You’ve made the decision to become a landlord; you found the perfect home to rent out. Now you’re on a hectic deadline because every day it’s empty means money out of your pocket. So you can’t dawdle.
If the property needs work, don’t wait until it’s completely done before looking for a tenant. Start showing it when you’re putting on the finishing touches, such as painting the interior or replacing the carpet. Sure, it’s nice to show a finished product. But time is not your friend.
The faster you get it rented, the faster the cash flow starts coming in. It doesn’t hurt to have lookers catch you with your hands dirty; lets them know you take pride in the property and work for a living.
Your goal is to have a qualified tenant move in the same day you do the final vacuuming.
I’ve had the best experience putting a small ad in the local newspaper. Make your ad very clear to reduce the number of frivolous calls.
Something like this:
Xxx town, 2/2, $xxx per month, 975 sq. ft., immediately available, no pets, FLS, 12-mo. lease, phone number
Word-of-mouth through real estate agents you know, people who live on the same street as your property, or your social media connections are always good.
Social media gives you more flexibility than print ads. For example, with online ads you can include color photos of a freshly mowed lawn, a well-lit kitchen, or the sparkling community pool, which can make a huge difference in the number of responses you get. While you’re writing your online ad, punch it up with more details such as walk-in closets, covered parking, or a large back yard.
Be sure to include the city and state where your rental is located.
Craigslist is another avenue to try. Zillow and Trulia also let you post a rental for free.
And when you schedule appointments with prospective tenants to see the property, make them all within a specific time frame, say 2-4 in the afternoon. That will eliminate wasting your time on “no shows,” and it will create a sense of urgency on those who show up to make a decision since they’ll see that the house is in high demand.