Top 5 factors that impact rental decision
If you’ve already experienced working in the property market, you’ll know how flaky potential tenants can be.
You’ll be feeling confident showing a handful of eager tenants a property one day, but then receive zero call-backs the next.
It’s tough to cater to everyone, we get that, but by keeping ahead of the curve in renter expectations and services, you can be snapping up tenants for any kind of property straight away.
Let us outline for you the top 5 factors that impact on potential tenants’ rental decisions, and hopefully you can take advantage of them!
Accessibility to the landlord/real estate agent
Renters want property with a human face, or at least one with a reliable phone number.
Not to say you’ll want your tenant blowing up your phone 24/7, but too many landlords are taking the back seat these days when managing their property and not engaging properly with their tenants.
Property management can be hard work, but there’s a certain level of expectation on behalf of renters that they’ll be able to contact you if they need to discuss a problem like a burst water pipe, a small renovation in the kitchen or even have a chat about rent or bond payments.
If you don’t think you’re up for the job of being readily-accessible, perhaps it’s time to think about hiring a real estate agent or property manager who you believe will be able to handle it.
We get that crime rates, vandalism and the like aren’t your fault, and are likely just a case of a small number of individuals making things hard for everyone else, but nonetheless, the prospect of crime in a neighbourhood really turns renters off.
But short of stirring up a neighbourhood watch style project, what can you do? Try investing in some basic security features around the property to make it appear more secure to renters.
Installing security screens on windows, deadlocks on doors and (depending on your type of property/budget constraints), perhaps some sort of alarm system. It will be a worthy investment when potential tenants are no longer shying away from your property.
Community fun and amenities
As we know, people are social creatures. We love to get out, about and socialize, especially when we’ve just moved into a new area, city or even interstate.
Tenants expect to see some evidence of community engagement when they visit your open house, which is sometimes difficult to convey without seeming phoney or disinterested.
Try picking up a handful of leaflets from local community centres, schools, libraries, universities and other public amenities to show off your community’s diverse range of activities and social opportunities.
Scatter these around the property or hand them out to interested potential tenants. Odds are, you’ll be making your property much, much more tempting to renters.
History of Natural Disasters
This one is particularly relevant to Brisbane, with the massive 2011 floods (plus all the other freakish storms we’ve been experiencing over the last few years) still fresh in everyone’s mind.
If your property is in a floodzone, however, all hope is not lost. After all, most of Brisbane was affected, and if a renter is looking for a place that’s completely immune from flash flooding, they’re going to be looking for a very long time.
What’s most important is how they believe you will respond in the event of a natural disaster. I personally knew a landlord who after one an enormous storm caved in a corner of the living room ceiling, simply put up a tarpaulin and asked everyone in the property to pretend it was the new roof. Needless to say, tenants aren’t going to be crazy for your property if they think this is how you’ll react.
Try sharing some stories about what you’ve done for disaster-affected properties before, or reassure your potential tenants that they won’t be hung out to dry (pun intended) if something goes wrong.
This applies most if you’re looking to rent to a younger demographic.
Millennials are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental footprint, and may dump your property for a more eco-friendly place if they get the opportunity.
Small things will help improve your image here, such as leafy green plants in the garden or on the balcony or visibly environmentally friendly lightbulbs.
Just keep a few of these things in mind when your Gen Y tenants ask about the property, and you’ll boost your likelihood of having someone rent from you.
What you see is what you get
Honestly, renters don’t like being tricked. Nobody does, but it’s particularly galling to take a property as your home and have it turn out to be completely different to what you’d thought you were getting into.
Especially if you still have regular contact with your landlord (as you should – see above), it can get rather awkward. So renters will balk at the slightest whiff of something not quite right.
Simply be upfront with potential tenants, and tell them exactly what they’re signing up for when you host an open house. No parking included? OK – just say so, instead of trying to wrangle some sort of half-true solution involving free street parking.
There’s a small extra monthly charge on top of rent? Don’t try to slip it through the lease unnoticed, ensure your tenants are aware of this, and that they’re fine with paying it.
Your tenant-landlord relations will be better for it, and you’re more likely to earn their respect as an honest property owner.
It can be a sometimes tricky tightrope to walk – trying to reassure your potential tenants that you’ll be there for them in case something goes wrong without putting the idea of things going wrong in their minds.
At the end of the day, the key to any landlord/tenant relationship is honesty and communication, so make sure you stick to those two principles when renting and soon you’ll have forgotten all about the concept of extended vacancies.