Finding and retaining tenants is one of the jobs of a property owner. You could outsource it to a property manager – but it’s worth considering doing yourself if you want to retain visibility and control over your property.
Step 1: Prepare your property
First of all, ensure your property is ready.
A property in good conditions will help attract tenants. If your previous tenant has been living there for a long time, there will undoubtedly be some wear and tear. You could perform minor renovations yourself, like loosening a stuck window or just replacing some curtains, but it’s best to leave for difficult things like plumbing to the experts.
You should do at least enough to ensure the property is in line with other properties in your market.
Once you have prepared your property, take some good photos of your property. Make sure your photos are clear and present your property well. Write up a good description of the property. Highlight some of the benefits, such as the condition of the property or the location.
Step 2: Setting the rent
Another aspect of you need to consider is how much rent you should charge. Your previous rent is a good starting point. However, it might not be reflective of current market prices. Your previous tenant might have been underpaying if you haven’t been monitoring your rental against the market, or they could be overpaying if the tenants were particularly happy with the property.
The best thing to do is research for current listing on online portals like Realestate.com.au and Domain.
Look for properties similar to yours. Find out what those properties are listed for and compare them to your own more carefully. Ask yourself, are they better or worse than yours?
This will help you set the rent.
Step 3: Publish your listing
There are a number of ways you could publish your listing. The biggest portals are Realestate.com.au and Domain.
Domain lets self-managing owners publish directly for just over $200, while Realestate.com.au doesn’t. A search on the internet will reveal that there are online services available like Rentdesk and Cubbi to help you list with them.
The internet isn’t the only way to get the word out. If you live in an apartment complex, leave leaflets in other unit mailboxes. There could be tenants with ending leases looking for a new place.
Don’t be afraid to get creative.
Step 4: Run an open house
An open house is a chance for prospective tenants a chance to look at your property.
As tenants arrive, have some way to gather the tenants details, for example a sign-in sheet, or an app.
Let them inspect the property, and answer any questions they have.
As people leave the open house you should thank them and provide them with a copy of the application form.
It doesn’t end there. Over the next few days – reach out to them – by phone, and email – and check in to see what they are thinking.
Step 5: Finalise your lease
Following your open house, hopefully you will receive a good number of applications for you to choose from.
Once you’ve selected which one you want to proceed with, all there’s left to do is finalise the lease. Prepare a lease agreement, ensuring it meets all regulatory requirements.
Sign the lease and have the successful applicant sign the lease as well.
Congratulations, you’ve now found a new tenant!