Landlording & Rental Properties

Targeting Terrific Tenants

Expertise:
11 Articles Written
The mister and I waited years before buying our first rent house. Of all the various and sundry reasons for staying out of the game, our biggest obstacle was a severe case of Tenant-phobia– the crippling fear of Landlording. To make matters worse, anytime the subject came up, helpful friends and relatives regurgitated the same [...] View the full article: Targeting Terrific Tenants on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    lex
    Replied over 11 years ago
    I was really skeptical about my first tenants too, but if you give them a good background check and make sure that you talk to them and like them then half your work is done.
    lex
    Replied over 11 years ago
    I was really skeptical about my first tenants too, but if you give them a good background check and make sure that you talk to them and like them then half your work is done.
    Robin Chatham
    Replied over 11 years ago
    What if you bought, let’s say a 4plex, with established long term tenants already paying great rent regularly? Only $160k purchase price and enjoy $500 mo positive Cash Flow. Rob
    Connie Brzowski
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Not really enough info in your comment to give an opinion. Personally, I’d need higher cashflow than that to consider any 4-plex, no matter the location. Everyone’s tolerance for aggravation is different. I know of someone who’s making $$ hand over fist collecting rent in a bullet-proof vest. Just not my idea of a fun Saturday afternoon. When we look at a building with tenants in place, the question is the same: What type of renter will this property attract if the current tenants leave? Reply Report comment
    Connie Brzowski
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Not really enough info in your comment to give an opinion. Personally, I’d need higher cashflow than that to consider any 4-plex, no matter the location. Everyone’s tolerance for aggravation is different. I know of someone who’s making $$ hand over fist collecting rent in a bullet-proof vest. Just not my idea of a fun Saturday afternoon. When we look at a building with tenants in place, the question is the same: What type of renter will this property attract if the current tenants leave?
    Connie Brzowski
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Not really enough info in your comment to give an opinion. Personally, I’d need higher cashflow than that to consider any 4-plex, no matter the location. Everyone’s tolerance for aggravation is different. I know of someone who’s making $$ hand over fist collecting rent in a bullet-proof vest. Just not my idea of a fun Saturday afternoon. When we look at a building with tenants in place, the question is the same: What type of renter will this property attract if the current tenants leave? Reply Report comment
    Ed
    Replied over 11 years ago
    wow nice job fixing up that place. I would have put some cover between the two sections, would make a sweet barbecue area or something.
    Ed
    Replied over 11 years ago
    wow nice job fixing up that place. I would have put some cover between the two sections, would make a sweet barbecue area or something.
    Ed
    Replied over 11 years ago
    wow nice job fixing up that place. I would have put some cover between the two sections, would make a sweet barbecue area or something.
    Connie Brzowski
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Thank you Ed~ yeah, it really would 🙂 We had some roof issues when we replaced the covered walkway which would’ve made that difficult and the house and garage are further apart than it appears in the picture. Maybe in the future we could put a carport in front of the garage for grilling (oh, and cars too I guess- ha!
    Terry
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Connie, Great list of qualities to look for in tenants! “Cab likes puppies” reminded me that many tenants have dogs but many landlords don’t allow dogs. It pays to make accomodate people who like to have pets. I’m looking forward to future posts.
    Terry
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Connie, Great list of qualities to look for in tenants! “Cab likes puppies” reminded me that many tenants have dogs but many landlords don’t allow dogs. It pays to make accomodate people who like to have pets. I’m looking forward to future posts.
    Connie Brzowski
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Thanks Terry 🙂 I think that’s one of the reasons the mister prefers ceramic tile on the floor. We tell prospective tenants that ‘dogs are considered on a case-by-case basis’ and then screen the pets as carefully as the people. By allowing pets, we’ve gotten some very good long-term tenants (and a little extra on the rent.)
    Madison Albright
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Connie, This is a great list of qualities to look for in tenants! Thanks again for sharing the information, I’m looking forward to future posts.
    Madison Albright
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Connie, This is a great list of qualities to look for in tenants! Thanks again for sharing the information, I’m looking forward to future posts. Reply Report comment
    Madison Albright
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Connie, This is a great list of qualities to look for in tenants! Thanks again for sharing the information, I’m looking forward to future posts.
    RJacobsen
    Replied over 11 years ago
    A few years back my grandmother owned 2 4-plex units, and I can’t count the amount of issues she had with many of her tenants. My grandma, being the sweet old lady that she was, was a huge pushover and her tenants would regularly take advantage of this. I would have to go knock on many of the tenants doors, a week or so into the month, looking for the rent money. Tenants always paid late, many wouldn’t bother switching the utilities over to their own name, Mexican immigrants would have 10 or more people crammed into a one bedroom, and so on and so on. There were a lot of headaches caused by the rentals, but on the same note they did bring in residual income.
    Connie Brzowski
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Thanks Madison 🙂 RJacobsen–Personally, I like SFH’s. I’m sure its just a personal preference, but in general, tenants tend to stay longer, turnover is less and re-rent is quicker (that’s comparing with people I know who prefer multi’s 🙂 LOL) I do think you need a certain mindset… I’ve met some sweet old ladies that can rock-the-house with their mad landlording skillz. Mr. Brz is a natural, but I’ve had to learn as we go 🙂
    Rick Marnon, Howell
    Replied over 11 years ago
    I have one rental and I am now looking for more, but my first tenants made me not want to own anymore rentals. The money can be too good to not want to own a few of them atleast. I have been a little more cautious about what I buy and what type of people I will ultimately rent to. This is a very informative article. Rick Marnon, Howell Reply Report comment
    Rick Marnon, Howell
    Replied over 11 years ago
    I have one rental and I am now looking for more, but my first tenants made me not want to own anymore rentals. The money can be too good to not want to own a few of them atleast. I have been a little more cautious about what I buy and what type of people I will ultimately rent to. This is a very informative article. Rick Marnon, Howell
    Dart Shop
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Thats a neat little house. We have just purchased our first investment property in Australia. We exchange contracts next week, it needs work so we will certainly “suffer” a bit like you did. I hope the hard work will prove rewarding.
    Dart Shop
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Thats a neat little house. We have just purchased our first investment property in Australia. We exchange contracts next week, it needs work so we will certainly “suffer” a bit like you did. I hope the hard work will prove rewarding.
    Connie Brzowski
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Rick– glad it helped. Hope things go more smoothly in the future~! Dart Shop– congratulations on your first purchase! Yeah, we think so too… its coming together very nicely 🙂
    MoneyMan
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Nice job on the reno…night and day difference and I bet the inside is just as nice. Now…make the jump to multifamily and really show those nay sayers you know what your doing!!!
    MoneyMan
    Replied over 11 years ago
    Nice job on the reno…night and day difference and I bet the inside is just as nice. Now…make the jump to multifamily and really show those nay sayers you know what your doing!!!
    Scott Billingsley
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Getting great tenants by buying properties in nicer, low crime areas is just the start. I have been advising landlords for over 30 years and it never ceases to amaze me how so many “experts” buy in nicer, low crime areas and still get bad tenants. Why? Because they look at their rental properties as rental properties and focus on pennies and nickels and pass up $100 dollar bills everywhere. If your property looks, feels and smells like a rental property, you can expect to get “renters” and you will get slow pays and no pays and trashy renters many times more than if you do something different. Different is looking at what buyers want and preparing your lease property as if you were making it ready to sell. That means trashing the cheap old appliances and putting in mid range or higher stainless or black appliances, getting rid of those cheap light fixtures and putting in matching rubbed bronze, satin nickel or stainless fixtures. Put in nice name brand ceiling fans with matching light kits. Put in updated plumbing fixtures and replace those tiny toilets with elongated ones. Replace that smelly, worn out beige builder’s grade carpet with a nice tile or better yet, a beautiful glued in place vinyl plank (Karn Dean or Shaw come to mind). Paint the walls a consistent neutral color with ceiling white ceiling and a light colored trim (yes, three colors total). That is a start. My landlords get more money, lower vacancy rates and consistently better tenants but they invest more and offer a home that the tenants would want to invite their friends and relatives too. That is the true secret to acquiring and keeping good tenants. Reply Report comment
    Scott Billingsley
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Getting great tenants by buying properties in nicer, low crime areas is just the start. I have been advising landlords for over 30 years and it never ceases to amaze me how so many “experts” buy in nicer, low crime areas and still get bad tenants. Why? Because they look at their rental properties as rental properties and focus on pennies and nickels and pass up $100 dollar bills everywhere. If your property looks, feels and smells like a rental property, you can expect to get “renters” and you will get slow pays and no pays and trashy renters many times more than if you do something different. Different is looking at what buyers want and preparing your lease property as if you were making it ready to sell. That means trashing the cheap old appliances and putting in mid range or higher stainless or black appliances, getting rid of those cheap light fixtures and putting in matching rubbed bronze, satin nickel or stainless fixtures. Put in nice name brand ceiling fans with matching light kits. Put in updated plumbing fixtures and replace those tiny toilets with elongated ones. Replace that smelly, worn out beige builder’s grade carpet with a nice tile or better yet, a beautiful glued in place vinyl plank (Karn Dean or Shaw come to mind). Paint the walls a consistent neutral color with ceiling white ceiling and a light colored trim (yes, three colors total). That is a start. My landlords get more money, lower vacancy rates and consistently better tenants but they invest more and offer a home that the tenants would want to invite their friends and relatives too. That is the true secret to acquiring and keeping good tenants.
    Scott Billingsley
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Getting great tenants by buying properties in nicer, low crime areas is just the start. I have been advising landlords for over 30 years and it never ceases to amaze me how so many “experts” buy in nicer, low crime areas and still get bad tenants. Why? Because they look at their rental properties as rental properties and focus on pennies and nickels and pass up $100 dollar bills everywhere. If your property looks, feels and smells like a rental property, you can expect to get “renters” and you will get slow pays and no pays and trashy renters many times more than if you do something different. Different is looking at what buyers want and preparing your lease property as if you were making it ready to sell. That means trashing the cheap old appliances and putting in mid range or higher stainless or black appliances, getting rid of those cheap light fixtures and putting in matching rubbed bronze, satin nickel or stainless fixtures. Put in nice name brand ceiling fans with matching light kits. Put in updated plumbing fixtures and replace those tiny toilets with elongated ones. Replace that smelly, worn out beige builder’s grade carpet with a nice tile or better yet, a beautiful glued in place vinyl plank (Karn Dean or Shaw come to mind). Paint the walls a consistent neutral color with ceiling white ceiling and a light colored trim (yes, three colors total). That is a start. My landlords get more money, lower vacancy rates and consistently better tenants but they invest more and offer a home that the tenants would want to invite their friends and relatives too. That is the true secret to acquiring and keeping good tenants.