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How to Attract the Right Tenant

By Luke O'Kelly

It’s no longer enough for an agent or landlord to just make a property available for rent and it will rent. Tenants have flexibility and choice. It is important that a property presents well and has the right ingredients to attract the target tenant.

A properly prepared home will not only fetch a better weekly rent, and attract a better tenant, it will also help ensure the whole rental process is simple from start to finish. You want your property handed back to you in good condition, so set the initial benchmark high. Remember the way you present the property will not only attract the right interest from better suited tenants, when the right tenant is approved and the keys are handed over, it is the expectation to set for good tenants in caring for your property and knowing how they’ll present it when vacating.

Do your research. Checking out the competition can save you greatly.

Look at other rental advertisements. What stands out to you, also what stands out to the tenants. Understanding other properties you are competing with, both in your area, as well as the dwelling type and price point is vital to pricing your investment correctly in alignment with the market. This ensures your property attracts the right tenant and isn’t left vacant for prolonged periods. Don’t be greedy upfront, as even one weeks’ vacancy can easily equate to $10 per week over a year.

Keep your eyes open for things like distance from local amenities, including schools, transport, shopping centers and attractions as well as the property itself. Look for how properties present and if items such as dishwashers or air-conditioning are expected in each price point.

Advertising is key. When renting a property, particularly in a soft market, it is important that a property appeals to a broad range of potential tenants and is marketed correctly to attract “the right tenant.”

When advertising, use professional photography and be sure that the best parts of your property are included. Your property might be ideal and directly under the perfect tenants’ nose, but without marketing it correctly, they may not even notice it.

It is also important that a property is advertised at the right time. Advertise too early and you could end up on the second or third page, losing potential tenant views.

Engage a professional agent, or ensure you’re doing the right tenancy checks. Screening tenants is a vital indicator in choosing the best tenant. In depth checks including references, credit checks, any prior rental or mortgage arrears, previous deductions of bond monies, evictions and judgements, essentially any red flags that a simple reference may not reveal should be conducted prior to engaging in a rental agreement with a tenant, and to ensure you’ve selected the right tenant.

Also be mindful of your role as the landlord. As much as you are looking for the perfect tenant, that perfect tenant is looking for a good landlord. Many good tenants ask the question at the inspection about you – the landlord.

Having a bad landlord can make a beautiful property in a good location a nightmare to live in. Be professional and responsive to reasonable tenant requests, and don’t make any promises about the property that you do not intend to keep, it can leave tenants bitter and may be illegal in some cases.

Retaining a good tenant is as important as attracting them in the first place. It can save you greatly, as vacancy between tenants does add up!

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