Today, we are going to provide some property management advice on how to find tenants in Grand Rapids, or the west Michigan area. The first and most obvious place to look for tenants is online. Residents are going to look online before they drive by or do anything else. They will find out what is available, what the market looks like, decide which area they want to live in, what the average rents are, and all that type of information gathering.
In addition to getting listings online, you will also want to use yard signs. Yard signs will attract local interest, and people who are familiar with the area will see them. They will also reach people who know they want to live in a particular neighborhood and are checking the area for places that might be available. At Access Property Management Group, we always put yard signs at the properties we are listing, because if someone sees a sign and likes how the property looks and where it is located, they will call.
Another tool is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a place where you put all the info you can about your property, such as pictures, descriptions, etc. and that site will push your listing to many other sites as well. This is an efficient way to get maximum exposure for the properties you are trying to rent. Sometimes, those sites are free and sometimes you have to pay for upgraded services or there is a small cost to list them. Often, it is worth it to spend money during the advertising process so you can quickly find a good tenant.
Many people use Craigslist to advertise properties. This is a good tool because so many people are on it. However, because it is so open to everyone and not regulated very well, you get scammed a lot. We had a scammer get to us last summer, and they took our ads and reposted them with advertised rents of $200 or $300 less. They would convince people to give them money upfront, and then those people would call us and be very upset that they gave money to scammers who had nothing to do with our properties. You can always flag ads that are not legitimate, so be vigilant if you are working with Craigslist a lot.
Finally, remember not to discriminate. You have to comply with fair housing laws in your ads, screenings, applications and leasing. Know the fair housing laws in your region so you can protect yourself.
If you have any questions or need any help, please contact us at Access Property Management Group.
So yeah, we're a little geeky and take this whole "Property Management" thing pretty seriously! We love what we do and we're pretty damn good at it too. Own Properties? Life is too short to struggle with doing it yourself or a bad management company. See how it could be.
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