In no area has the landscape changed more then the rise of the internet to advertise properties. There are many sites where you can market your vacancies, and we consider RealtyRI.com to be the premiere site to get your property viewed by the most people in the areas that we cover. RealtyRI.com is absolutely free to advertise and very easy to use. There are many other rental sites available and we recommend you to advertise on as many as possible. Many of them are also free and tenants are increasingly looking to the net to find their place to live. It takes hard work to maintain occupied properties with great tenants and being vacant for a month or more can be costly. So here is some advice when advertising your property.
You will notice that we have not included print media in our tips. We have found that advertising in a local paper is expensive and not as effective as internet marketing.
Price is one of the most important, if not the most important factor that you need to understand before you start to advertise your place. How you price your apartment will often dictate how quickly you rent it and who you are going to rent to. With the internet your perspective tenants are more informed then ever before and you should be as well. Do your homework before deciding what to charge for rent. The more knowledge you gain will improve you as a landlord and assist you in successfully renting all of your properties. Although you may be unable to do all of the following, you should attempt a few of these tips to make sure you are priced right.
RealtyRI.com covers northeast and has found it important to also look at the data seasonally. Often times a apartment may rent for less in the winter then it does in the summer due to the fact that people don’t like to move in the winter.
It may seem like common sense when it comes to answering the calls but there are many ways that you can avoid wasting your time with people that are not sincerely interested in your apartment, or even worse not qualified. Always ask the following questions when you are on the phone with people.
If they answer these basic questions in a manner that is satisfactory to you then go ahead and make an appointment to show the property. When making the appointment always use the following rule.
It is quite common for potential renters not to show up for their appointments for a variety of reasons and if they are sincerely interested in your place will make the time to look either today or tomorrow. The further off you make an appointment the bigger chance you have about them not showing up.
Once you decide that the person that called is worthy of an appointment, don’t let them walk away for something that you can control. If they have found your place on the internet, chances are that they have already seen photos, have mapped out where it is, and if you have done a good job in your description they will also know what they should see. First impressions are extremely important, so make sure that your place looks as good as it can each and every time that you show it.
The rental market is currently very competitive and you want to be able to choose your tenants rather then having them have to pick you. If tenants walk away for reasons that are out of your control such as a small living room, or small bedrooms then so be it but don’t ever let good tenants walk away over things that you can control. It will only cost you time and money.
The business of being a landlord is as competitive as it has ever been, and you need to do everything in your power to keep your customers (tenants) happy and coming back. There is a delicate balance between doing too much and not doing enough so that you will incur a loss rather then a gain with your properties. Tenants are not sympathetic to your situation and how much rent you “need” to get for your apartment. They are only looking out for themselves and want to find the best place that they can for the best price that they can. The nicer your apartment is the better chance you will have of securing the best tenant possible.
Before you have cleaned, advertised and have our apartment in pristine showing condition, you will want to make sure that your have done everything possible so your place sticks out among other apartments viewed by potential tenants. It is important to realize that through normal wear and tear, things within your apartment are going to age, and in time will need replacing. Be proactive with your maintenance and make your life easier. Below is a list of some things to help you with keeping your place on a tenant’s short list.
Having a place superior to the competition is a sure way to get many applications, allowing you to choose your tenants rather than the other way around. You must realize that you are competing against all of the other spaces that are out there, and attention to detail matters. We have all heard the phrase “you get what you pay for” and good tenants will not live in a dump regardless of the location. If you look at your budget realistically and take care of the things that need attention, you are able to provide tenants with a good value proposition. They will most likely choose your place over the others and in return make your life as a landlord a much better place to be.
Taking the deposit and running checks
Before you ever take a deposit from a potential tenant you have to have a plan on what you consider important tenant criteria. You should know all of the laws in your state about what you can and can’t ask and what reasons you can deny someone an apartment for. RealtyRI.com has provided many useful links to all of the applicable laws in every state for free. We have also provided free leases, applications, lead disclosure forms, and many other useful forms to assist you with taking the deposit. If you decide to use our forms please consult with your attorney as our forms are free and may not provide you with the protection that you are looking for. As soon as the important criterion is formulated, you will need to figure out a way to verbalize it to your applicant. Below is a list of some helpful tips when taking a deposit, and checking an application.
If you haven’t already got the message GET IT IN WRITING!
Unfortunately we live in a litigious society. Rather than make it your word against someone else’s, just have it in writing so you cover all your bases. Upon giving a receipt, be sure to include language that backs up what ever your policies are on your application. If you are going to charge a fee to run the application make sure fact is clearly printed and not hidden. If your policy is a non-refundable deposit in the case that the applicant is approved and then backs out, then have it prominent and visual on the application as well as the receipt.
We have provided a copy of a lease that we used to use and it is free for you to download, and use. If you do decide to use our lease make sure that you read it and have your attorney look it over to make sure that it gives you a sufficient level of protection for your individual situation. You can also delete or add any additional provisions to the lease that we provide if you decide to use our lease. Whether or not you use our lease or your own make sure that it covers the following topics.
All leases should clearly define what you consider important to protect your rights as it has to do with your property while being fair to your tenant.
RealtyRI.com realizes that there are many facets to being a successful landlord. We could have written a book with all the things that we have seen in our experience. Instead we decided to write a website. We hope it helps you, and wish you success in all of your real estate ventures. If you ever have any questions, comments, or suggestions feel free to share them with us at feedback@RealtyRI.com. We have 24/7 support and are always around to lend a helping hand.