Attracting quality tenants is an important part of your strategy for earning as much rental income as you can and increasing your return on investment (ROI). You want well-qualified renters in your San Diego rental property because they are likely to rent on time, take care of your investment, and follow all the terms of your lease agreement.
How do you ensure you’re identifying, attracting, and eventually placing the best possible residents for your home?
It starts with the marketing process.
You need to grab their attention with a great listing, and then you need to establish an emotional connection when they see your property.
Give your prospective residents a good reason to rent your property instead of all the other properties they’re seeing.
Most of the tenants who schedule showings have already seen your listing, and they’ve likely seen it online. So, they already understand the relative size and the number of bathrooms and bedrooms. When they arrive for an in-person showing, they want to imagine themselves moving right in.
Here are some home showing tips that will help you get your property quickly rented to excellent residents.
Good Showings Start with Good Listings: Consider a Video Tour
You never want a potential tenant to show up, see the property, and be disappointed in what they find.
Make sure they know what to expect before they arrive to see your property. Your photos will help. Your description will also help, as long as it’s accurate and informative.
There’s one more element that can really help: video.
Consider including a video tour with your online listing. Anyone who sees your photos and reads your listing will then have the opportunity to have a mini-showing before they commit to an in-person tour of the home. This will save everyone time; they’ll know based on the video tour if it’s a home they really want to see.
Offer Self-Showings to San Diego Tenants
There is plenty of self-showing technology available to landlords and property owners who want to make it easier for tenants to see their homes.
As property managers in San Diego, we have noticed that self-showings have increased the amount of interest we generate in vacant properties. It’s brought down vacancy rates and attracted a larger pool of tenants. By offering self-showings, we’re able to eliminate the delays that can occur as schedules are juggled.
Almost everything is on-demand these days, and this technology helps us meet that need. Sometimes, a prospective tenant is only in town for a day or two and has very limited availability. With this smart lock installed at the home, we can also provide digital access for maintenance vendors, and we don’t have to change the lock and rekey the property during every turnover.
Using this technology is efficient, convenient, safe, and it increases the number of tenants we have viewing our properties. It gets your home rented faster, and it keeps marketing costs low.
Showings will Bring Attention to Your Curb Appeal
How does your property look from the outside? This will be the first glimpse potential tenants have when they arrive to see your rental. It has to count.
Here’s how you can get the right kind of attention for your curb appeal when you’re showing your property:
- Make Sure Paint Pops
How’s the condition of your paint? Paint remains one of the most valuable and cost-effective investments you can make in your rental property, whether it’s interior or exterior paint. Fresh paint is a great way to increase your curb appeal as well as your rental value. If it’s faded, chipped, or simply unattractive – schedule some painters to give your exterior paint a modern, clean update.
- Pressure Washing
A quick power wash is inexpensive and easy. There’s likely to be a lot of debris, dirt, pollen, and wayward leaves clinging to the outside of your rental home. Your driveway and sidewalks can usually use a good cleaning, too. Pavement tends to get darker as the dirt accumulates.
The washing will rinse away everything old and dirty and give your property a clean and fresh look. If you don’t have your own power washing vendor, you can rent the equipment or hire a service. It won’t be too expensive.
- Think about Security with Lighting
Good lighting outside your property is more than just curb appeal. It’s also a security issue. You want your tenants and their guests to feel safe coming and going. Make sure there’s good lighting at the front door, on the side of the house, and in the back. Motion lights can be a good idea, too.
- Update Landscaping
Offering a well-landscaped home is an excellent way to earn the highest possible rent and attract qualified tenants. You want it to look clean and pretty, but also low-maintenance. Low-maintenance plants and simple landscaping features will enhance your curb appeal.
Keep the Lights On and the Water Running
It’s weird to schedule showings knowing that the utilities are not on at your rental property.
Tenants will want to know exactly how things work at your property before they agree to rent it. They’ll need to turn on lights and run faucets.
Focus on setting a perfect scene. Incorporate natural lighting, soothing smells, and a generally comfortable feel. When you can offer a clean, empty property that’s open and spacious, you’ll find you have successful showings.
If you’re committed to staging the home, do it with minimalism in mind. A few pieces of well-placed furniture can look good, but you don’t want a property that’s full of personal items or furnishings. Tenants will want to imagine how the property will look with their own things inside of it.
Leave a flyer or some information on how to apply for the home so prospective residents can easily move to the next steps.
Present a Clean and Functional Home
Potential residents are scheduling showings because they liked what they saw on your listing. You’ll want the property to reflect the pictures you took and the description you wrote. It’s important that everything is working. If a prospective tenant turns on a sink and there isn’t any water coming out, you won’t make a great impression. Take care of all maintenance issues and repair needs – no matter how minor – before you begin showing the home.
You also want the property to be obsessively clean. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook smaller cleaning tasks like dusting or vacuuming. Hire professionals who will be extremely detail-oriented, and make sure that the home looks as good as possible.
Leverage all the Senses During Showings
You want your prospective tenants to immediately feel like they are walking into their next home. To create that emotional connection we talked about earlier, you need to hit every one of their senses. The home has to look good. It also has to smell good. There shouldn’t be an obnoxiously loud hum coming from the refrigerator.
Here are some of the ways to make your showing a sensory experience for possible guests.
- Focus on how to provide abundant lighting. Natural light is great, and you should open the curtains and the blinds. But, keep all the overhead lights on, too. You want tenants to get a good look at every room.
- Pay attention to how the property smells. No one will want to move into a home that smells musty, dirty, or old. Turn on the air conditioning if you have it to chase away any stale smells. You can also consider some scented candles or more subtle plug-in air fresheners. Fresh smells are good, but don’t overdo it. Some people may have sensitivities, and they’ll be turned off by anything that smells too strong.
- Consider playing some music during walk-throughs and showings. Something acoustic or classical will help those tenants relax as they move from room to room.
- Encourage tenants to touch and test things out. Let them open closet doors and put bare feet on the new carpet.
All of these details will contribute to a pleasant showing for you and your potential tenants. It also prevents them from distractions so they can focus on the property and what it offers.
Post-Showing: Follow Up With Prospective San Diego Tenants
The rental market moves quickly in San Diego, and by now tenants likely know that they have to apply quickly if they want to secure a property that has caught their eye. You don’t want good tenants to miss out on the opportunity to rent your property. If you’re there in person showing the property, provide all the information that they need and answer any questions. Invite them to complete an application and give them instructions on how to do so. If you’re allowing self-showings, send a text or make a call right after they see it to find out if they have any questions. You can also ask if they plan to apply for the home. You might be able to elicit feedback about what they liked or didn’t like. You can use this information to market your property better.
If you’d like some help with showings, we can provide it. We’re your expert San Diego property managers. Please contact us at Chase Pacific Property Management & Real Estate Services.