Landlording & Rental Properties

How to Attract and Keep Above-and-Beyond (Not Just Mediocre) Tenants

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Landlording & Rental Properties, Business Management, Personal Development, Flipping Houses, Commercial Real Estate
151 Articles Written

Vacancy can easily kill the cash flow on your rental deal. Every month of vacancy is 8% of annual rent you won’t be seeing for that rental unit! The best way to keep your rentals profitable is to keep them full with great tenants. So what is a great tenant and how do you attract them?

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In my humble opinion, good tenants pay their rent on time. That’s a baseline. Great tenants go well beyond on-time payments. They treat the property with respect, seeing it as a home versus a rental, and they treat you as the owner and provider of that home with respect also.

How to Attract and Keep Above-and-Beyond (Not Just Mediocre) Tenants

My great tenants do things like plant gardens at the property, perform their own landscaping (actually, that’s in the lease, but at least they do it well), respect their neighbors, and abide by the law (tenants who willingly break the law in your property are not great tenants, agreed?). I would even go so far as to say that great tenants, through their behavior and habits, add value to your property.

Related: 11 Ways to Boost Tenant Retention for Higher ROI

In today’s video, I talk about how to attract these great tenants and how to keep them in your properties year after year. Through the efforts I outline, I believe that you will be more profitable over the years with your rental.

Check out the video to learn more. I hope we can get a good convo going, so please leave a comment in the section below! I look forward to hearing from you!

Have a great and profitable week!

Matt Faircloth, Co-founder & President of the DeRosa Group, is a seasoned real estate investor. The DeRosa Group, based in historic Trenton, New Jersey, is a developer and owner of commercial and residential property with a mission to “transform lives through real estate." Matt, along with his wife Liz, started investing in real estate in 2004 with the purchase of a duplex outside of Philadelphia with a $30,000 private loan. They founded DeRosa Group in 2005 and have since grown the company to owning and managing over 370 units of residential and commercial assets throughout the east coast. DeRosa has completed over $30 million in real estate transactions involving private capital including fix and flips, single family home rentals, mixed use buildings, apartment buildings, office buildings, and tax lien investments. Matt Faircloth is the author of Raising Private Capital, has been featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast, and regularly contributes to BiggerPockets’s Facebook Live sessions and educational webinars.

    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied over 2 years ago
    The Landlord’s Survival Guide by Jeffrey Taylor is a great book on this topic as well.
    Matt Faircloth Rental Property Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Andrew! I will have to check that out! Matt
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    It is all good advice, but I would definitely not want a flat screen TV, or the bother of disposing of it. Be careful of assumptions.
    Matt Faircloth Rental Property Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hey Katie, Thanks for the feedback. I’m not sure if your concern is for the environment; if that’s the case I’m sure you could find some more sustainable gifts to give to your tenants. Ours have always been very grateful for the TV. I agree, it’s never good to make assumptions, which is why we took a poll of our tenants and found that a flatscreen TV was by far the most desired give away. Thanks for the comment! Matt
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    The biggest tv I have ever owned or wanted to own was 13-inches. I have not even had a TV for the last ten years and don’t miss it at all. Sometimes “majority rules” really stinks.
    Sean Haardt Rental Property Investor from Boonsboro, MD
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Katie, the point is not the TV, but the gesture. Matt said he polled the tenants. That’s two gestures. Don’t be such a Negative Nellie. You could “dispose” of it by giving it to a local non-profit organization who needs it.
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I am not sure who Matt’s tenants are, but you can’t eat a TV. I think the gesture should be something truly useful, like a rebate on the rent. I find I am one of the few investors who seems to still remember what being tenant was like. Tenants tend to have incomes well below the median. Many are struggling. So I tend to try to look at things from the standpoint of a tenant. I wonder if a cash rebate was one of the options on the poll.
    Jerry W. Investor from Thermopolis, Wyoming
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Matt, Great video. Thanks for sharing. Great tenants are not only great for business, they are great on keeping your headaches to a minimum. Good tenants do not create the heartburn that bad or even mediocre tenants do. Since I self manage and work a full time job good tenants are even more important than maxing out the rental income. Thanks for sharing.
    Matt Faircloth Rental Property Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    You are welcome Jerry! You bring up another good point – Great tenants are low maintenance for landlords that don’t have much time to maintain their rentals hands on. Lower quality tenants can require constant attention, either in chasing rent or handling nuisance maintenance issues. Matt
    Daniel Timpert Investor from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great short and sweet video. It is nice to hear what methods you are using. Thanks!
    Matt Faircloth Rental Property Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    You are welcome Daniel!
    Ryan Wittig Real Estate Investor from Boston, Massachusetts
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Can anyone provide a one stop shop for tenant screening tools online(eviction, criminal,credit etc)?
    Matt Faircloth Rental Property Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hey Ryan, good question. We use App folio for our in house accounting. It includes a screening tool. If you don’t have a unit count to justify a software that robust, consider Buildium which charges by the unit. You could also use simple screening softwares such as NTN (national Tenant Network), Kroll Factual Data, or Screening Reports . com. Any of these should be able to run criminal, credit, and landlord history. Matt
    Christine Coxhill Real Estate Agent from Los Alamitos, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hi Matt, Thanks for sharing, helpful video!
    Matt Faircloth Rental Property Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hi Christine, You are welcome, I’m glad you enjoy! Matt
    James Barnhart Rental Property Investor from Deland, FL
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Ryan, I use mysmartmove.com. The are owned by Trans Union. All I need to get from the prospective tenant is their full name and an email address. They then contact the tenant and they ask all of the personal info questions needed. The tenant pays them for the screening and will email you with a recommendation as to whether you should or should not rent to them. Works great.
    Matt Faircloth Rental Property Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks James!
    Sean Haardt
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Matt. Good stuff. I’m a new investor and closing on my first buy and hold later this month. Don’t know where I’d be without BP and tips from people like yourself. Thanks for the videos. They are short and to the point, although Katie missed the point, I think ;). Keep ’em coming!
    Christy Browning Real Estate Investor from Denver, Colorado
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Matt, great video and thanks for posting! Very helpful with thoughtful tips.
    Laura
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Hey Matt, I enjoyed this video as well. Thanks for making it! I definitely got value from it. These things have worked well for me also. One other strategy that I use is to have my rents slightly below market. Also, at lease renewal time, I give them an annual renewal price, a higher six-month price and an even higher monthly amount to choose from so they feel they get to choose. That’s also directly from “Mr. Landlord” Jeffrey Taylor’s genius advice. Have you ever used Cozy? That is something I’m considering and wondered if you had experience with it for credit and background check. I’d love to hear your insights about it. Thanks, Laura