Throughout your time as a Landlord, you may deal with a lot of tenants. It is the problematic tenants that give you the most stress and may cause you to lose both time and money, rather than gain. From one Landlord to another, you can avoid all of these unnecessary headaches by steering clear of potential tenants that display these four red flags that most Landlords seem to brush off:
The Lush Tenant. As a Landlord, I have seen my fair share of problematic tenants, so certain red flags jump out at me automatically. I once had a potential tenant who came to my property for a scheduled appointment to view the house. When he got out of his car and came to shake my hand I got a nice big smell of what seemed to be alcohol. The potential tenant wreaked of both alcohol and cigarette smoke. This was a red flag to me. Now do not get me wrong, alcohol and smoking may not necessarily mean that they will be throwing frequent parties and such, but it may be a strong indicator that they may treat your house the way they treat their own bodies. It is probably a very good idea to stay clear of anyone who seems to always be drinking or smoking, unless you want your house smelling that way.
Getting your property rented isn’t always easy. There are many factors that go into obtaining a good tenant quickly. For instance, our market in St. Petersburg, Florida is very competitive. To catch the attention of a quality tenant you need to get your product in front of them quickly. Also, you want to make sure that your property is easily accessible, rental ready and priced correctly.
Marketing for your tenant – The Internet
There are several methods to attract a tenant to your unit. Some of our favorites are the different internet listing sites. There are 100’s of internet sites such as: Realtor.com, Hot Pads, Rent.com, Zillow, Trulia, Rent My House, Rentlinx and many more. A good property management company will already have a sophisticated listing integration program and will be able to get your rental property viewed by 1000’s of potential renters.
A tenant’s rent is usually the largest monthly payment they make and a Landlord’s house is usually the most valuable investment they have. With these two things in mind, when there is a problem, things can get very passionate. As an owner or property manager you need to know how to defuse difficult situations. When a tenant has a problem and is angry, this is not the time to be emotional.
Listening is Key
Ask what the problem is and then listen. Do not interrupt or ask them to please calm down. They need to feel like you are listening and truly care about them. This is not always easy, especially if you disagree, but remember, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Your purpose is to diffuse the situation, not make things worse.
In the Pinellas County rental market – housing is in high demand and finding a nice property can be extremely challenging especially when you are competing against other possible tenants. Maneuvering through the rental market is easier if you are a proactive renter.
Locating A Property
The internet is the most useful tool in today’s market, but unfortunately many of the websites that pull them are out of date. As soon as you locate a property call immediately. Emailing can slow the process down and cause you to lose a potential property. If you cannot reach someone and there is an address – drive by the property. Often times there will be additional information on the sign that you can obtain. When you reach the property manager – put your “best foot forward” and always be polite and courteous. Continue reading
Is now a good time to invest in rental properties? This is the question most people ask me when they realize I have been in property management for over 26 years and an investor for almost 30. My answer is an undeniable yes. There are many factors affecting our market today. The economy is improving and interest rates are on the rise which impacts greatly an investors bottom line. In addition, the housing market has bounced back in most areas and prices are steadily rising. The demand for rentals exceeds the supply, thus allowing an investor to command a higher rental price and obtain a better-quality tenant. The Millennials’ are not interested in home ownership as they do not want the responsibility nor do they want to be tied to one place long term.