Finding a Tenant
A yard sign or window sign has produced a good, quick tenant for me many
times. I put the sign up as soon as I have possession, or even before, depending
on the circumstances. I do not feel it is necessary to wait until I have all the work
completed and the home in perfect condition. The fact of the matter is that the
tenant looking today or this week will have found a home by tomorrow or next
week. They would not even have been a possibility for my home if I did not
make it available. It is true that they will need to have a little imagination to
visualize the home with the work completed. You, of course, help them to
visualize by talking up the work that you are doing. If they still cannot visualize,
oh well, you tried. However, most are able to visualize. The sooner you have a
tenant lined up, the better. You will push harder to get the work done sooner. The
quicker you get a tenant, the more money you save and earn.
Talk with the neighbors; become friendly with them. They are generally
good security at helping to keep an eye on your property. Give them your name
and telephone number. After all, they have somewhat of an invested interest in
the homes surrounding theirs. They generally are not too excited about the
prospect of your renting out the home. They would rather have a homeowner
next door. However, if they know of someone who they feel would be a
responsible tenant, they will be sure to refer that person to you.
You should also contact rental agencies in the area to make them aware of
your property. Their service is usually at no charge to you; they charge the
tenant. There are also bulletin boards in public locations, such as grocery stores
or the Internet, where you can put up a flyer. Last, but not least, are the classified
ads in the newspaper. This usually produces the most leads.
You want to be prepared with some questions to pre-screen the callers from
your for rent advertisement. That way you invest your time with only good
candidates when meeting them face to face. Have your questions prepared and
written out ahead of time on one page. Have another page where you have drawn
lines to make columns for each lead’s name, phone number and answers. This is
the best way to keep track and to remember them. Sometimes the calls come in
fast and furious. If prospective tenants are hesitant or refuse to cooperate in
answering your questions, eliminate them. They just saved you some time and
probably money, too.
Section 8 Tenants
Section 8 tenants are government subsidized tenants, for part or all of their
rent payments. I like the program because the rent checks come every month just
like clock work. You still screen the tenants because there are good and bad
within the Section 8 program, just as with everything else.
People with disabilities seem to
be discriminated against. I am sure it is just due to lack of knowledge and
understanding. Screened properly as always, disabled people make great tenants.
Some are on Section 8 as well, most have fixed incomes; disability, social
security, pensions and some also work. Not all disabled people are in wheel
chairs, some are blind, deaf, back problems, on oxygen 24 hours a day, cerebral
palsy, downs syndrome and a host of other reasons. Even those in wheel chairs
have value as a tenant for the right home. Making the home assessable is not
difficult or costly, sometimes grants are available to help with the alterations.
Also, the disabled person in the family is not always the adult or breadwinner,
sometimes it is one of the children.
Once disabled people have a place to live that is suitable for their needs they
tend to not want to move again. Low turnover is a real positive!
Next Post part 3 will cover questions to ask tenant leads.