As a landlord, there is a big difference between renting your property to great tenants as opposed to bad ones. Great tenants will make your life easy with open communication, by paying rent on-time and by taking care of your property. Finding great tenants can actually be pretty easy if you follow these five tips:

Create an attractive rental listing

Your rental listing will shape prospective tenants’ perception of both you and your property. Great tenants often skip over rental listings that appear incomplete, lack pictures or are too vague. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to be the next Shakespeare to craft a good listing. We have simplified the process by telling you the secrets to writing rental listings. Beyond a catchy headline and highlighting the important features of the unit, you should take and include great pictures of your property. While creating great listings requires some time, it is important to view the time spent as an investment. The time you spend on the listing will pay off because you’re able to attract great tenants. You can also likely re-use the listing the next time the unit is vacant.

Price the unit appropriately

Rental prices vary from market to market, but even within one market prices will fluctuate dramatically based on things like seasonality. When you are looking for tenants, it is important to know what the current market rents are in your area. The easiest way to obtain this information is by searching for properties like yours that are on the market. You can do this by looking at websites like Craigslist, Zillow and Trulia. Another resource that may be valuable to you is RentMetrics, a website that allows you to search for comparable property prices in your area.

Maximize exposure for your listing

To increase the odds of finding great tenants for your property, you want to advertise your listing on as many websites as possible. There are dozens of websites that tenants search to find listings, but over 90% of searches occur on a small handful of sites – Zillow, Trulia and Craigslist. Fortunately for you, Rentalutions landlord software allows you to post listings on these sites automatically for free. If you decide to post the listing on Craigslist yourself, be aware that you’ll need to renew the listing every 2-3 days to ensure it gets back to the top of the list. Just don’t renew it too frequently, or the listing will be ghosted (not show up in search results).

Sell yourself as an awesome landlord

It shouldn’t be a surprise that great tenants want to rent from awesome landlords. Great tenants want to know that they will have a landlord who respects them and is responsive when maintenance issues occur. Even before the lease is signed, there are several things you can do to present yourself as awesome. Some of the things that you can do include promptly responding to tenant inquiries, showing up on time for the showings and dressing professionally. Remember, your rental property is a business and you want to treat it as such. In addition to showing that you’re awesome, you may also want to provide testimonials from prior tenants if you have them.

Thoroughly screen all potential renters

It’s hard to believe, but 64% of landlords in the United States don’t adequately screen their tenants. The best way to ensure you get great tenants is by thoroughly screening them. To screen tenants, you should require the tenants to complete a rental application with three years of rental and employment history. Tenants should also be required to authorize credit and criminal background checks. After you receive the rental application, you should call all of the potential tenants’ prior landlords and employers. You want to be sure to call at least two prior landlords. If you only call the prospective renter’s current landlord, he or she may not tell the truth if the tenant is bad in hopes of getting rid of the problem as quickly as possible (by making him your problem).

About Rentalutions 

Our online rental software helps do-it-yourself landlords be the best they can be by providing tools to screen tenants, create leases and collect rent, all online. Learn more by visiting Rentalutions.com. Plans are completely free for landlords with one unit.

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  • Chris G

    I just used Rentalutions as a new tenant. I have to say the experience was pretty mediocre, all things considered. Compared to other e-sign services like DocuSign,

    With respect to your lease customization and e-signature functionality, it’s not as easy-to-use or as robust as where it needs to be. My wife and I had to create wholly-separate accounts in order to facilitate e-sign, background checks, credit reports, etc. I had to manually input the *exact same* address history twice.

    My landlord had difficulty putting in riders in order to customize the lease. There should be a way to easily customize via templates instead of free form text, especially when your landlord is not the most legally-articulate or adept in such an activity. (Yes, he was a first time landlord, etc.)

    If I didn’t hit it off with the landlord and his prospective rental home, I would not have bothered with the online applications.

    You should also provide disclosures on steps you take to keep my credit and personal information secure and private — if I missed it, where can I find it on your websites? Or did I sign all those rights away somehow?

    And please, take it easy with the advertising. It is very prominent.

    And the best part was how it was not obvious how one was to view the prospective lease without e-signing it first. In most cases, you sign the document AFTER you review the document, right? That’s how I’ve been doing it with my mortgage lender and title company since 2012

    In summary, Rentalutions is OK for young adults but it doesn’t work for married renters. I think you can do better. Much better.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for the feedback. We appreciate hearing back from users and improving based on feedback. We do require that couples apply separately as individuals. Our credit/background checks pull information using an individual’s SSN. You need separate accounts to be able to do this. I’m sorry your landlord was having trouble with the lease riders. We encourage landlords and tenants to reach out to us at support@rentalutions.com if they’re having any trouble. We’re always happy to resolve the issue.

      We allow you to view your lease before signing, but if that wasn’t clear then that is perhaps something we should improve in our implementation. Again, thank you for the feedback. And if you should have any further questions/comments, feel free to reach out at support@rentalutions.com.

      Thank you,
      Kasia

  • Chris G

    Hello, I submitted comments but it is stuck in “pending” … are the comments restricted to only 100% positive testimonials or do you want to establish constructive dialogue?

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Chris,
      We review comments and reply to them and then they’re posted on the site. I just replied to your other comment. Please let us know if you have any other questions!
      Best,
      Kasia