If Renttoday.us knows anything about anything, we know tenants and we know what makes them smile and what really, really pisses them off! We’ve spent the last decade leasing literally thousands upon thousands of homes and talking to countless people about what they are looking for in a rental home, what they definitely don’t want, and what makes them sign on that dotted line and lease the home they will live in with their family or friends for the next twelve months or even years to come. Whether your rental homes are in Irvine, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Victorville, or Los Angeles…the needs and wants of your potential tenant are surprisingly very similar and the ability to have a viable, paying, and appreciative tenant each and every time your rental homes becomes vacant is all within your reach regardless of economics, the type of property you own, or where it is located.

If you are a real estate investor or just a homeowner with a rental property that needs a tenant, take a moment to learn about the things the tenants, YOUR CUSTOMERS are looking for in a rental property. We’ve listed them in order of importance:

#1: YOUR PRICE IS TOO HIGH! Tenants are looking for something that fits their budget… We really try to hit this point home every chance we get when talking to a property owner and that is…PRICE IS EVERYTHING and the MOST IMPORTANT factor to a tenant when searching for a rental home. The “budget” can vary obviously but whether the prospective tenant has a $4000 per month budget for a home in Laguna Niguel or a $900 budget for a 2 bedroom condo in Riverside…a budget is a budget and YOUR rental home needs to fit into it in order for the home to get leased. Makes perfect sense, right? If your rental homes do not pass this main criteria, the customer will not look any further at your place and continue on in their search. In fact, if your rental homes are overpriced there’s a very good chance your customer will not see it at all! More than 80% of tenants search on-line and will utilize a filtering system to narrow their search. For example, let’s say we’re talking about a 4 bedroom home in Rancho Cucamonga where the comps range between $1500 – $1800 per month which is what we recommended. You have a mortgage that is $2400 per month and cannot afford to have more than a $400 negative per month on this home so you insist on pricing it at $2000 per month which is $200 OVER the highest price point. What happens? NOTHING!!! No one looks at your home, no one inquires about it, and as a result…no one leases it. This is NOT what you want as a property owner with a vacant home. And really, it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Sound harsh? Sorry, we have no time but to speak only the cold hard truth….we’ve too busy leasing people’s homes that are priced right!

Now, we understand that you have no idea what an individual’s budget may be and how your home might or might not fit into that equation but a good start is to price your home COMPETITIVELY along with other properties that are similar to yours on the market now and that have recently leased within the past few months. In the biz, we call these “comps”. Your friendly Renttoday.us rep will gladly run a complimentary comparison report for you and recommend a great price that will attract the largest amount of tenants in which to choose from to lease your rental homes quick! Please listen to our recommendations, as they are based upon facts pertaining to the property and the market and not based on emotions, how much your mortgage payment is, what your neighbor says they leased their home for or any of that type of stuff. Trust us, list your house for the price we say and it will lease…it’s a fact we’ve proven on a daily basis here at Renttoday.us.
#2 NO RENT SPECIALS! Tenants are looking for a little something extra that makes them feel they done good! What do we mean by this? Simple, people are looking for a bargain, a special, a sale…some REASON in which to make a decision or pick one thing over another. It’s human nature and it applies heavily to where rental homes are concerned! I know we just talked about getting the rental home at the right price and how oh so important that is which is all very true but that’s not always good enough! After all, who gives a crabapple if you bought something at a price everyone else could buy it for? Who brags about that? Do you run home to your neighbors or post on Facebook that you just bought a pair of $200 jeans for $200? No, because no one cares about that and it’s nothing special. Anyone can buy anything for full sticker price…that’s a given. BUUUUUTT, if they feel they just scored a deal that no one else could get or is hard to come by or required some negotiating or timely searching on their part…that is Facebook worthy! When this happens the customer is EXCITED, APPRECIATIVE, and HAPPY which are all the things that you want in a tenant….trust us! We’ve dealt with the opposite and this is much, much better every time. So, how does this apply to your 3 bedroom cottage in Yorba Linda that you’ve been trying to offload for the past 60 days with no luck? Easy….well, first you need to have the right price which we already discussed and then secondly you need to pair it with a RENT SPECIAL! Something like…ONE MONTH FREE RENT….or maybe TWO WEEKS FREE RENT….or if you are really hard headed….ONE WEEK FREE RENT! The right price gets you in the game but add this with a rent special and you have the ability to hit it right out of the park!! We try to do our part as well here at Renttoday.us and we offer FREE RENTAL APPLICATIONS for all of our featured listings which is a tremendous help to our property owners in giving them that cutting edge over the competition. But, really it doesn’t matter much if the price isn’t right and there’s nothing extra to help it along. We definitely recommend going all out with the ONE MONTH FREE rent special but at the very minimum, do the TWO WEEKS. If you do any less than that, it’s really just a waste of time. Sometimes I’ll have owners suggest $100 off or maybe $200 off the first month’s rent and offers like that really fall flat. Do you run to the store because they’re giving 10% off? Of course not!! I personally don’t even blink until I see at least 40% off and your customers, our tenants and I’m sure even yourself are exactly the same way so let’s use this knowledge to our advantage. It’s a win-win for everyone!
#3: YOUR PROPERTY LOOKS LIKE CRAP! Too harsh? FINE, your property leaves much to be desired….happy? OK, so let’s assume we’ve gotten you past the first two hurdles and as a property owner have priced the home competitively, in fact…you are the lowest house on the market in your area (bravo!) AND on top of that you are smart enough to sweeten the pot with ONE MONTH FREE RENT! (way to go!). You think that you’re hot to trot and should have the prospective tenants lining up around the corner to lease your home, right? Well, almost! We need to take a little look at the rental home itself, otherwise known as “the product”. A decent tenant will have some minimum requirements on what they can expect upon move in and the last thing you want to do is make them feel as if you could care less.

Your rental home is your business and it’s also your product and you need to think of it like it is a dress in a store, a toy on the shelf, a car on the lot…you get the picture. So whether your property is an estate home in Mission Viejo or a run of the mill 3 bedroom / 2 bath rental home in Anaheim….your home is your product and you need to look at how others are viewing it and take pride in what you are offering. Now, you don’t have to make it the Taj Mahal for gosh sakes but it should look good for the price you are asking and meet some minimum requirements. For instance, it should be professionally cleaned, the carpet should be free of stains and also be professionally steam cleaned and we don’t mean renting the machine from the grocery store either…everyone knows those don’t work! All the appliances should be operable and present and the major functions of the house such as the A/C, plumbing and electrical should all be to code in and working order. There’s nothing worse than an owner giving us a long list of “characteristics” of the house to relay back to the new tenant. For gosh sakes, if you have to jiggle the doorknob 3 different ways in order to make the key work….get a new doorknob!!! If the carpet smells….get rid of it! If the walls are dirty…paint them! I know this all costs money but hey, if you can’t stand the heat….maybe you should get out of the kitchen. It’s not your tenants fault that you can’t afford to run the business you are in and it’s not their fault the last tenant trashed the place and it’s not their fault you have an adjustable rate mortgage, etc. etc. They are paying money to lease your home and it’s your responsibility as the owner to provide a clean, safe, pleasant environment for which to live by normal American living standards and that’s just the way it goes. If you don’t do this…trust us, your tenant will notice and they either will not feel appreciated thus not caring about you or your property or probably paying rent for that matter, they will complain about every little thing, or they just won’t lease it at all which as we mentioned before is counter productive to the goal at hand. Bottom line…what we are trying to say here is DON’T BE CHEAP AND DON’T BE A SLUM LORD.