Owning rental properties is an exciting and potentially lucrative investment opportunity. But rental properties are unlike other financial investments, because there is a very human component to their success: your tenants. When you have a vacant rental property, finding reliable tenants quickly may be your top goal. But it can actually be challenging to find tenants who are the perfect fit, and who want to stick with your unit for the long term. Nick Trimble is a real estate investment expert who has years of experience managing and rehabbing rental properties. He is sharing his tips and tricks for what new landlords should know about their future tenants.
Nick, how did you get started in real estate?
I’ve always been interested in real estate as an investment opportunity, and I have humble beginnings. I’m your pretty average guy from South Carolina, and I’ve been involved in real estate investing for more than six years. I got my start by buying a rental property, which I rehabbed and rented out. That project was very dynamic, and there were obviously some big learning moments for me. After that, I tried out house flipping, which also came with a steep learning curve. Through all of these investing experiences, I’ve acquired a lot of knowledge which I’m eager to share with other investors.
What was your first rental property like?
Looking back, I think I was really over-confident with that project, and I obviously lacked experience. But I think that those learning moments are crucial for any investor, and you have to learn them somehow. At the end of it all, I ended up getting very lucky with my tenant, who has now been with me for years.
What are some things landlords should look for in tenants?
It’s hard to know in advance but having tenants who want to stick around for the long term are obviously ideal, if they’re a good fit. You can find out if they intend to rent from you for a long time, and if so, that’s a great place to start. I’ve been really fortunate to have a tenant who wanted to stick around, and it makes things much smoother and easier. At this point, that property is nearly passive income.
What else should landlords know about their future tenants?
Definitely find out how long they intend to rent from you for. But also inquire about their job and their income, you want to make sure they can support their rent and pay your bills. You’ll want to know who is moving in, if it’s a single person, couple or family. Another big question is pets. Even if they’re not pet owners, would they want to own a pet down the line? Sometimes tenants are afraid to ask about pets, because they think the answer will automatically be no, but that’s not always the case. I also like to inquire about my tenants’ hobbies, to get to know them better, but also because some may be relevant to your rental property. For example, if they play the drums, you may want to make sure it won’t bother any of your other tenants. That’s not a reason to reject a tenant, but just something to be mindful of.
How can people learn more from you?
At this point, I’ve really made it my career to help other real estate investors build stronger portfolios and avoid mistakes. I’m always looking to share useful tips and tricks, on my website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.