Often property owners are perplexed on why prospective tenants choose another house in the neighborhood rather than choose theirs. What turned them off to the property? Was it the rental price? Were there a lot of homes for rent in the same area? Was it the neighborhood or the area? What was their focus when viewing the residence?
When shopping for a new home, the most obvious elements are competitive pricing, amenities, condition, location, and property size. Generally, this is what they look for in advertising or discuss with their agent while looking for a property. However, if there are many properties available, they can afford be choosy. The same generally holds true for quality tenants looking for a residence.
If the potential tenant has two or more rentals from which to choose, any of the following items can make a difference in beating out the competition.
- Rent: if the rent is not competitive with those in the area, prospective tenants generally are not going to look much further than the advertising. The good tenants are not going to overpay for a home when there are more options available at a lower price.
- Exterior appearance: this is often the next deciding factor, particularly if the property looks unkempt and littered with garbage and debris. First impressions do make a difference in rentals as well as sales.
- Interior condition: good tenants do care about the condition of the walls, flooring, appliances, and more. For example, if they are comparing your property to several others and they see the carpets and linoleum, as well as dingy walls, it will make a difference. You are not saving money by not replacing a tired old carpet or repainting if you cannot rent the property in a reasonable amount of time.
- Cleanliness: grime, grease, and filth can actually keep people from seeing the potential of the residence. Most prospective tenants do not want to have to clean before moving in. In addition, an unclean property can imply the property owner is not interested in maintaining the property.
- Safety: this is an important issue in today’s world. Does the property have adequate locks on windows and doors? Is there a need for outside lighting? Are there neighborhood problems? Will the tenant feel safer if the bushes are trimmed? People want security wherever they are.
- Working or additional appliances: appliances can also become a factor between choosing your property or that of a competitor. Do all of the existing appliances work? Does the property have a refrigerator, microwave, garbage disposal, or dishwasher? If not, installing an appliance may be the key to beating out the competition.
- Miscellaneous items: ceiling fans, cable/satellite connections, or some other service can be attractive to someone who is trying to make up their mind. Consider the cost vs. another month of lost rent. These small items in a distressed economy become even more important.
Many of the above items are relatively inexpensive and of course, some are more costly. When your property comes up for rent, discuss the current rental market with us to see if we can do more to prevent a long vacancy that can cost you more.