Before you can even find a good tenant, you have to understand how to show your property. First and foremost, think about first impressions. Take a look at your property, not as the owner, but with a fresh set of eyes. What does it look like when someone does a drive by of the place? You don’t want weeds, dead plants and paint chips flaking off the house. You want to make sure your Santa Cruz property looks fresh, clean, cute and inviting. If it doesn’t look good from the outside, people will not even want to bother coming to see the inside.
One tip is to exchange the mailbox. I can’t tell you how many people I have seen with rusty, old, leaning mailboxes that are falling apart. A new mailbox and a fresh coat of paint on the front door will help the whole house look bright and crisp.
Next, go inside the house and take a look around. Remember that not everything needs to be new and perfect, especially if you have an older home. But it does have to be 100 percent squeaky clean. Don’t even show the property to a prospective tenant unless it is move in ready. You want the windows clean, the bathrooms sparkling and everything looking polished. This tells the tenant that you care and you are responsive. Tenants will be willing to pay that maximum rent you want.
If your property is dated, there are a few quick things you can do to update it so it appeals to younger renters. Switch out the cover plates and put in modern lighting. It is not expensive, and it will make a difference. Make sure faucets are not old and funky. Put in some newer things that are inexpensive. Remember that when you paint, you should use neutral colors. I know that bold and big is beautiful, but that can turn off and eliminate a large number of potential renters, so stay neutral.
On the actual showing day, turn on all the lights in the house and open up the doors and windows. Make the house as bright and inviting as you possibly can. You always want to be there before your applicants arrive, and make sure you show the house during daylight hours or on the weekends. This will make the showing safer for you and the tenants, and everyone will feel protected.
If you have any questions on getting your property ready to show, please contact us at Portola Property Management, and we would be happy to help.