A backyard fence, room for Fido and a nearby park are just what you need to attract families to your rental property. Once you have reeled in a family, you can look forward to less turnover, more reliability and tenants who are more engaged with the community. The spate of foreclosures in recent years has dramatically increased the number of families who are searching for rental properties, and with just a few small changes, you can make your rental appealing to this demographic.
When you rent to a family, you rent to tenants who are relatively stable. A family isn’t as likely to move as often as younger tenants who may move to get married, take a new job, start school at another college or travel abroad. Because of their inherent stability, families are often willing to sign longer leases. By offering slightly lower rent for tenants who are willing to sign a two- or possibly three-year lease, you effectively make your property more appealing to families.
Push Family-Friendly Amenities
When listing your property, you need to push the amenities that matter to families. Mention that your property is in a good school district and include a map of local parks or kid-friendly attractions in your listing. On FrontDoor.com, the rental experts from HGTV, advises families who are new to renting to look for these amenities, and by highlighting them, you will draw more families toward your property.
According to the Humane Society, 47 percent of households own a pet. By not allowing pets, you seriously compromise the number of potential renters in your pool. In fact, according to MSN Real Estate, rental properties that accept pets rent an average of 10 days faster than those that don’t accept pets.
Flexible Application Process
When screening applications, the American Apartment Owners Association recommends collecting as much information as possible about your tenants. To ensure their responsibility, you should look at their credit report and eviction history. You should also check out their criminal record as you may hold some liability for crimes that occur on your property. Keep in mind, however, that you may want to be flexible with the application process. Most families who rent do not have perfect credit, and many of them may have a foreclosure or a short sale on their record. Rather than rejecting them for a credit blemish, look closely at relevant factors like their income or time with their current employer.
Edge on the Competition
Look at your property and imagine what you would want if you had a family. A backyard fence is ideal for keeping pets and toddlers secure outside while an interior security system is perfect for giving families peace of mind inside. You may even want to consider adding a swing set or tree house to the outside, but if you do, you need to make sure that you have an adequate amount of liability insurance to protect yourself in the event of an injury. With just a couple hundred dollars, you can give your property a family-friendly edge over the competition, but if you have a higher budget you could consider changes like adding an extra bathroom.