Landlords, how do you go about finding new tenants? Where do you start your search? Do you rely on a real estate agent or do it yourself? Would love to learn from your experience and want to hear both success and horror stories. Much appreciated!!
Good question! Curious what the most popular answer is.
I use Zillow and Craigslist.
Zillow sends it to about 10 other sites like postlets and hotpads.
I don't put house address in CL ad so that people have to call me or text me. This makes it a little harder for someone to copy your ad and pretend to be you.
I personally never put a for rent sign in yard. I feel that is saying "Hey I am empty come break in"
I then schedule all the people wanting to come see it at same time. It saves my time and creates a sense of urgency for the 5 people all trying to see your house at same time. If you set individual appointments half won't show.
I'll have 3 people in line to fill out an application.
I fill vacancies fast this way.
Advertise on a local real estate or yard sale FB page. Lots of pictures and descriptive. PM for a showing appointment. Have multiple applicants show up at the same time to create a competitive environment. Accept Applications and notify the winner to sign a lease, collect deposit, and give a key.
In some parts of town in my area, I simply put a "for rent" sign up and the phone starts ringing off the hook. In lower rental density neighborhoods, Zillow works well. I stay away from CL personally, too many bad experiences.
Use the FB Marketplace! You'd be surprised how much traffic you can pick up from just doing that.
@John Underwood , @Anthony Dooley , @Max Gradowitz - thank you for your responses! Who usually pays the broker fee in your states (SC, GA, CA) - the landlord or the renter? Do you advertise "no broker fee" if you do showing yourself/outsource to the PM?
And as a follow up question, how do you usually vet your applicants? Background check or meeting in person or any other way? And what are some of the early red flags in your experience?
@Noel Challenger - great idea! Thanks for sharing! Do you have a personal experience with it?
@Roman Bulgakov If I'm advertising it, there is no broker involved.
@Anthony Dooley , got it! So there is no need for a broker to be involved in this process, correct? Is there any situation, when you'd choose to use the help of a real estate agent?
@Roman Bulgakov I am an agent however, the agent is not necessary if the landlord and the tenant have already met and agreed on the deal. The landlord and tenant should familiarize themselves with landlord tenant law.
@Anthony Dooley , makes sense - thanks for sharing!
@Roman Bulgakov , I find my best tenants using local community Facebook groups.
I used zillow,Craigslist and Facebook marketplace. I was surprised how much traffic I got with the Facebook. Good tool to add.
Hey @Roman Bulgakov welcome to BP and congrats on looking into REI good for you! I'm not sure if you are talking about a STR, SFR or MFR, but I can give you what has worked for me with filling my employers duplex and apartment units. We use craigslist, Zillow and apartments.com. We also put signs out in front our vacant units, I was really surprised how much traffic we get from those. I answer at least 5 calls a day asking about a property they saw from a sign out front. For Zillow and the other sites make sure you take the time and/or money to take GOOD PICTURES. You would not believe how much of a difference it makes. We simply put an ad on craigslist for a photographer and stated what we wanted and a day later we had 5 inquiries. We picked one and it turned out great. Now we don't have so many calls wanting to view it right away because our pictures don't leave room for question, concern or worst of all scare tenants away. Make sure you update the listings/posts weekly and have thorough and informative descriptions. Your quality and style of post is going to attract that quality and style or tenant so be mindful of that. Keep working hard and figure out what works for you. All markets are different and nothing works for everyone. Just make sure you provide quality housing and great service at a fair price and you won't have to worry filling units, because people will be lining up for them from referrals, because you took care of your tenants and made sure they felt "at home". Good luck!
Has anyone here experimented with renting rooms or SRO?
I have to agree with a number of the post here. FB is the way to go. Zillow is great, too. Craigslist just gets you a lot of txt and phone calls from strange individuals. I use a "For Rent" sign on the property but I find that I typically don't get a lot of calls from the sign. Most calls come in from FB and Zillow. As it was mentioned earlier, the yard sign just signals that the house has no one living in it.
@Michael Guzik , thank you for sharing, and I'm super excited to be part of the BP community. I actually didn't have a specific type of property property in mind when I started the thread, but I'm looking to invest into an MFR.
And I totally agree with you. Great customer service is key in winning business. GOOD pictures, informative description, and responsiveness as a landlord is all part of it. Glad you found success with this approach, and I'm hoping to do the same.
I just moved to Philly from Boston, where renters have no way of bypassing a real estate broker. And now that I'm on the landlord side of the business, I'm trying to figure out if I HAVE TO work with an agent as well. From my experience on Zillow, it almost always leads to a broker as opposed to the landlord directly, so I'm trying to get to the bottom of it. Is it because landlords like to work with real estate agents or is it that the agents simply pump out a ton of listings on Zillow?
@Steve Boianelli , thanks for the input! I noticed you're based out of Medford, NJ, which is a suburb outside of Philadelphia. Do you own your rental properties in the suburbs too or somewhere in the city? I'm just curious to see if FB, Zillow, CL or any other outlet would be more/less effective when used for properties in the suburbs vs. urban areas. What are your thoughts?
Originally posted by @Ray Harrell :
Has anyone here experimented with renting rooms or SRO?
ONCE. I managed a huge apartment that would be tough to rent whole, so we tried renting 5 individual bedrooms, and what a headache. The only way I'll do it again is if its a large complex where I can have someone responsible for the property ON-SITE.
By the way, there is a 40 room SRO on the near south side for sale if you were thinking about getting in the biz :-).
@Roman Bulgakov - In the class C areas I mostly work in, the orange and black sign from home depot has worked best. Otherwise, zillow rental portal which will shoot your listing out to a number of websites. A/B areas I'd go on Zillow and maybe the MLS. Craigslist has been total garbage for me in the past year so I don't use it.
Also, facebook neighborhood/buy-sell groups are awesome to post in. Just be ready for the onslaught of naysayers who will reply publicly that you are a horrible person for renting your garbage unit for soooo much. I never reply to those, and they work in my favor because then the post gets bumped back to the top.
My properties aren’t in Medford but are in a suburb. I find that FB and Zillow work best to get your property noticed. I also like to strategically place my yard signs at bus stops and in convenient stores I hang fliers with my number and something stating For Rent. Gets people to call me. If they are serious about renting I give them the address and set appointments for showings.
Most of my tenants come from either zillow (or the websites zillow posts to) or networking and talking to people. It is amazing how many people are looking or know people looking for a place to live. So I tell everyone what I do and ask them if they know anyone who is looking for a place to live or looking to sell a property.
I️ used Multiple sites including cozy.com. My renter has a 794 credit score and she used craigslist to find me. Cozy screened them for credit score and background checks. Facebook had hardly any hits.
@Roman Bulgakov If you do not have a good handle on local landlord/tenant laws as it pertains to filling a rental in your area I would recommend either hiring an agent who specializes in filling rentals to do it for you and/or meeting with a local attorney who can breakdown for you the process you should be following.
I know the laws pertaining to this subject here in CT are not rocket science to understand, but I see people everyday leaving themselves in vulnerable situations when filling rentals.