Recently, we have seen an increase in popularity for single family rentals – check out this article at the Bigger Pockets blog. Obviously there is opportunity with an increase in people looking for single rentals – so what can you do to take advantage this? Aside from having more single family properties to rent out, there are a few steps you can take to make your properties easier to pick for these families.
Think about what a family is looking for. These are people who are possibly married people with kids, or single with kids. They may even not have kids. Most importantly, they are people who once had a home in a neighborhood they made a family in – a place where everything was familiar and all of their questions had been answered. Now they are cast out into the wilderness with a family, and for many of them they will have questions and fears which you should answer.
If they have kids, then they are going to be looking for locations where their kids can go to school, where they have good services to handle their needs. They want to know that their kids are going to be safe and will grow up with a good education. They want that same sense of security they once had.
You can’t change the sort of resources in your area that they may be interested in – schools, hospitals, playgrounds, grocery stores, etc. What you can do is educate, and alleviate that fear caused by the unknown.
Do you have a community style blog? I have spoken about this in the past. The community style blog is a website you set up that provides a centralized location for the community where your property is located. You can create a resource for people you rent to as well as the local businesses and other people who live in the area (by creating reviews and information about the local community, what is available in the area and that sort of information). There is great utility and marketing power in the community style blog for potential tenants.
The power is in the ability to educate people, and to answer all of their questions. Imagine for a moment a mother and father with two kids – they have recently had to give up their home and are searching for a new home (this time a rental). They have all sorts of questions floating around in their heads: Where will our kids go to school? How will they get there? Is it a safe neighborhood? Are there local playgrounds and things for kids to do? Where is the nearest hospital? Where is the nearest grocery store? Etc.
Don’t make them search for this information themselves. When they come to you looking at your property – assume they have these questions and answer them before they put forth the effort. You can do this by any means, but having the community style website gives you the ability to have this information available to everyone. “I see you have two children – I recommend taking a look at our community website as we have all sorts of information such as the nearest schools, hospitals, local attractions etc.” You could also make this available simply via a marketing packet of information – this may be more prudent if you only own one property in a given community (though I would still recommend looking into the website concept).
The strength of this is that if you answer all their questions (and they like the answers) you will be head and shoulders over your competition because your prospective tenants probably won’t have those answers yet for everyone else (at least, not as clearly laid out). If you put their fears to bed early on, they will be compelled to become your new tenants.