One of the biggest keys to success investing in apartment buildings is attracting good tenants for your property. You can get good tenants in your building - even if you don't have the best property in the world.
Many landlords and property owners worry that they are missing certain amenities, or that the building is not in the best location, and so on. There is a tenant for every building - and as long as you didn't purchase a property in a *really* bad area (and I hope you did not if you have been following my articles) you should be OK.
It is true that residents do look for certain features and amenities these days, but you can attract good residents even without them. Here are 7 Steps to help you find good tenants for your apartment building:
1. Pre-screening on the phone.
Be sure that whoever answers the phone is friendly and professional. It may sound basic, but I have played the "secret shopper" on my competition and you would be surprised the number of people that sound downright surly on the phone. Be professional, but be friendly to your prospective resident.
Let them know that you do run both a credit and a criminal background check on all of your residents. Just by mentioning this, you will weed out many folks that you don't want in your property anyway. Let them screen themselves out when you mention this.
2. Keep the exterior of the building in great shape.
If your building needs paint, get it painted. If it needs cleaned, get it cleaned. Be sure the windows are washed, the entry is clean, and the building is inviting. Look, you don't have to own the #1 best property, but keep it maintained. This is good not only for the value, but in attracting the right tenants.
3. Keep the landscaping in good shape.
Again, the first thing people notice is the exterior grounds and the building itself. Keep the grass cut and trimmed regularly. Plant some attractive flowers around the entraces and main walking areas. Keep everything neat and well-manicured and your prospective tenants will take notice.
4. Keep the common areas clean.
Be sure that the common areas are cleaned on a regular basis and touch painting is also done on a regular basis. The carpets, the walls, the doors, windows - all should show very well for both prospective and current residents. Make sure your cleaning crew is taking pride in their work because it will show through.
5. Cleanliness and preparation of the unit to show.
If you are showing a rented unit, make the resident aware of showing times in advance. Let them know that you would like things to be clean and ready for a walk-through. It is not too presumptuous to ask them to be sure that things look good for your prospective tenants when you ask in a nice, friendly manner.
6. Application and marketing materials.
Offer your prospective resident an application, and walk them through the document in a helpful manner. Don't go through every single detail, but let them know how easy it is to fill out and that you think they would fit into the property well. Also offer them free reports or other marketing materials. We have had good success with simple materials that you can print yourself. You don't necessarily need a "marketing slick" to get folks excited about your property.
7. Ask & follow-up.
If they seem very interested and ready, ask for a time to have them return the application. Yes, I know. It sounds basic - that you have to ASK, but many landlords or property managers miss this point. Ask for a good time to have them return the application and that will help many folks along in the process.