To attract outstanding San Antonio tenants, you need to catch their attention with strategic marketing and a constructive showing experience. But, before you can advertise your rental home or let prospective tenants see it, you have to make it rent-ready. Getting it ready for the San Antonio rental market means making sure it’s spotless, habitable, and nice-looking.
Consider some of these tips to ensure your property stands out from the competition when potential tenants are looking for a great place to live.
Curb Appeal Matters to San Antonio Tenants
The first thing you need to do is make a positive first impression. Look at your property from the street and evaluate whether it looks like the type of place in which you’d like to live. Your property’s first impression can only be made once. Some tenants will not bother going into a home if it looks shabby and ramshackle from the outside. Create some great curb appeal with a few easy touches, such as a little bit of gardening and landscaping. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you should at least trim the bushes, cut the lawn, and make sure there isn’t any trash or debris outside the house. Plant some pretty flowers or put a pot of colorful blooms right outside the door to brighten up the entry.
Power-wash the property if it looks stained or worn. Clear away any dust and cobwebs outside of the doors and windows. Replace any bent or missing window blinds and make sure the doorbell works.
If you’re renting out a unit in an apartment building or a multi-family duplex, make sure the outside common areas are cleaned up and tidy. Pay attention to the condition of the paint, and check for adequate exterior lighting. Sand and seal any decks, patios, or balconies. Your property isn’t ready for the rental market until it looks inviting from the outside.
Clean the Property Thoroughly and Remove Personal Items
Many San Antonio landlords are renting out the home they were previously living in. If this describes you, be sure you have cleared out all of your personal belongings. Don’t store blankets in closets or leave tools in the garage. You might think you’re helping your future tenant by leaving a lawn mower in the garage, but that actually creates a lot of liability and risk that you don’t need.
The property must be completely empty so renters can get an idea of how their furniture and possessions will look in the home. They won’t want to see any clutter or things that belonged to other people. Remove anything that former tenants left behind before putting your property on the market.
Present a property that’s perfectly clean. Hire professional cleaners to scrub every surface. When potential renters come to see the home, they are going to take a close look at the condition of the appliances, the sinks, the tubs, and the toilets. They won’t want to see dust on ceiling fans or hair in the drains. Have your cleaners wipe down the top of the refrigerator, polish the hardware on cabinets, and clean the inside of the oven. Have your carpets cleaned. Everything has to look clean, fresh, and new. Good tenants will not want to live in someone else’s dirt.
Provide a Functional Rental Property in San Antonio
Your rental property must be habitable and functional before you put it on the market. Prior to listing it, inspect every room in the house. Turn on every light switch, check every outlet, and flush every toilet. Look for leaks under sinks, test the water pressure in the showers, and make sure all of your appliances are working. The locks should work on doors, and windows should open and close without a problem. Clean out the gutters, and check for holes or leaks in the roof. Floors should be in good condition and paint shouldn’t be chipped or scratched.
Take care of all the things that need attention as reflected in the Texas Property Code. This includes re-keying the home, ensuring there are keyless deadbolts on the exterior doors, and installing peepholes on those doors if they aren’t already there.
Think about investing in a few affordable upgrades and updates. You don’t have to renovate the entire house, but new counters in the kitchen are a great way to make the room shine if yours are looking a little worn and faded. Instead of cleaning the carpet again, perhaps you should install vinyl, tile, or hardwood flooring. There are some affordable options in hardware and home stores, and you’ll really appeal to tenants. Not only do hard floors look better, they’re easier to maintain and keep clean. Even new faucets or light fixtures can really make a house look brand new.
Cosmetic touches can help, but mechanical and structural issues are non-negotiable. If you show the property and it’s not up to par but you promise to fix the things that are broken, good tenants will not apply to live there. The best renters want a move-in ready property. So, make sure everything is in good working order before you put the property on the market. It has to be ready for your tenants.
Pricing Your San Antonio Rental Home Correctly
Once the home looks good and is ready to be listed, you have to price it properly. Overpricing a rental property is a critical mistake that a lot of landlords make. While no one wants to under value their investment home, overpricing it could actually cost you more. When you ask too much for a rental home, you risk leaving it unrented for longer. A vacancy period that lasts for weeks and even months is expensive. It means you’re not earning any rent at all. Holding out for more money is a big risk, and you will never recover the money you lose during a prolonged vacancy.
When you’re pricing your San Antonio rental home, seek help from a professional property manager. Talk to someone who understands the market and can help you compare the property you’re offering to the competing properties in your area. This can be an invaluable service .It will save you time, save you money, and ensure you get your home rented quickly to a qualified tenant.
If you’re pricing your property on your own, take a look at what other homes are renting for. Make sure you consider their size, condition, and exact location. These things can impact a price. Try to get information on what the homes actually rented for, not just what they were listed for. You might go online and see properties like yours listed for $1,400. But, don’t be too quick to attach that price to your own home. Maybe the owners had to reduce the rent to get a good tenant in place.
It’s important that you’re flexible when it comes to pricing your home. Pay attention to the San Antonio market and the local demand, and get an idea of what tenants will be willing to pay. If you aren’t getting any interest at all once your home is listed, you might want to consider dropping the price.
Logistical Preparations for Rent-Ready San Antonio Properties
There are a few other details to consider before you put your property on the rental market.
Talk to your insurance agent. A homeowner’s policy won’t work for you, so if you’re moving out of your property and renting it out for the first time, convert your insurance to a landlord policy. The coverage is different, and you need adequate liability protection, as well as insurance against loss of use. If you don’t change your insurance policy over and there’s a claim against you, it’s possible you won’t be covered.
When you show the property, you’ll want the lights on and the water running. So, keep the utilities turned on until your tenant is ready to move in and has turned on the utility accounts in their own name.
Establish key service contracts before you put your property on the rental market. If you want to use professional landscapers, hire that landscaping company before you start looking for a tenant. Then, you can include the price of the landscaping in your rent and the tenants won’t have to worry about it. If you have a pool, get a contract in place with a pool cleaner. This will ensure the pool is maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. If you leave it up to your tenants, they might not keep it in the condition you desire.
Be prepared with all of the documents and paperwork you’ll need. You must have a set of written criteria to provide your prospective tenants so they know what you’ll be looking for during the screening process. A pet policy will help you rent to tenants who have animals. You’ll need an application that tenants can fill out immediately after seeing the home. You’ll also want to be prepared with the lease and any of its addenda. These are not things you’ll want to be scrambling to find once a tenant is interested in your property. Have them ready.
Preparing your property for the rental market is an important first step in proper marketing and tenant placement. If you’re offering a clean, functional home that’s priced competitively, you’ll have an easy time finding a highly qualified tenant.
If you need any help preparing to list your property, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Specialized Property Management San Antonio.