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Landlords: Tips for Finding Tenants Post-Pandemic

Melissa Brock
·6 min read

As a landlord, what was your experience during the pandemic?

Your tenants may have lost their jobs and governors across the country promised moratoriums on evictions and mortgage forgiveness.

But as a landlord, you still had to pay your property taxes, insurance, maintenance and mortgage payments. And if you’re a commercial property owner, you weren’t entitled to mortgage relief.

Feeling wiped out? That’s understandable. Here’s how to dust yourself off after a rough year and get great tenants — even if it seems like it might be a challenge to find new renters right now.

What Should Landlords Know After the Past Year?

What should you know after the pandemic? Here are some tips.

Know Local Regulations

If you’re a landlord, you may already be aware of regulations for evictions, but they’ve probably changed over the last year. Check your state or city’s government website for more information about your parameters. early impossible to find a new renter right now.

Know as much as you possibly can about local regulations and laws right now.

Talk to Your Current Tenants

Your tenants may face serious stress right now but you may face the same uncertainties. The pandemic uncertainty isn’t over, so try as hard as you can to communicate with your tenants:

  • Let your tenants know that you’re there to support them.

  • What your plans are for the future.

  • Open an easy way to communicate with them if texting/emailing/phone calls aren’t enough.

Do you have a tenant that says he can’t pay rent?

  • Let your tenant know you still want to work with him.

  • Verify the information he’s giving you, particularly if he says he’s lost his job.

  • Let your tenant know that you take rent collection seriously and you can’t risk being taken advantage of — it’s possible that he still has his job but is nervous about making rent payments.

  • Check again on local laws and regulations so you know exactly what you’re allowed to ask.

Dedicate Yourself to Your Tenants — Current and Future

Go the extra mile for your tenants. Do your best to work with them and their current financial situation.

  • Talk about partial payments

  • Prorate how much they owe over a certain period and then add that to their rent checks when they get back on their feet.

  • Work out some other type of payment plan as well, but check with local regulations first.

Stick your neck out as much as you possibly can. Again, it may be difficult to find the right tenants right now, so do your best to keep the tenants you want to work with, especially if they’ve been good tenants in the past and are going through some job loss and financial difficulties.

Keep Open Communication with Your Lender

If your tenants aren’t paying rent, that could mean financial difficulties for you as a lender as well. Here’s how you can be transparent about your financial situation:

  • Show your lender how much rent you’re losing

  • Outline your monthly expenses.

  • Ask for what you need. If you need to lower your monthly payments or have another solution in mind to avoid default, outline that.

How to Find New Tenants After the Pandemic

Did your tenants move out over the past few months? Do you need to find new ones? Here are some basic tips to finding new tenants during this time.

Step 1: Galvanize your yard sign power.

Putting up a yard sign: Sounds simple, right? In our digital age, it’s easy to forget about the old methods. Hammering up a yard sign should be a no-brainer. Make sure you get a large sign that people can see clearly from the road. You can even get the types of signs that contain a box with printouts of all rental and property information. Detail as much as you can so you get the right renters for you.

Step 2: Create the idea of scarcity.

Scare people a little. Yes! When you advertise a rental property, don’t beat around the bush. Tell people that the property will not stay empty for long. Market your rental as a hot commodity so potential tenants get applications in and start viewing right away.

Step 3: Use a realtor.

Don’t skip the realtor. You don’t have to work everything alone! Some of the most successful people get people on their side to help, and a qualified realtor can market and advertise your property and use their expertise to do that. You may want to interview a few realtors before you find the right realtor you want to work with.

Step 4: Don’t skip social media.

Grow your Facebook page, pump up your Instagram account and create a Twitter account for your company. You can also use your personal accounts to let people know you have a property for rent!

Post photos of the rental on Facebook Marketplace or tweet to your followers via Twitter.

Step 5: Use SmartMove.

TransUnion’s SmartMove id="docs-internal-guid-fb655805-7fff-f1dd-81c2-2e30853f9e6f">is an online tenant screening service built just for people who don't manage hundreds of properties. It’s been used by millions of landlords over the years and provides a quick, simple and convenient way to conduct tenant background checks.

Why use SmartMove?

  • You can get renter credit, background and eviction reports to help you make a more informed decision.

  • You can get rental history reports delivered to you in minutes.

  • You get results in line with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and applicable regulations.

  • You can sign up for free to create your account.

  • You only pay for reports you need, pricing is pay-as-you go. Unique to SmartMove

  • You get the option to choose to pay for tenant screening yourself or pass the cost onto applicants.

  • You get Income Insights, only at SmartMove, which analyzes applicant self-reported income. It tells landlords which applicants need additional income verification and which you can skip. It can help you save time and effort during the tenant screening process and lower your risk for renter payment issues.

  • You also get SmartMove’sResidentScore, their proprietary credit score used for rental screening that predicts eviction risk 15% better compared to a typical credit score in the bottom 20% score range where risk is greatest.

Use SmartMove to Your Advantage

The key to getting a good renter is to do your research. SmartMove’s rental background checks enable landlords to quickly get critical information about applicants to make a more informed decision. There are several packages to choose from that start at $25. For applicants, SmartMove enables an easy way to share information while their protecting sensitive personal information, such as SSN, without impacting their credit score, since the process is a "soft inquiry".

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