San Antonio investors and landlords all desire a successful rental experience. Having a good experience starts with choosing the right tenant.
The right tenant provides predictability and profit. You know you’ll have rent paid on time every month, your property’s value will increase, and you will have a positive tenancy. A bad tenant, however, will cost you time and money. With the wrong tenant, you risk property damage and late rent. You could even find yourself having to evict that tenant.
Protect yourself and your property with a thorough and rigorous tenant placement process.
Tenant screening is critical, and it starts long before you begin verifying the information on your tenant’s application.
If you’re struggling with the resources and tools to properly screen potential San Antonio tenants, hand the process over to a professional property manager.
San Antonio Property Management: Pricing to Attract Good Tenants
Proper pricing has an impact on the tenants you attract to your rental property.
Well-qualified tenants can choose from any of the rental properties they find in San Antonio. A good tenant with a history of paying rent on time and taking care of properties can choose to live anywhere, especially if they have good landlord references. Those high quality tenants won’t pay more than they should. They are educated, and they understand the San Antonio market. They are looking at a lot of properties, and you don’t want to chase them away from your home because it’s overpriced.
Pricing your home competitively will earn you more in the long term because you’ll avoid vacancy and place a good tenant.
San Antonio Rental Property Advertising and Marketing
Marketing and advertising your rental home properly will help attract good tenants.
Many landlords choose to advertise on Craigslist, but that site shouldn’t be your only platform. Remember that your ideal tenant is someone qualified and willing to rent for the long-term. You’re looking for an above-average tenant, and you need to reach them in the right places. That’s not always going to be Craigslist.
Prior to posting your ad, make sure your property is ready for the rental market.
- Handle all deferred maintenance. Check everything in the property from the air conditioning unit to the doorknobs.
- Provide your property with curb appeal. The walls need fresh, clean, neutral-colored paint. The floors need to be professionally cleaned if they have carpet, and free of damage if they’re tile or laminate. Inspect your property the way a tenant will inspect it.
- Clean the home professionally and thoroughly. The bathrooms and appliances should shine. You want the home to smell fresh.
Online advertising is your best tool for finding a great tenant. So, write an ad that reflects all the outstanding parts of your property. Include information on your yard, your parking situation, whether a bedroom has been updated. Talk about any extra bathrooms you have, your fireplace, or the new appliances in the kitchen. If you’re in a desirable location, be sure to advertise the school district or the proximity to commuter routes and shopping. Include as many high quality pictures as you can.
Your well-qualified tenants visit rental sites like Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, Rentals.com, and Rent.com. Tenants in San Antonio may be getting help from agents who use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Property managers will include your ad on their website when you work with them.
When it comes to rental advertising, there’s still a place for signage – even in our digital world. An attractive, professional sign at the property is a good way to attract tenants who happen to be walking or driving through the neighborhood. It will also allow people currently living nearby to refer people they know who are looking for a home. Make sure your contact information is clearly listed on the sign.
Showing your San Antonio Property: Be Available and Communicate
You have options when it comes to showing your property. Many landlords and property managers prefer to show the home in person. This is an excellent way to find the best tenants because it enables you to meet face to face with your prospective renters and do a little pre-screening.
However, not everyone has the time to meet with prospects in person. Technology has helped to streamline the showing process and make it more efficient. If you don’t want to do your own showings, you can use apps and software that allow tenants to see the property on their own, in private and at any time that works for them. San Antonio tenants appreciate this method of seeing a potential home. It’s easier for them, and it can move the rental process along much faster.
Whatever method you choose, make sure you’re available and responsive to inquiries. When you don’t answer emails or follow up with phone calls, you lose great tenants. They aren’t going to wait around to hear from you; they’ll simply move onto the next home. Return phone calls and emails.
Property Management in San Antonio: Application Tips
Use a written application to collect all the tenant’s pertinent information, including names, contact information, social security numbers, current and past addresses, employment information, and landlord references. The rental application must also provide permission for you to conduct a background check and a credit check.
Good tenants will fill out the application completely and quickly. Providing an online application rather than a printed one will streamline your process and get a good tenant approved quickly. Make the application process easy for them.
To properly screen your applicants, you’ll need documentation. Get a copy of their government-issued I.D. and ask for pay stubs or bank and tax statements that verify their income. Online software will allow tenants to securely upload those documents. If you don’t have a system that supports this, consider working with a management company or a screening company so this entire process is automated for you and your prospective tenant.
Always give potential applicants your application criteria as well. Let them know what you’ll be looking for. When you’re clear and proactive about the credit and income standards you expect, you’ll eliminate a lot of unqualified tenants right away. It’s best to provide something in writing that details your requirements. This will also help you if there are any fair housing claims.
Property Management San Antonio: Screening Tips and Advice
Your tenant screening process will help you identify a good tenant for your property. Screen tenants the way professional San Antonio property managers screen them. Pay attention to the following:
Tenant’s rental history. This is a good indicator of how someone will perform in your property. Talk to former and current landlords. Ask about whether the tenant paid rent on time, took care of the home, gave proper notice, or violated any lease terms. Ask if they would rent to this tenant again.
Tenant credit and financials. Your tenant doesn’t need to have perfect credit. But, you do need a tenant without prior evictions or any landlord debt. Look for unpaid or overdue utility payments, and avoid any tenants who are currently in bankruptcy or looking like they might declare bankruptcy. Measure their debt against their income.
Criminal background checks. The best tenants usually aren’t felons. Minor traffic incidents from 20 years ago are no big deal, but you don’t want anyone with a history of violent crimes, drugs, or predatory behavior.
Income and employment verifications. You want to see a stable employment history and an income that’s at least three time the amount of your rent.
Resist the temptation to do a basic credit check and approve the first applicant you get. You’re seeking a good tenant. So, take the time to do a proper screening. Dig into the application and make sure you have an idea of who is going to live in your home.
Federal and State Fair Housing Laws
When you’re looking for the best San Antonio tenants, you need to follow all fair housing laws. These laws are enforced in federal courts and also at the state and local levels. No one wants to discriminate intentionally. However, you can make some big fair housing mistakes without realizing it. The language you use in your advertising can be unfair, for example. Saying that a property is perfect for families or in a neighborhood that’s popular with one particular culture can get you into fair housing trouble.
Take the time to get to know the fair housing laws, and put together a strategy for following them. These laws change all the time. For example, what do you know what disparate impact means? This has become a big part of how you look at criminal backgrounds when you’re screening tenants. If you’re not sure how to handle these laws, make sure you’re talking to a professional property manager in San Antonio. Fair housing lawsuits are expensive, and the fines can be outrageous. You don’t want to make any mistakes in this area.
The best tenant is easy to identify, but often hard to find.
When you need help finding the best tenants, or you have questions about anything pertaining to San Antonio property management, please contact us at Specialized Property Management.