Long-term tenants are good for any landlord’s bottom line. Not only do they guarantee consistency in rental income, but they’re also the caliber of tenants that will care for your property like they would their own.

Attracting a long-term tenant isn’t a walk in the park, though – especially in a competitive rental market like Metro Detroit. But is it impossible? Not at all! All you require is the right strategy.

The following are tips on how you can attract a long-term tenant for your rental property.

1. Market Your Property On a Continuous Basis

Make your rental marketing an ongoing process. Don’t just advertise one time and then stop once you land a prospective tenant. The moment you stop, rental inquiries from potentially more suitable prospective tenants also stop.

Begin the process by creating an attractive rental ad. Make sure it contains the following for high click-through rates:

  • Quality photos
  • A catchy headline
  • A detailed description of the property
  • Highlighted features that are most important in your property

Once you’re done creating it, begin the distribution process immediately. List on popular rental listing sites and social media, and also don’t forget to create fliers and to post on community bulletin boards.

You may also want the ad reviewed by a professional before you go ahead and post it. This is especially true if you’re not well-acquainted with the Fair Housing Act. You may inadvertently include certain statements that may be discriminative to prospective tenants, and that can lead to legal issues.

2. Upgrade Your Rental Space

Upgrading your rental space is another way of attracting a long-term tenant and keeping your property rent ready. While they can dent your pockets, the investment can be worthwhile to your bottom line.

upgrades to rental property

Tenants will want to stay longer when they see that you’re proactive about their wellbeing. Some of the upgrades you can consider doing include:

  • Install new flooring. If you have the budget, consider installing wood flooring. Tenants love it and it’ll make your rental property stand out
  • Do landscaping. This is a great way to attract long-term tenants. And, best of all, landscaping materials are relatively inexpensive
  • Add a fresh coat of paint. A fresh coat of paint can completely transform the look and feel of your rental unit. Done well, it has the highest rate of return on investment when it comes to rental upgrades
  • Replace cabinet doors. If you have the budget, then consider replacing worn-out cabinets entirely. Otherwise, replacing only the doors can do the trick. To maximize longevity, go for high-quality, solid wood materials

3. Screen Prospective Tenants Thoroughly

Just like most things in life, tenants aren’t all the same. Some are reliable and responsible, whereas others can be a pain in the neck. The latter type tends to have neglectful tendencies and unruly behavior.

What’s more, without screening a prospective tenant, you may unknowingly end up renting to someone with a criminal record, putting the safety of other tenants in jeopardy.

There are a couple of things you should focus on when conducting tenant screenings. One, you’ll want to focus on the credit score of a prospective tenant. It’s in your best interest as a landlord to rent to someone that is financially responsible. A financially responsible tenant is likely to care for your unit and meet their rent obligations on time.

screening tenants

Two, focus on the income level of the prospective tenants. If a potential tenant has low earnings, it’s a telltale sign that they may struggle to keep up with their rent payments. As a rule of thumb, only go for tenants who make at least 3X the rent amount.

Three, examine the prospective tenant’s rental history. Get a glimpse of the tenant’s past behavior by calling up referrals. Generally, if the tenant was well-mannered in the past and respected the lease agreement, chances are they will still continue on the same streak. The opposite is also true.

4. Be Hospitable

Moving can be an exciting experience. The change of environment is often a refreshing and welcome change. However, moving isn’t without its challenges. In fact, it can be one of life’s most stressful events. Some studies have ranked it alongside life’s most stressful events, such as divorce.

Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do as a landlord to help alleviate that feeling:

  • Ensure the unit is clean. They will not only appreciate it but doing so will also set your standards in regards to cleanliness
  • Provide your tenant with information about utilities. Ideally, work out the details and have the services set up before they even arrive
  • Assemble a welcome package. It doesn’t have to cost much. You can choose to gift them things like cleaning supplies, bottled water, inexpensive toiletries, a gift certificate to a local coffee shop, or even a bottle of champagne
  • Help them get acquainted with their neighbors
  • Provide them with answers they may have about your property and neighborhood

5. Be Proactive When It Comes to Property Upkeep

If you’re looking to attract and retain a long-term tenant, the key is to keep up with rental property maintenance. Also, rental maintenance is a key duty for landlords in Metro Detroit. You have an obligation under state and local laws to ensure your property abides by all safety and health codes.

property maintenance

If you fail in this responsibility, your tenant may choose to exercise some of their rights including moving out, withholding rent until you’ve fixed the issues, repairing the issues and then making appropriate deductions from rent, or even reporting you to relevant government agencies.

6. Hire an Experienced Property Management Company

Effective landlords require skills and experience. So, if being a landlord is still new to you, hiring a trusted and proven property management company can be the best option for you to take.

Professionals like Nelson Property Management not only have the experience but will also have crucial insights you may lack. We have extensive knowledge of rental marketing, tenant screening, property maintenance, and more!

Bottom Line

These are the 6 strategies that you may need to implement in order to consistently attract long-term tenants to your rental property. If you choose to hire a property management company, then look no further than Nelson Property Management!