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The 4 Biggest Mistakes Renters Make
Income properties are powerful ways to generate wealth. When you own a rental property, you can profit from rental income while also holding onto a valuable real estate property that could — with a little help from a growing real estate market — increase in value.
But to maximize your earnings from your rental property, you’ll need to get the best possible tenants and charge the right amount of rent. And the key to doing those things is to put your property’s best foot forward from the start — in the listing that lures would-be rentals. Making a mistake here can be costly, so be careful! Here are four mistakes to avoid in your rental listing.
Short-changing your square footage in photos
People don’t like renting homes that they can’t see. But not everyone walks through apartments and houses before they rent them these days, and even fewer people walk through spaces without first narrowing down their selection. And that means that you need your listing to do some work in introducing your space to would-be renters. You need photos!
But be careful. A poorly shot photo can hurt your apartment listing. Capture your apartment at midday or whenever it gets the most natural light. And be sure to cozy yourself into a corner or in a doorway. Get as much of the space in the shot as you can! If it’s not in the photo, it may as well not exist to your potential tenants.
Saying the right thing in the wrong words
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but on the modern internet, your words matter quite a bit — keywords, that is.
In the old days, getting the perfect listing meant describing the best features of your property while anticipating what potential renters were looking for. But, these days, that’s not enough. Saying your property has “an outside area” might have caught the eye of apartment hunters leafing through a pamphlet years ago, but these days, those same renters might miss your listing — because they entered “outdoor space” into the search bar, not “outside area.”
Get your keywords right, and focus on search engine optimization (SEO). Yes, the search bar on a rental listings website is a type of search engine, too — SEO is about more than just Google. Do keyword research and balance the use of smart keywords and keyword phrases in your listing. And don’t be afraid to hire a pro to help — this is important stuff!
Posting your listing in the wrong places
When renters look for their next home, they look online. More than 90 percent of the apartment- and house-hunting renters are looking on the internet, so make sure that your rental listing is there when they look — and that it’s on a reputable site (or more than one reputable site). Your listing’s SEO matters, but so does the SEO of the sites you list it on.
Great landlord software can help you here. Use good software to get set up with a strong listing in the right spot online, and let the right renter come to you.
Not including a rental application
In the old days, rental listings and rental applications were separate things. An old-timey would-be renter would open a printed catalog to peruse listings, and would then call a phone number and set up a meeting with the landlord to work on some paperwork. My, how times have changed! Now, all of that stuff is done online — and to please a would-be renter in this modern, fast-paced world, you had better have a free rental application right there on the internet with your listing.
But never fear. That’s just what good landlord software will help you set up. And, better yet, that same software should allow you to perform a quick background and credit check on your would-be tenant using the information in the rental application. That makes everything faster and easier for both you and your tenant, while still ensuring that you’re protected from the serious danger of having a bad tenant who could damage your property or fail to pay the rent.