2 family duplex first investment

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Bought this 2 family side by side unit in taunton ma I've lived in on side the whole time and had a tenant that was paying 1000. I'm in the process of searching and getting new tenants in here any advice as I move forward? Kind of nervous my goal is to buy another house after it's all rented out without me there

Advice for...finding tenants? Weeding out good/bad tenants? Advertising?

Your realtor is interested in one thing...getting their commission check for filling your property. They get the same amount whether its the crappiest tenant of all time, or the best tenant of all time.

Do it all yourself. Learn the process and make mistakes. Read guides, take what you think is best, and apply.

I took pictures...hundreds of them...of my property and selected the best 15. I made ads on CL, Zillow, and Apartments.com. Then I had canned responses for all inquiries against my criteria. I showed the property during "open house" periods, usually for an hour or so a couple of times a week. Then I did extensive screening.

Read some of the BP guides on tenant screening, selection..."the ultimate guide" is at your fingertips. Again, do it yourself, learn the right way, and then you can manage someone in the future.

My advice would be to clean up/update the kitchen and bath if they’re dated. Tenants really care about those areas so anything you can do to make those look nice will pay off in the long run. If the carpets are worn replace them with anything other than more carpet. Carpets in rentals is like burning $$. Those plus a fresh coat of paint (required in MA) will make your apartment stand out and attract better tenants.

How many bedrooms are your units? $1000 seems low for Taunton, unless it’s a 1bedroom. Look at your competition on Zillow and Craigslist and price in the middle. 

Don’t compromise for the quick $, hold out for the better tenants that’s going to be less work. Run a background check and CALL REFERENCES including the tenants place of employment, and previous landlord. You’d be surprised how many landlords don’t do that. Always collect first, last, and security NO exception. If they can’t raise 3 months rent then they’ll be short of rent at the first sign of trouble. 

If you want to use a realtor call the one you bought the house with and see if they do rentals. At least then it’s someone you’re familiar with and your future referrals will be worth more to them than the 1/2 - 1 months rent. 

Goodluck rent both units then go househack another property with a owner occupied loan. Build that future empire 1 property at a time!