Series: Owners

9 Ways to Find Renters For Your Rental Home

Posted on Oct 27, 2020

You’ve found the perfect rental property in an ideal location. You’re excited to dive in, be a rental property owner, and start bringing in extra income.

But you’ve also heard some less-than-positive stories about poor tenant-owner relationships.

If you’re starting to rent out your property, one of your main concerns will likely be how to find good renters.

There are a handful of ways you can go about finding your prospective tenant for long term rentals. From modern methods like social media to those that are a bit more old school, like rental signs, here are 9 ways to find renters for your rental housing properties.

1. Rental Websites

These days, there are plenty of places to advertise your rental property online and hopefully, find a good prospective tenant. But, how to find good tenants in the sea of online sites? Some sites will allow you to post a free advertisement if you have an account, like Zillow rental manager tools. From there, prospective tenants will search for rental housing based on their budget, location, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they’re searching for. As an owner, you’ll then be connected to the prospective renter who is looking for the exact type of rental home or apartment you’re offering.

2. Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards are an excellent way to spread the word in the local community. Create an eye-catching flyer or poster with a high-quality image of your rental. Including some easy-to-read details—like the square footage, amenities, and the number of rooms and bathrooms will help to pique potential renters’ interest. If you’re hosting an open house in the future, make sure to include the date, time, and address for that as well. Keep in mind, if you don’t want people to disturb the current tenants, it might be a good idea to make note of that. You can also attach your contact information as a small tear-off toward the bottom of the page for easy communication. Once your flyer is set and ready to go, hang it up in local markets, community centers, yoga studios, and coffee shops. Knowing how to find good renters sometimes means putting in the extra effort. Bulletin boards offer an easy way to do so.

3. Newspaper

Even with the rise of online advertising and social media, people still turn to the newspaper ads to see what’s out there. As an owner, advertising for your rental home in a newspaper may cost a bit of money, but it has the potential to lead you to your dream tenant. If you’re going this route, make sure to keep things quick and catchy for your readers. They’ll likely be sitting down to the Sunday newspaper with a cup of coffee, looking for something specific, so it’s important to draw them in from the get-go (think: sparkling resort-style pool, in-unit washer dryer, 2 blocks from the beach sort of details).

4. Word of Mouth

Sometimes, when you’re figuring out how to find renters, it’s easy to forget about word-of-mouth. Good old fashioned word of mouth is a powerful tool. Perhaps you have a rental located near a college campus and a friend who may know someone starting in the fall. A friend of a friend may be in between living situations, looking to rent for a year, or someone you know from work might be on the hunt for their next rental. Don’t be shy to put the word out and see what comes from it. Many of the best rental situations, and the best tenants, come from somebody who knows somebody.

5. Social Media

Social media is an incredible tool for advertising and spreading the word. If you’re a property owner looking for your next potential tenant, turn toward social media platforms to help you out. These are specific groups on Facebook, for example, that focus on particular geographic areas. As long as you follow the group guidelines, you’ll most likely be able to post your listing and hopefully, drum up some interest. You can also use your own accounts to post pictures and videos and encourage your friends to share and spread the word.

7. “For Rent” Signs

“For rent” signs may seem like a blast from the past, but they can be effective. Plenty of potential renters will take a stroll (or a drive) in neighborhoods they love when they’re on the hunt for a new home. Depending on what your building or neighborhood rules are on sign placement, you can typically put a “For Rent” sign up in a window or in front of the home. Make sure to include at least some details, like the size of the space and the asking rent price. This will help save you unnecessary phone calls if someone is looking for a studio rental unit, for example, and you’re trying to rent out a 3-bedroom home.

8. Your Own Website

If you’re an owner or real estate investor who has multiple properties or vacation rentals, consider creating your own website. There are lots of free website builders where you can easily customize your own site with images, videos, and descriptions of your rental. This might not be necessary if you’re searching for a long term tenant, but if you’re more interested in quick rentals, this is a route to explore.

9. Rent with Zeus Living

For those who are interested in how to find good renters, but want a more hand’s off approach, try Zeus. When you sign a revenue-share lease with us, you’ll enjoy full-service property management and care without lifting a finger. We’ll design the home, furnish it, rent it out to long-term stays, and ensure that it’s kept in top shape. Many landlords find Zeus is the best way to go for complete peace of mind. Not only do we maintain your property, but we find you the best residents, too. Our residents go through a rigorous and thorough tenant screening process, so we can make sure they’ll take care of your property like it’s their own.

Tips For How to Find Tenants

When you're on the lookout for tenants, keep these three tips in mind: quality photos, screening candidates, and move-in specials. They’re small details that can make a big difference.

Quality Photos

High-quality, clear images are one of the first things to draw a potential renter in. They help to engage your renter and maintain their attention. Before you embark on your photoshoot, think of elements that will entice your viewer, like fresh flowers on the table or a cup of coffee and a cozy book in the living room. If you need tips on how to furnish a vacation rental home and attract your guests, check out this article from the New York Times.

Screening Candidates

When you’re screening candidates, there are a handful of things you want to keep in mind. Make sure to do your due diligence and research the Fair Housing Law. This means you can’t discriminate based on things like gender, race, and age. You’ll most likely want to do a credit check and ask for a security deposit. When you draft up your lease agreement, consider the following: fair market rent and what your unit should go for, asking your tenant for a renter’s insurance policy, and speaking about any previous eviction filings.

Move-in Special

Some places offer a move-in special to draw their renters in. This can include a low-security deposit, half off the first month’s rent, or deals during slower months (such as between December and March, when people are generally moving less and traveling less). If you have an interested potential tenant, be sure to answer the question, what is a long term rental, and figure out what they’re looking for. Maybe they’re only looking to stay immediately, for one month, and with a vacancy, you can be a bit more flexible. Perhaps they’re willing to sign a 12-month lease, which ensures you have a tenant in for a good chunk of time. When you’re offering specials, the key is to find the sweet spot where it enhances the rental deal for both you and your renter.

Figuring out how to find good renters is a lot about personal preference. You may be more likely to go for the bulletin board method over the social media route. You may find that word of mouth works just as well as hiring a property management team.

Whatever option you choose, getting a good tenant is the icing on the cake for an income property. It alleviates stress, ensures communication, and opens up the potential for a long term owner-tenant relationship.

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