If you’re thinking about dipping into fix-and-hold properties then you’ve probably done at least a little bit of research on investment rental properties and how to make them profitable. One of the best ways to get consistent cash flow and to really make a rental property work for you is to attract tenants looking for a long-term place to live. The less turnover you have with tenants, the better, since you won’t have to pay to have the house repainted and prepared for new tenants every few months or every year. Plus, if you stick with the same tenants over a few years, you can gradually increase the rent to keep up with property taxes and other expenses.
So how can you get those great tenants who will treat your investment well and stay for multiple years at a time? Believe it or not, in addition to buying rental properties in good neighborhoods where you can charge attractive rental fees, it all really starts with how you describe the property in your rental property listing.
Don’t Just Write It and Forget It
First, you might think that the same property description will work any time you need to rent the property. After all, the house hasn’t changed. It still has all the updates you invested in it when you bought it, and it’s still in the same location. So why can’t you just use a generic property description every time you list it?
Because seasons change, and people tend to think about the season they’re in right now. If you write a property description in December, you’ll probably include information about the fireplace and how cozy and warm the house is. If you need to attract tenants in July or August, that listing from December is going to sound terrible. Write a new one that’s seasonally appropriate, and you’ll attract a lot more quality tenants.
Avoid Shorthand Whenever Possible
In the real estate world, you’ll see a lot of shorthand jargon, like 4B/3B. To you, that might mean “four bedroom, three bath,” but it can be confusing to someone who’s just trying to find a place to live for the next few years. So don’t be lazy with your writing. Spell everything out, and write an attractive description that highlights the features of the property that your tenants will care most about.
Want to Attract More Tenants? Be Upfront About the Rent
Some landlords and property managers do this thing that really drives me crazy. They’ll include the cost to rent their property, but they’ll hide it somewhere in the listing. Your rental fee should be as obvious as possible. Make sure that you include it in the details about the property, and definitely don’t require potential tenants to fill out a form or call you to find out what the rent’s going to be. They’re just going to assume that they can’t afford it or that you’re being shady (which you are, if you do this) and move on.
Get Detailed About the Everyday Stuff
Finally, include details about how much natural light the house has, the architectural style, off-street parking, and whether or not pets are allowed. Make sure that this stuff is in the rental property listing, and you’ll get a lot fewer calls from potential tenants with questions about whether or not Bowzer is allowed to move in too. Instead, you’ll get calls from tenants who are a good match for the property and who want to fill out a rental application and get started on moving in.
Follow these tips on your fix-and-hold properties, and you’ll be more likely to get really great tenants who will treat your property well. Then, when you’re ready to sell, you won’t have much rehab work to do before you flip it.