Friday, December 07, 2007

The Real Estate Investor’s Guide To Finding The Perfect Tenant

If you are a real estate investor who leases property you probably already know the importance of finding and retaining good tenants. A tenant can make or break your investment dreams, so it only makes sense that they are hard to come by.

In order to find the perfect tenant you must first be able to define what that means to you. If you have had renters in the past, think about what you liked and disliked about them. In general, you are probably want an individual who pays their rent on time, takes good care of your property and isn’t a difficult person. If you can identify and understand who you want your renter to be, you can more effectively advertise and attract them to your property.

If you aren’t confident in your assessment abilities, hire a management group to screen and select tenants for you. Agencies can narrow down your tenant pool by calling potential renters’ personal references and reviewing their credit reports.

While no one wants to be a scrooge, it is important as a landlord to protect your investment. You know what is and is not acceptable on your property. When interviewing a potential renter, bring your expectations to the table and explain them thoroughly. If you are upfront from the beginning, you have a better foundation to build the tenant-landlord relationship on. Explain to the renter how you handle problematic issues such as late payments or bounced checks. Review the lease and go over consequences for lease violations. Be friendly but firm during this process so the tenant knows you mean business.

As with children, you must practice what you preach when it comes to the renter. If you set expectations for the tenant and then waiver when he or she falls below the standard, you are doing a disservice to you and your leaseholder. For example, when your renter pays the rent late and your policy calls for a late fee, don’t waive the fee out of courtesy. By showing leniency, you send the message that you aren’t serious about the lease agreement. This can open the door for your tenant to take advantage of you and the relationship you share.

Finally, always be professional and courteous to your tenants, they will respect you for it. If you are a nice landlord who doesn’t get emotionally charged during disagreements with your renters you are more likely to retain them. If you aren’t good with people or don’t want the hassle of working on a relationship with your renter which isn’t always an easy task, try utilizing the services of a property management group who can take care of the tenant for you.

Finding and retaining good tenants is a learning process, but being conscientious about who you want to lease to can pay off. Establish what an ideal renter means to you, seek out that renter and build a good relationship with him or her. By doing this you will improve your experience as a landlord, and make some income doing so.


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