I am ready to rent out two apartments after extensive renovations on my first rental property in Jersey City, NJ. After having inherited some uncooperative tenants who caused a lot of stress and agony last year, I am a little nervous about finding new tenants.
I have read Brandon Turner's book and others on managing rental property and understand how to screen and run background checks. But I am still uncertain what the best way to find great tenants. Do I take pictures myself and run an listing on an rental website? Is one website better then others? Should I be on all of them? Appreciate any thoughts and advice from all the wisdom here on BP!
Thanks so much!
Congratulations on the first property! You've done you homework, time to jump in.
I love to copy others. Find a professionally listed place that looks great in your market. Advertise like them. If they're on Craigslist, Hotpads, Zillow and Rent.com; do the same. Take pictures like theirs. Use a yard sign like theirs. Benefit from their knowledge (until you build you own preferences).
Be ready to go with the application, lease agreement, etc. You'll do great!
Our market is pretty hot right now and haven't had to advertise for a few years. Facebook has some groups for different areas, maybe there is a group for your area? It's good to help with comps as well. I've used Craigslist and will use Zillow on the next vacancy.
If you work for a company, you can touch base with HR and let them know you have a house available to rent for new hires.
Word of mouth is always good. If you have other great tenants already, let them know about the new place and offer a $100 finder's fee. Good luck!
Ask questions important to you at the bottom of the ad. I am most concerned with smoking and animals, so I ask if anyone smokes and how many animals they have. They respond by anonymous email only. Put your phone # in your ad if you want 87 'is it still available?' calls day and night. Good luck!
@Chris Sellers Thank you! That's a great idea! I will get on it tonight.
@Sean Lambert It didn't even occur to me to ask around work/social circles! Thank you! Word of mouth and Social media here I come.
@Steve Vaughan Thank you for the suggestions! I'll be sure to include my nonnegotiables in the listing. And an anonymous email address!
You could always hire a realtor just for getting it in the MLS and finding a great tenant.
We did our rental listing on cozy.co where applicants can apply directly there. They automatically aggregate your listing to realtor.com. I also did it on zillow.com which also automatically sends it trulia and hotpads.