According to a recent Harvard University study, the number of American households that are choosing to rent has continued to increase. In 2004 the percentage of American households that preferred renting to home ownership was 31 percent. By 2012 the percentage had risen to 35 percent, and in 2013 the total number reached 43 million households. In short, the American rental market has continued to increase, which means that Real Estate investors have the unique opportunity to capitalize on leasing out investment properties. To help you join the lucrative rental business, we have gathered together five helpful property leasing tips.
5 Tips To Property Renting Success
1.Understand The Responsibility Involved. -- Before you can dive headfirst into the renting world, you need to first understand the obligations that you will have as a landlord. Reviewing tenant applications, marketing your home, conducting maintenance, adding insurance policies, and staying on-top of tenant relationships are just a few of your responsibilities. In addition, you will need to be available throughout the majority of the day and night to ensure that you can respond to daily and emergency tenant requests. If these responsibilities sound too challenging, then you should consider hiring a property manager to successfully rent-out your investment property to qualified tenants.
2.Prepare Your Home. -- Rental homes need to effuse curb appeal. They should be properly staged for marketing photos, as well as in-person tours. When you stage a rental home it should be completely cleaned, have good lighting, be pleasantly decorated to highlight the home's attributes, the exterior and interior of the home should be free of damage, and outdoor spaces should be clean of unsightly debris.
3.Hire Professionals. -- If you want to be a landlord, then you will need to make sure that you meet any of your state's specific Real Estate laws and regulations. You will also want to meet with an attorney so that you can more easily navigate the landlord-tenant laws, which vary from state-to-state. However, if you already own a Real Estate investment property and simply want to enjoy the benefits of leasing the property to a highly-qualified tenant, without taking on any additional landlord responsibilities, then you should contact a trusted property manager. A licensed property manager will be able to navigate the tricky waters of home rentals to the benefit of you and your chosen tenant.
4.Set A Competitive Price. -- Just because potential tenants are looking for deals, doesn't mean that you want to undervalue your home. Make sure that your home is priced competitively, and that it will generate enough monthly income to warrant the investment. When marketing your home it is important that you highlight your home's most valuable assets. Spacious kitchens with new appliances, multiple bathrooms, hardwood flooring, natural lighting, and walk-in closets are a few of the most sought-after home features.
5.Screen Tenants Carefully. -- Whether you have decided to be the landlord or have hired a property manager, tenants should always be carefully screened. A thorough background and credit check are needed to help ensure that your chosen tenant will pay rent on-time. You should also ask for at least three references, as well as their rental history for the past three years. These pieces of information will help you more easily determine which candidates are qualified to rent your investment property.
With these five tips in mind you will be ready to turn your residential Real Estate property into a lucrative investment. Through an in-depth market analysis, exceptional advertising efforts, thorough tenant screening, and the help of a trusted professional, you can achieve a positive ROI on your investment property.
Laura P is an active marketing consultant for commercial and residential Real Estate professionals and brokerages; she delivers engaging content marketing messages to connect Real Estate professionals with their intended audience.