Imagine this: You just received notice from one of your current tenants that they will not renew their lease when it ends at the end of next month. You have a little over a month to get your property ready to rent for the next tenants. Sound familiar?
So how can you best use the next five weeks to prepare for a new tenant? Here's what we suggest:
1. Move-out property walk-through
Document the condition of the property before the current tenant(s) move out - this will help you decide what to do with their security deposit, and help you understand what needs to be done before the next tenant moves in.
→ Time saving tip: Since scheduling a walk-through with tenants can be a pain, try suggesting 2-3 time windows in the next week that they can choose from. You're more likely to eliminate some of the scheduling back-and-forth that way!
2. List the property
Now that you know when the property will be vacated, it's time to create your property's listing page. Decide where to post the listing (we usually recommend Zillow), and make sure to include high-quality listing photos, a detailed description, and an obvious call-to-action (for example, "book a tour!" or "contact us today"). If you don't currently have great photos to use for your listing, try hiring a local professional or use a service that can handle your marketing photos.
→ Listing marketing tip: Once you've posted your listing, share the link on your social media to help broaden your reach! Join local housing groups on Facebook (like this one in the Bay Area or this one in Seattle) and share your listings in those groups to reach a whole pool of potential renters.
3. Get the property ready for the next tenant
Once the property is vacated and listed, it's time to take care of any maintenance upgrades, replacements, cleaning, painting, etc. before the next tenants move in.
→ Maintenance tip: Give your preferred vendor a comprehensive list of all possible maintenance issues and cleaning requirements so they only have to make one trip to the property, saving you time and money.
4. Move-in property walk-through
Walk through the property while it's vacant to document the condition before any new tenant moves in. When you find a new tenant, you can have them sign this condition report as an agreement of how the property looks before they move in.
→ Time saving tip: A move-in property walk-through is also a great opportunity to take high-quality photos of the vacant unit to use in future listings.
5. Show the property
We always recommend making the property as available as possible for interested parties to be able to tour. This will help reduce your days on market and improve your conversion rates! If you can't be available around the clock to show the property, consider hiring a showing agent or using a service like Showdigs' professional agents to show your properties on-demand, 7 days a week.
- Pre-screening: It's a good idea to pre-screen prospects who are interested in your property before they tour - if someone doesn't meet your income requirements, pet policy, credit score, etc., it's not worth their time or yours to have them tour the place.
- Post-tour application: Once a prospect has toured the property and is interested in renting, have them complete a rental application and make sure to run a credit check. It's also beneficial to ask for references from previous landlords (if applicable) and to confirm the prospect's job with their employer.
6. Lease the property
After you've reviewed all the applications, it's time to offer a lease to the prospect you've chosen. Once the lease offer is accepted, you'll both fill it out and sign it, your new tenant will pay the security deposit and sign off on the condition of the property (if it's been documented), and then it's time to hand over the keys and welcome your brand new tenant!
→ Helpful tip: Some states require you to offer a lease to the first person who applies, while other states let you choose between applications - be sure to check what your state's requirements are!