For tenants with children, school district in the number one factor for selecting a rental property in which to reside. Single parents, in particular, are concerned that their children attend excellent schools and are willing to pay more to ensure they do. In addition, premium schools are often a strong indication that surrounding neighborhoods are also of premium quality. As an investor, strive to purchase rental properties located within great school districts.
Every tenant wants to know that they will rest safe and secure inside a new rental. Investors are wise to research crime rates within a given neighborhood prior to purchasing rentals. In addition, be sure to drive through prospective zip codes at night in order to observe evening activity.
A rental home's condition is of utmost concern to any solid applicant. If the property is available for immediate occupancy, even better! In the event that you prematurely rent out a property which is still in need of attention, you can expect to attract lower paying applicants. A premium tenant will plan to care for your property via cleanliness and timely reporting of maintenance issues. Therefore, it stands to reason that your tenant will expect the same in return from you as owner/landlord. Move-in ready properties indicate strong landlords who hold themselves to a high standard of such tidiness. Such attention will attract the exact applicant you want.
Related: Calculating Vacancy Rates
Lengthy work and school commutes are the pits. Look for rental properties which are close to shopping centers, places of employment and great schools. It will be difficult to attract a great tenant if your property is thirty minutes from the closest gas station and even farther away from freeway access. Think about the things your target applicants will want and shop for properties within those locations.
Upgrades, upgrades, upgrades! Higher caliber tenants will look for rental properties with hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, garages or private parking, granite countertops, etc. Don't throw down some laminate and call it a day. You cannot expect premium monthly rent for cheap finishes. You, much like your tenant, will get exactly what you pay for.
What are you willing to include with the monthly rent? Are you willing to include appliances? Heat? Water? Do not expect a decent monthly income off a property which does not even offer your tenant a refrigerator. Be willing to put something out there in order to gather more at the end of each month. Washers and dryers are a huge attraction for tenants and would be well worth the cost to you to include them in your property. Make the decision to apply easy for tenants because your property already has everything they are looking for. Make this a no-brainer!
As mentioned above, zip codes and school districts are key to attracting that highly desired tenant. Is your community safe? Is it well maintained? Is the crime rate low? Are the neighbors friendly? Do residential lots look like used car lots? Are their neighborhood amenities such as parks, YMCA, library, community REC center? All things to consider BEFORE you buy a rental. Premium tenants are attracted to premium neighborhoods.
Transportation is also a key factor for tenants who are looking for a place to rent. They want to be close to bus stops. They like walkable or bikeable communities and want to know they can get around easily without a car. It's all about the lifestyle and millennials, in particular, are more organically focused these days. They want to walk to the grocery store and jog to the gym. They appreciate a good bike ride to work, too! Make sure basic services are will within reach for prospective tenants.
Renters don't like difficulties or challenges of any kind. They are looking for things to be easy and the age of your property is going to be a vital component of the lifestyle for which they seek. Stick to rentals which are less than ten years old ideally. Renters have no interest in antiquated plumbing, questionably functionable HVAC systems and outdated electrical systems. The "charm" of a lost era is the the last thing they are looking for because it equals continuous maintenance and the word "independable" seeps into their minds. Stick with the current day and age!
Your property and tenant both comprise your business. In order to maintain the best possible relationship with a tenant, you must offer them a quality product at a reasonably affordable rate. Don't reach for the stars with your price tag. Make sure it is in keeping with comps, competitive enough to attract a premium tenant without sacrificing quality or budget.