How to find long term tenants
You might think that once you’ve done all the hard work sourcing, researching, making an offer on and eventually buying an investment property, it’s all then smooth sailing into the “happily ever after”.
But just like any fairytale, the real hard work begins after the goal is achieved.
Securing an investment property is only half the job. You now need to find someone to live in it and pay it off for you in the form of rental income.
The rental market is always transient. Most tenants are in it for a good time, not a long time, until they are able to buy something themselves.
What this can mean is that you are faced with a tenant moving out every year or two, which costs you money in lost rent and letting fees as you try to find someone else to replace them.
One obvious way to cut down on some of these costs and the associated stress is to find tenants who want to stay long term.
If they moved out every five or six years, instead of every year, that would save you significant money, as well as allowing you to establish regular rent increases without having to win over an open market each time.
But where do you find these unicorns of the rental market?
The first step is to attract quality tenants and try to then encourage them to stay long term. To attract a tenant who will treat your property well and take pride in its presentation, you need to lead by example. At rental open houses, make sure your property looks and feels as good as possible.
For a reasonable weekly fee, a property manager will screen tenants, give advice and feedback on the market, organise professional photos, list the property for rent online and amplify on social media, plus take care of minor repairs and superficial improvements.
Good property managers often have a database of high quality tenants they know are in the market for a good rental. They may have existing relationships with tenants that they have dealt with before.
Those relationships are priceless as a property manager is a tenant’s first point of contact. A tenant may choose to stay long term if they are being treated respectfully by a property manager, who also deals with their maintenance requests or other issues in a timely and helpful manner.
When screening applicants for your property, find out how long they have stayed at past properties. If they were at one property for five or six years, they are going to be much more suitable than someone who has a past littered with six month lease after six month lease.
Even if an applicant with a history of long term tenancies is offering less rent than someone with many short term leases in their history, it’s worth thinking about the overall cost. A boost of $10 a week may be $2000 over four years, but one or more vacancy periods in that time and the associated costs will soon put you in the red overall.
Asking after a tenant every now and then and making sure they are enjoying the property will make them feel they are being treated with care and not only will they want to stay, but they will care more for your property as a result.
Think about surprising them at Christmas with a voucher for a nice local restaurant, or some other kind gift. It won’t cost you a lot in the scheme of things but may save you a bundle thanks to a loyalty return on investment.
Need help on finding long term tenants? Speak to our Blink Property team now.
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