Let’s take a look at how to lease a building in eight simple steps.
1. Take high quality photos
Interior and exterior photos are usually the first impression of a building that potential renters get. And first impressions matter! Good photos will never secure a tenant right away, but bad ones can make people lose interest before even taking a tour or reaching out to the landlord. Because of this, taking good photos is vital! Make sure the building is neat and tidy, choose good angles, and make sure there is good lighting before taking pictures and posting them online.
2. Run comps for good pricing
Landlords want to make sure that they receive fair compensation in exchange for their properties. Before posting a listing, gain an understanding of the market in the building’s area. Your listing price should be comparable to prices of similar properties in the area. The opportunity cost of leasing a unit for a price below market value is far less than that of the time required to run an in depth comp. Be diligent!
3. Post listing to every major website
The vast majority of leads come from online postings. Because of this, it is important to maximize exposure and post your listing in as many places as possible. The more you post your listing, the more people will see it, and the higher the chances that you find a tenant.
4. Qualify prospects prior to apartment tours
Make sure you have qualifications for potential tenants. There is no point in taking the time and effort to start a dialogue with an interested party if you find out afterwards that their credit score does not meet your standards. It is good to garner as much interest as possible, but you want to make sure that it is coming from people who you could actually see yourself renting to.
5. Show apartment to your prospects
This could be the moment of truth. After coming into contact with your potential renter through your marketing of the property, you have an opportunity to seal the deal by giving an impressive tour. Be sure to arrive at the building before the group you are touring does. It is important to present yourself as professional and organized because you want to seem appealing as a potential landlord. Dress well, smile, and answer each of their questions. Also make sure that the unit looks like an ideal living space – clean and organized – so the group you are touring can easily envision themselves living there.
6. Collect application and run background check
Running a background check on a potential tenant is very important for obvious reasons. Once they’ve verbally committed to leasing your unit, this is the final hurdle they must clear before they sign their lease. Assuming all goes well, you are reaching the end of the process.
7. Sign lease and collect deposit
Make it official! Be sure that both you and your tenant fully understand the terms of the lease and give them some time to review it. Make sure everything is clear to avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts once the lease begins.
8. Move in tenant
After filling your unit, you shift your focus to property management and doing everything you can to make your tenants want to stay beyond just their first lease.