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First-Time Landlords: Get Your Rental Ready for Your First Tenant(s)

Buying new house concept, realtor giving keys to couple

Half the battle in the tenancy business is getting tenants.

The other half is making them comfortable enough to extend their lease.

But you must win the first battle to enjoy the benefit of the title ‘landlord’.

How Do You Find Tenants?

There are two major steps to getting a tenant:

The Listing

This will help you get tenants interested in your property.

Invest in quality photography to showcase your property in the best light possible.

In the listing, highlight all the features a tenant will enjoy while living on the property, such as big windows, an island kitchen or a lush backyard.

The photos you share will get people interested and ready for the next step.

The Walkthrough

This is an opportunity for prospective tenants to visit the property. They can start envisioning themselves living there.

While the listing piques their interest, the walkthrough will seal the deal. It will help you land you your first tenant.

However, you need to get the property ready for the walkthrough.

The Walkthrough Checklist

Here is a checklist you can use to prepare your property for the showing:

Improve the Curb Appeal

The first thing an interested tenant will see is the exterior of the property.

You have seven seconds to make a first impression on the tenant.

Your property’s exterior can seal the deal in seven seconds or have the tenant ready to move on.

In preparation for the walkthrough, make sure you:

  • Mow the lawn.
  • Weed the garden.
  • Install or update the external locks.
  • Paint the exterior.
  • Clean the compound, including raking the leaves.

Present the Property

Staging your property for presentation can help you find tenants faster.

It gives the tenant ideas of what they can do with the place. During the walkthrough, they can envision using the space daily.

During the presentation, remove personal items from the property. Stick to general decor items with a universal appeal.

Odourise the Unit

One of the most prominent human senses is smell. A bad smell in the unit will have tenants running away before you finish the showing.

You can get rid of smells by:

  • Taking out all the trash before cleaning starts.
  • Leaving all the cabinets and wardrobes open to air for a few hours.
  • Cleaning the fridge and all other white goods. Turn off the appliance and leave them open to air.
  • Opening the windows before the prospective tenants arrive to let fresh air into the unit.

Paint the Unit

A fresh coat of paint will make the house feel new and updated.

Choose a neutral colour to present the house as a clean canvas. This way, tenants feel inspired to make it their own.

Clean the Unit

Get professional cleaners to deep clean the unit.

A deep clean will make even an old unit more attractive.

In the cleaning, make sure they pay attention to the exterior of the unit.

During the cleaning, ask the cleaners to:

  • Buff Floors – Ask the cleaners to buff any hardwood, tile, laminate or hard flooring to make it shiny. Clean and shiny floors make the unit more attractive.
  • Shine Windows – Clean windows will give the tenants a better view of their environment and improves the property’s curb appeal. It also lets more light into the property, making the room feel airier.
  • Air Soft Furnishings – Have the cleaners take out and air soft furnishing such as curtains, blinds and carpets.

Set the AC

Set the air conditioning system to offer relief from the external elements. You can switch it on about thirty minutes before the tenants arrive.

In the summer, you can lower the indoor temperature to keep the house cool. In the winter, you can heat up the house; tenants will enjoy experiencing the warmth inside.

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Get Ready for the Tenancy

After hosting a walkthrough for prospective tenants, you will start receiving rental applications immediately.

Before listing the property, think about the tenant’s experience. You need to simplify the tenancy experience before and after moving in.

Signing up to a rental management platform allows you to streamline the process.

On a platform like Lodge, you can prepare for the tenancy by:

Listing Your Property

Their listing platform allows you access to quality tenants. You can share photos of your property and start talking to prospective renters.

Through the listing, you can shortlist potential tenants and invite them to a showing.

Screening Potential Tenants

Once you identify prospective individuals, Lodge will help screen for quality tenants.

The screening gives information to help you make a decision. You will identify quality tenants who will take care of the property and pay rent on time.

Managing Your Rental(s)

Lodge offers a myriad of services to help you with administrative functions, such as:

  • A platform to upload all your property’s documents. Once they are on the platform, you can share them with ease.
  • A system to track your income and expenses. On Lodge, you can get an overview of all your transactions. This helps you make financial decisions that keep you profitable.
  • A financial reporting tool for every property you own. You can use the report to file your taxes or for other financial transactions.
  • A digital lease creation and signing function. You can use it to prepare and customise legally-binding lease documents.
  • A messaging tool for you and your tenants. You can use it to send and receive important messages, such as requests for repairs. 

Automated Rent Collection

While preparing for new tenants, you need to figure out how to collect rent.

With automated rent collection, you receive your money on time. You do not have to contact your tenant every rent cycle.

The automated begins with sending reminders a few days before the due date. Tenants can receive weekly, bi-weekly or monthly reminders.

Thereafter, you connect your account to the platform to receive the payments.

The tenants can credit the money directly to your account through:

  • Direct debit
  • One-off bank transfers
  • Bpay

Are You Ready for Your First Tenant?

Setting up for your tenants takes time.

You need to get everything ready to make the right first impression.

You must focus on the marketing and the walkthrough. This leaves you with little time to focus on the managerial aspects of the rental business.

Before you get the ball rolling, sign up to Lodge. It will help you simplify the rental process so you can enjoy the income from your investment.

You can also download a handbook to find out everything you need to begin.

Get started with their property management software today.

Photo: yanalya