How to effectively market to and choose good tenants
May 1, 2009
Property management is great businesses. That is, they are great businesses if they are treated like businesses. Too many landlords don’t. They act as if their applicants and tenants are necessary inconveniences. Then they wonder why they have trouble with their investment properties.
We make our profits from the people who rent from us. Our tenants, residents or community, whatever you want to call them, are our bread and butter. In addition, we have some distinct advantages in our business that some other businesses don’t have.
Most businesses don’t have the opportunity to choose who their customers will be. We do.
Most businesses just enough customers show up who actually want to buy. Landlords and property managers, especially in a good market, often have the luxury of an overabundance of potential customers, only a few of whom we may be able to serve. Does everyone have an overabundance now? Well, not right this second. But we will in a few months.
Here’s the best part. With effective marketing, we can get an even better selection.
Most businesses have to try to keep customers coming back. We, assuming we select the right customers and provide reasonable service, can have them coming back every month with the rent checks for many years. It can be far more inconvenient for our customers to move than to stay where they are. In other words, once we have them, they are ours for some time, barring life interfering with new jobs, larger families or some family situation that requires a move.
Selecting the right customers (tenants) is the key to being truly great in our business. By marketing continuously and effectively, we can make our businesses great. If it’s already great, it can be superb.
When we market effectively, we discover that applicants begin to have a top-notch aura about them: steady jobs, great rental histories, well-behaved children.
In this issue, I have put together some important information and ideas to help attract the kind of tenant you will want to keep as your customer forever.
The basics are these: We don’t make money when we rent to unqualified people; they may not pay the rent and they may not take care of our properties. Besides, and just as bad, bad tenants drive off good tenants. Good marketing helps us find good people. The idea is not to get just one, but lots of super- qualified folks looking at any and every property we have for rent. Part of the technique is to do thing to the property that attract the most qualified applicants; but that’s a topic for another time.
This issue is devoted to advertising and attracting new tenants through marketing.
The article on ad writing provides some suggestions on things to do to get your ad noticed before anyone else’s, and how to attract the attention of the people who would want the benefits your property offers.
Look at the great ideas on telephone technique that sends the message you are happy that your caller picked your property to inquire about.
Then read the ideas about qualifying applicants over the telephone. It could save you time, trouble and money in showing a unit to someone for whom there is no way the property would work, or whom you would rent to.
When you meet an applicant, there are some simple ways to convey through body language, attitude and voice that you are really someone people want to rent from. You will have the luxury of a lot of applicants disappointed that you didn’t select them as tenants.
It’s all in the marketing. Marketing doesn’t stop, of course, when your ten ant moves in; it is an on-going process. Just keep the thought in front of your mind that your tenants are your customers, that they pay your bills. Do whatever it takes to attract and rent to the best tenants you can find; then do the things that will keep them as your tenants.