Despite some economic challenges, experienced and successful Alberta landlords know how to find good, paying renters in 2017
Alberta landlords know the past year has been a challenging one for many of us. This is especially true compared to how good things were only a few years ago.
There have been a lot of posts at the Alberta Landlords Association community members forum from small residential landlords explaining the challenges they are facing these days.
An Edmonton landlord wrote about problems finding good tenants compared to years past. He explained that only a few years ago he would put up an advertisement and receive a bunch of replies within a day or two (and sometimes in the same day).
He posted this on the Alberta Landlords Association forum and asked how other landlords were finding the market in 2016 and what to expect in 2017.
His question was a good one. There has been a pretty significant raise in the number of empty properties. The Edmonton Sun had a report showing that Alberta vacancy rates climbed to 8.1 percent from 5.6 percent in 2016.
Supply and demand is important in the rental industry and when there is more supply (rentals) than demand (tenants wanting to rent) it can lead to a very difficult environment to find people to fill your units fast.
Jen is a Calgary landlord who replied to the thread saying she was having a hard time too. She posted an ad for her Calgary rental unit and received a lot of replies. But when people came to see her place they wanted to negotiate things like the rent price and even things such as getting a new paint job and updated appliances.
A couple of teachers who are Lethbridge landlords with a student rental say there are new places coming on to the market. It’s like everyone thought there was a “pot of gold” owning rental properties a few years ago and now there are too many buildings and not enough renters.
How To Find Good, Paying Renters in 2017
Lots of landlords are worried about the challenges they face in 2017. With all these comments on the difficult situation there was a terrific reply at the Alberta Landlords Association about finding great tenants for your rental property. It was from a very experienced landlord who has been through good times and bad. Here’s some of their wise advice:
1. Make Your Property Stand Out From the Crowd
First impressions count. Everyone wants to have a nice exterior to attract good paying tenants. Whether it’s when tenants see your ad online or when they drive by to take a look, you want to make sure your property stands out.
2. Make Sure Your Rental Is Safe and Renter-Friendly
It’s important to also look ‘under the hood’ of your rental property and make sure everything is working right. Make sure all the doors close properly. Spend time checking there aren’t any leaks, mold, or broken electrical sockets. If the rugs or carpets are a bit frayed, fix them or replace them.
Nowadays tenants all across Canada are becoming very careful about choosing where they will spend their hard earned money. Tenants want to make sure their rental housing is safe and legal.
How about the basement? Take your potential renters and show them it’s clean and not damp. What about your windows? Make sure you don’t have any drafts and let your potential renters check it for themselves.
3. Price Your Property Right
It’s important to check out what other properties in your area or renting for. Experienced landlords all know there are going to be some real low ball prices out there. Usually these properties are priced that way for a good reason: they are dumpy.
If you see some low ball prices go take a look at the properties and make sure they really are inferior to yours. In challenging economic times some new landlords will panic and set their prices at a cheap rate. You have to know who your competition is for the best renters out there.
4. Let Potential Renters Know What a Terrific Landlord You Are
This is a very important piece of advice. When you meet potential tenants you can use this opportunity to not only tell them about the property. You can also let them know about you, their potential landlord.
Let’s face it, some new landlords aren’t the most ‘service oriented’ folks out there. This means many renters are a bit wary who their landlord will be (and for good reason). The presents a wonderful opportunity for you to make yourself shine!
For example, you can explain to them how you take being a landlord very seriously. Let them know you always try to reply to any calls or emails quickly. Tell them about repairs you have done in the property. Take them for a personal tour of the property so they know you are not an absentee landlord.
If you have a property manager, invite them to come along to meet the new prospective tenants. This is help your prospects choose you and your rental property. Remember to do what it takes to show them you are the landlord they’ve been looking for.
5. Add A “Personal Touch” For Your Tenants
If tenants have a few high quality rentals to choose from, make sure you take action. An extra month of vacancy is going to cost you more than offering some sort of improvement on the house.
You can get good tenants to choose you and your rental property by offering to paint the bedrooms or supply a dishwasher (which you can keep for years to attract tenants in the future).
Alberta Landlords Can Find All the Good Renters Out There
Successful Alberta landlords have learned tips and strategies to succeed no matter what the economic climate. There are always lots of good tenants out there and it’s up to you to make your rental property the one they choose. Make sure you always conduct proper tenant screening (at all times) and run a credit check.
We will have more tips and discuss them in our next post. Alberta landlords make sure you focus on your goals and do what it takes to find good tenants and make your rental property a success!