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“If you build it, they will come.” That advice may have worked for Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams,” but real-life property management in San Diego is a bit more challenging. How do you attract potential tenants in such a tough real estate market? Here are some tips to draw renters even during conditions that are less than favorable.
Issue a Tenant Satisfaction Survey
If you’re already a landlord, you might consider tapping into your existing tenants as a source of information. Issue a tenant satisfaction survey to your current renters. Include questions like:
- Rate the following on a scale of 1 to 5: exterior, safety, appliances, utilities, etc.
- How would you rate the price of the rental unit?
- How satisfied are you with maintenance services?
- What improvements would you be willing to pay a rent increase to have?
The latter question may be particularly important, as it may reveal the current wants and needs of your target market.
Upgrade the Technology in the Living Space
Today’s tenants thrive on technology. This doesn’t have to be a major overhaul, but offering a lightning-fast internet connection can be a strong draw for residents who rely on the internet for everything from telecommuting to streaming entertainment.
Smart devices can also be a major improvement. For example, a smart fridge connects to the internet, and renters can access the contents of their fridge even when on the go — such as when they’re grocery shopping or planning their evening menu. These sorts of modern amenities can help you stand out from other landlords in your area.
Consider Curb Appeal
First impressions are important, especially when it comes to property management in San Diego. A clean, modern exterior can catch the eye of prospective tenants, and repairing any cosmetic damage may prevent renters from looking elsewhere.
Think about simple improvements like:
- Sealing cracks
- Replacing missing roof tiles
- Maintaining the landscaping
You don’t have to build a deck or invest in a decorative fountain. Even simple, affordable improvements can offer a great return on your investment.
Create a Referral Program
While you might attract tenants through old-fashioned real estate listings, you could generate more interest by creating a referral program through your existing renters. Offer an incentive — such as a small discount on the next month’s rent for every application that comes through.
By incentivizing your current tenants to send referrals your way, you stand a greater chance of receiving legitimate applications. Additionally, a referral program is a great way to keep your existing tenants engaged and happy. They may be less likely to relocate if they have the chance to live near the friends or family members they send your way.
Invest in Clean Energy
One way to stand out from other landlords is to offer an energy-efficient rental unit. You might start with some basic improvements, such as energy-efficient appliances. But you might also consider larger improvements, such as solar panels that can be seen from the exterior, showcasing your commitment to sustainability.
Tenants will be drawn to these sorts of improvements for two reasons. First, clean energy will lower their monthly utility bills. But second, tenants will appreciate the opportunity to pursue a sustainable lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint.
Offer Virtual Tours
Your renters are busy people. Make it easy for them to view your rental units by offering a virtual tour. Use high-quality photos and video of your rental unit, showing a 360-degree view of the entire property. If you have the right tools, you can even add narration to the tour to point out specific features and amenities.
You can post these virtual tours through a real estate website or on your social media channels. Renters will be more likely to investigate your rental property if they already have an idea of what to expect — and what it would be like to live there.
Making Property Management in San Diego Easier
These tips can make it easier to attract potential tenants. But many of the improvements can also help you retain existing renters. By investing in some basic upgrades, you can transform your rental space into the rental property of your tenants’ dreams.