Renting in the summertime is easy – if you do your job right. With the rental market more competitive than ever, it’s important to have your property pristine, your listing legally sound, and your rental processes down to a T.
Fortunately, preparing for leasing season can be done in just a few simple steps. As a new crop of quality tenants start searching for homes this season, here is how to make sure you and your property are rent-ready.
1. Schedule a property inspection to check on all areas of your unit
You don’t want to scare off potential tenants with broken knobs, toothbrush holders, or oven handles, especially when a property flaw could be an easy, low-cost fix in the first place.
Before leasing season, conduct a property inspection before you start showing the home to check for damage or wear that needs to be addressed. Prospective tenants might casually test for leaky faucets or working windows as they tour the home, and you don’t want to be caught off guard.
2. Make sure your tenants are following property maintenance standards
Make sure to have everything looking cared for. Let your current residents know about upcoming tour dates and ask them to spot-clean for the event.
Subtle maintenance like vacuuming and wiping down counters are reasonable requests. The property doesn’t have to be pristine, but current tenants shouldn’t be airing their dirty laundry – literally or otherwise.
3. Seasonal landscaping and maintenance are a must
For most folks, outer spring cleaning is a necessary evil, but it’s especially important for peak leasing season. Get gutters and furnace filters taken care of right away. This is typically done during the end of winter or early spring. The polished exterior will draw prospects and your current residents will appreciate the upkeep.
4. Update policies to reflect market trends, best practices, and landlord preferences
Think about your property investment going forward. As leasing season approaches, are there any amendments to the lease or the property itself that you’d like to change?
Review your terms to make sure your rent, late fees, maintenance duties, etc. are all current.
These steps help to ensure that prospective residents won’t feel misinformed when they walk through the door. An honest picture of the home and comprehensive lease agreements will attract the right tenants.
It will also prevent wasted time during peak leasing season, as well as bad word-of-mouth from prospects who think they’ve been tricked.
5. Update property photos and descriptions to include any renovations
Take a look at the property description and photos you have on file before you repost your listing. Does it still accurately reflect the condition and amenities of the residence?
Did you add a washer and dryer or a fence around the backyard? These can add to your property value. Did you paint a room a different color or knock down a wall? The home should be rephotographed so potential residents aren’t surprised when they take a tour.
Are the utility responsibilities accounted for in full? What about pet policies or parking information? Consider every searchable filter and how you can answer frequently asked questions in the post.
6. Get feedback and ask for reviews
Make use of customer feedback for optimizing landlord duties. As the leasing season approaches, consider the difficulties in the past year of renting out your property. What were the biggest or most frequent pain points (i.e. promoting the property, finding reliable contractors)?
Use these issues to make any necessary management updates. You can also use surveys and reviews to gauge your current tenant’s opinion, especially if acting on their concerns would encourage them to stay and prevent any vacancies.
7. Go digital
Most problems that aren’t related to the property’s condition can be resolved with software or a property manager. Whether you start using tech yourself or hire a property manager to use their own tools, your rental processes will be so much speedier if you automate it and use online options.
This is crucial during peak leasing season as you handle marketing, rent rates, applications, screenings, and deposits. Even after you find a new tenant, online tools will streamline timely payments and maintenance requests.
8. Automate services with a property manager
A property manager provides the most cost-effective, time-efficient solution for all of the above. They can observe market trends and advise you on your best financial return. They’ll stay on top of leads but also work to foster relationships with your tenants so they’re more likely to renew.
They’ll preserve your property’s ship-shape appearance at all times while keeping up with Fair Housing laws. There is no need get overwhelmed by the busy leasing season if you come prepared.
By following these tips, you’re sure to be rent season ready to welcome your prospective new tenants.