3 things your single-family investment property needs to attract quality tenants

water coolerWe’ve all heard the “expert” share their stories around the water cooler about how his or her uncle, cousin, friend of a friends tenant trashed their property, refused to pay rent and had to go through the costly eviction process (especially here in Ontario). So, how can we eliminate or reduce the risk? Investing in real estate is a business and in order to run a successful business, you need to provide a better product than your competitors. When we provide a high quality product (our property) at a fair price (market rent) naturally, our business will attract quality clients (tenants). Here are some tips to attract the tenants you want and to ward off the under qualified.

1. Location, Location, Location!

Buying a property in a great location is key when it comes to a single-family investment. Your ideal clientele will most likely have children and parents want to provide them with a safe area to grow up. Focus on a quiet neighborhood away from heavy traffic. Find a home close to parks, baseball diamonds, basketball courts and community centres where they have events and programs all year long. Second on a parents list is education. Give your tenants the option of being able to choose between catholic and public schools for their children, including high schools within close proximity. Now that the kids are taken care of, parents can start thinking about themselves. They want access to grocery stores, hardware stores, public transportation and highways within close distance to their new home. The less time they have to travel to and from work everyday the better. Finding a neighborhood with ALL of these will be tough. Working a realtor who specializes in single-family investment properties will be able to help you find the best properties in the best neighborhoods.

2. Provide a clean and updated home.

Many investors completely disregard the exterior of their properties. Curb appeal is extremely important! Don R. Campbell, president of the Real Estate Investment Network always says, “If your property does not look clean and presentable from the outside, your appointments will drive up, slow down and keep driving. And you’ll wonder why no one continues to show up. They did!” Now that we have them through the door, believe it or not, more than 50% of their decision of whether they want to live in your unit is based within the first ten seconds of entering. The smell, the paint colour, the layout, the flooring. All of this is immediately registered and makes up a big part of their decision. I recommended painting your entire unit in a light neutral colour. It’s clean, effective and gives the tenant a chance to mentally design the rest of the space. Make sure the flooring; kitchen and bathrooms are up to date. I don’t recommend throwing in granite counters and slate tiles down, unless that’s the market you are appealing to, but a renovated, clean and safe home is all your tenants are asking for. Provide this, and you will attract high quality and loyal tenants who want to stay and feel proud of their home. Watch my Webisode of me renovating a clients property as an example of how to take a home that needs simple updating and making it the best rental on the street!

3. Get a good property manager.

Having a good property manager is extremely important in making sure your business runs smoothly. You want someone who knows the business and is presentable and professional when showing your home to prospective tenants and when dealing with issues. Your tenants want to feel safe and taken care of. If your property manager talks down to them because they are just a “tenant”, they will resent you and think, “this is just another slumlord.” This goes back to having a specialized realtor who already has a team of trusted professionals at your disposal. Join an investment group in your area, get educated and build your team of specialized professionals.

Now that you have found prospective tenants who are interested in your property, step one is done. Now it’s time to qualify them like a sophisticated investor to reduce the risk even further. But that’s for another blog post. I hope this information helped you think like a sophisticated investor rather then a “landlord.” If you’re looking to work with a single-family specialist in KW/Cambridge, feel free to contact me anytime. I look forward to expanding your real estate portfolio!

Mat Piche

RE/MAX Real Estate Centre




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