “For rent” sign on the curb and hope word-of-mouth would do its part to fill those empty apartments.
Now, when a potential tenant hears of you or your building, they immediately go to Google. Will what they find impress them? If not, they will likely give up on you and search elsewhere.
Be Selective and KNOW Who You Want
If you don’t know EXACTLY who your ideal tenant is, how can you attract them? The answer is you can’t.
A thriving property manager knows everything about their target client:
After you’ve identified the ideal tenant, tailor everything to them: your website, your listings, your advertising. Anytime you are marketing your property, ask yourself: “What impact would this have on my ideal tenant?”
Good marketing attracts the right people and repels the wrong. Tailor your brand’s messaging so that the wrong tenants (you know their tendencies based on prior experience) are weeded out before even applying to rent from you.
Speak in terms of your ideal client and they will be drawn to you like iron filings to a magnet. Still, the process can’t end there.
Even if a potential tenant looks perfect for your property, you must still go through the rental application process.
Create a rental application with all the factors that enable you to determine if this tenant will be ideal for you.
If the rental application does not look smooth and is unorganized, take the candidate out of consideration.
Require the applicant to list their previous rentals and reach out to prior landlords to inquire about the prospect and their credibility. Contact their employer to verify their income, as well as their level of responsibility.
The amount of data and information a property manager can gather on potential tenants is only growing by the day. Get your hands on all of it: credit score, payment history, transactions, etc. The more information you can gather on a prospect, the more clarity you will have when determining if they are ideal.
The key to a good tenant-landlord relationship is communication.
Before you start the leasing period, meet with the tenant. Let them be aware of all the rules and regulations of renting from your property. Discuss everything from A-Z.
Let them know exactly how to pay the rent, when to pay it and what happens if they pay late. Ensure that you and the tenant are on the same exact page before concluding the meeting. It’s not enough to just have it on the lease agreement – you need verbal confirmation.
When a tenant is late on a payment, take the exact measures you told them you’d take. Show them that you stick to your word and they will be much more likely to stick to theirs.
Maintain These Relationships
Once you’ve attracted the right tenants, you wont want to lose them. This is why it is crucial to maintain these relationships.
Nothing is perfect. Life happens and situations arise. Even the best tenants are sometimes delinquent.
But when a good tenant happens to be delinquent, they should be treated kindly as to ensure they do not leave and force the property manager to start the whole process over again.
This is when it may be beneficial for a property manager to partner with an experienced collection agency.
Jonathan Abenson, CEO of Oxygen XL, believes that “if a historically good tenant is delinquent, they shouldn’t be hounded by a collection agency. The right agency will understand the importance of this relationship and ensure to maintain it, and work with the client to make the payments.”
By working with the wrong collection agency, it is likely that the relationship you have developed with the tenant you worked so hard to attract will be ruined. This is why you must be very careful to work with an honest, ethical, and transparent debt collector.
Bad tenants make a property manager’s life much more difficult than it should be.
Property managers shouldn’t just wish for good tenants. They must take steps to attract those tenants.
With the right systems to attract the right tenants, your property management business will be much more fruitful as well as enjoyable.