You have an empty apartment/house and are looking for tenants for your rental property. Got listed on all the big real estate websites and potential tenants are scheduling visits, but you still cannot close the deal.
We have spent 2 weeks already looking for a house to rent in a certain city area. We need 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, laundry on site and to be accepted with our friends’ dog.
You’d say that 2 families who want to live together and have a pretty related budget can find a rental in hours, but it’s not the case.
After seeing few apartments, here are the main mistakes I noticed the real estate agents (and owners) making:
You don’t put high-quality photos on your rental listing
We are looking at rentals that would cost us 2,500 – 3,000 a month. The broker fee is also high (a month’s rent) and the owner will make a small fortune during the lease.
Please tell me you have few hundred bucks to buy a decent camera and take some good pictures.
I have seen listings with one photo only (the outside of the house). Of course, they want a lot of money in rent, but the owners cannot be bothered to post at least 5-10 photos so that we can see if it’s worth seeing or not.
If you think this strategy can entice potential tenants to ask for an ‘open-house’, think again, there are so many listings already, that we just don’t bother with the ones without pictures.
The house is falling apart
Again, we are ready to pay a lot of money each month and yet some of the houses need serious renovations.
I can understand it doesn’t make sense to invest heavily in a rental unit, but keeping the kitchen looking like in the ’80s, forcing us to paint the walls and re-tile the bathroom is not way to easily find tenants. There are houses and apartments in way better shape than yours, so expect people to move there instead of your shack.
The house is dirty
One of the houses we visited looked nice on the inside, but had a filthy yard. And I mean filthy, I’d expect to see some decomposing bodies there anytime soon.
Another one was dirty and smelly inside.
If your carpets are dirty, replace or professionally clean them. Yes, it can be costly, but it can make the difference between renting after 2 days or keeping the listing open for months since no one would move into this mess.
Mop the floors, dust and clean everything you can.
If the house smells as if someone died in it, make sure you do something about the smell, too. Chances are that, if you clean the house properly, the smell will go away as well.
You are inflexible
We decided to cancel our contract before even starting, because we felt rushed into it.
Instead of the landlord to agree us to move at the date we needed (so that we can actually repaint and repair the house), he forced us to accept to start the lease 10 days earlier.
Let’s just say that he lost 12,000 dollars just by being so inflexible. Yes, for 10 DAYS.
You don’t allow tenants with pets
I can understand why you would be wary to let someone come with the dog or cat, but, this way you are leaving a lot of good potential tenants out.
We have a dog that’s so well trained and clean, you wouldn’t believe it. Yet, when we look for houses in the area we want to rent in, we find tens. If we select ‘pets accepted’ we get 5.
You could say that pets might destroy the property. Of course, this is possible, this is why you have a contract in place where you can actually mention this. If the pets do any damage, the tenant will pay.
But keeping all tenants out, just because they have a pet, it just yet another day to have your listing sit and collect ‘dust’ online for weeks to come.
These are just 5 mistakes we noticed people make, while we are looking to rent. I’ll update as soon as we see more houses.