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Renting your space is an excellent way to increase your cash flow. When it comes to this process, you have two options. You can lease the property yourself or use a letting agent.

Agents know the market and can take away some of the stress. Although, being a private landlord has its perks. For example, you can reduce costs with no agent. Hiring a letting agent can cost around 12-20% of the rent.

Also, agents typically use the multiple listing service for renting homes. The database is only available to other brokers, so your tenant pool won’t be as large. Plus, an agent can make mistakes. They could miss something when conducting a tenant’s background check. So, here are some tips for finding tenants without a letting agent.


1. Take Advantage of Social Media

Letting agent companies, like OpenRent, can list your property for you. However, they have limited sites to use. With the growing popularity of social media, there are so many more ways to attract tenants.

Use your social media accounts to list your residence. Post pictures and descriptions of the building. Highlight any popular amenities, such as concierge services, that you offer. Since some people work remotely, high-speed internet and green spaces are enticing features.

In addition, let people know how to contact you if they’re interested. For example, you could add your email or ask them to message you privately. Another tip is to ask your friends to share the listing on their accounts.


2. Create a Personal Website

Building a website is a way to reach more tenants. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. You can use website builders, such as Wix, to get started. If you have a friend who is good with graphic design, ask them for help. Or, you could hire a professional.

Include pictures and videos of the home on your site. In addition, add a user-friendly application section. Having a website allows you to market and communicate with renters all in one place. Advertise your website on social media and ask your friends and family to spread the word.


3. Remember to Use Print Marketing

Many people look online for rental properties. However, print marketing can make the house stand out. Place signs in front of your residence that say “for rent.” You can also display them around the neighborhood or alongside high-traffic roads.

Just make sure you have the address of the house on the sign. You can also put up flyers around the local area or spread them around a college campus.


4. Reach Out to Your Network

As a private landlord, you want to lean on your network to make connections. Email your friends, family, and even co-workers. Ask them if they know anyone who’s interested in leasing a property. Even if they don’t have a particular person in mind, they can give you contact information for someone who might.


5. Use Real Estate Listing Websites

These sites are a convenient way for people to search for property. So, list your room or property on websites such as NEVO, where you can define automated screening criteria and viewing slots as well. Make sure to post quality pictures and detailed information. Also, a good video can attract more renters.

In addition, be accurate with your descriptions. For example, you want to list the correct number of bedrooms. False information can easily lose you a potential tenant



6. Have an Application Process

One of the downsides of having no agent is you have to screen all the applicants. However, having a system in place makes the process smoother. Start by establishing your tenant criteria. Think about the qualifications each resident must have and write it out. For example, you want them to be financially stable and have a clean eviction record.

If they meet these qualifications, have them fill out an application. Gather more information, such as their employment history and estimated credit score.


7. Do a Background Check on Potential Tenants

Once people are interested, verify that the information on their application is correct. To do this, perform a background check. Look into their past for any signs of criminal history. Also, do a credit report check through sites like Experian. You also want to check their references. Call their employer to verify how long they have been working at their current job.


You will want to contact the person’s previous landlord as well. It’s important that you gather this information before a renter moves in. That way you can ensure they will pay rent on time and won’t bother other tenants.


8. Respond to Inquiries Regularly

Once you list your property, you want to be responsive. Regularly keep up with questions or offers from potential renters. It can be tricky with your busy schedule, but take time to respond to emails or calls. You can also automate the process to make it more convenient. Use Google forms that direct people to your application and collect basic information.


9. Plan the Lease Agreement

Once you have a let agreed property, you need to write out a lease. The document ensures everyone is on the same page. Here is some of the information you want to include:

  • The length of the lease
  • When rent is due
  • Additional charges and fee information
  • Who’s responsible for repairs
  • Rules the tenant must follow

Within the lease, make sure you clearly state the eviction terms. Review your state eviction laws before writing the lease. Understand the causes for eviction and what offenses don’t count. Suppose an issue does occur. First, have a conversation with the tenant and give them a few extra days to pay rent.

Another thing to consider is the type of lease you want, such as gross or net. In a gross lease, the rent will cover all expenses, such as utilities and taxes. This type of rent can be attractive to many tenants. It ensures they have one fixed cost each month. The benefit for you is that the rent is usually higher. The only downside is if operating costs rise dramatically. Then you could be stuck with the extra costs.

The other type is a net lease, where the occupant pays for taxes and property insurance. The appeal of a net lease for renters is the transparency of costs. For you, it produces a more steady cash flow. Although, you may not get as much money from this type of lease.


10. Have Open Houses or Private Showings

As soon as you find qualified renters, show them the space. It can help generate interest and potentially lead to an offer. However, suppose you have current tenants. Be respectful and give them notice about the walkthrough.

Before the open house, make sure to declutter and clean the space. People want to imagine themselves living there. In addition, open the curtains and blinds to bring in more natural light. It can create a cozy atmosphere and make the space feel larger. Plus, don’t forget about the exterior. Wash the windows and clear the leaves from your gutters. You could even add a doormat and landscaping to make the property more welcoming.


11. Determine Your Target Audience

To help you attract the right occupants, narrow down your tenant pool. Do you want to target college students? Maybe you want to find long-term renters. Having a specific demographic can help you create an effective marketing plan. If you want to find students, consider keeping your rental costs affordable.


12. Attend Community Events

Being a part of your community will increase your exposure. It’s the perfect chance to talk up your properties. Even if you don’t find a renter, it’s all about making connections. Attending these events also helps potential lease-holders get to know you.

Some people may feel more comfortable renting with a landlord they already trust. On the other hand, it allows you to get to know the tenants on a more personal level. You could sponsor a local school competition or have a booth at a community festival.


13. Place an Advertisement

Taking out an ad in your local newspaper can spread awareness. You can even go nationally. Try to get as much out of the ad as possible. For example, you could ask the paper to feature your residence as “property of the week.”

Keep in mind this will add some extra expenses. The cost will vary depending on factors such as the size and placement of the ad. However, the price may even out in the long run once you start renting.


14. Ask for a Security Deposit

Since you work with the lease-holders directly, you want to make sure they are trustworthy. Receiving a security deposit and first month’s rent provides you with insurance. That way, they can’t disappear and leave you with a bounced check. Plus, asking for this can help you narrow down your options.


15. Set Your Rental Price

Before you start listing the apartment, have pricing already figured out. It can save you from future stress. Also, having the right price is a big factor when securing a tenant. You want to base the cost on the area your property is in. Cities like Durham have lower rental prices, while Oxford is more expensive. In addition, if the building is downtown, you can raise the cost within reason.

You can figure out a competitive price by comparing similar properties online. You can ask your friends or contact a local letting agent as well. They can give you a place to start. Just make sure the mortgage can be covered while you’re still making a profit.


The Best Ways to Attract Your Own Tenants

Using a letting company, like OpenRent, can make finding renters easy. They may have the connections to help fill vacancies. Although, this comes at a higher price. Plus, then you have less control over the screening process. As a private landlord, you save money and are more hands-on.

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Avatar photo Rentround January 11, 2022

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