Most tenants have received or are beginning to receive stimulus payments and some are using it to move. You may be receiving multiple applications for your available rental property, but once you find a great tenant, you may be competing with other landlords to have this tenant. Here are some ways you can appeal to tenants in Chicago during COVID-19.
One of the best ways landlords in Chicago can appeal to tenants during COVID-19 is to set an appropriate rent amount. Do your research to see what the current market rent is and set it as close as you can to that amount while making sure it fits your rental proforma goals. If you need to attract more potential tenants, you can lower your rent a few percent to be just below the market rent. This should bring you a better variety of tenant candidates so you can be sure you are comfortable with the tenant you end up choosing. Tenants will also appreciate the affordable rent during these uncertain times. All working-age individuals might not be employed right now, and some may have been employees of companies that COVID-19 has put out of business, so a lower than market rent may be a blessing to some.
Another way landlords can appeal to tenants in Chicago during COVID-19 is to assure flexibility. Hopefully, you are in a position to show compassion by being flexible with rent payments. Make arrangements with the tenants to accept multiple partial payments over time to make sure they can pay their rent, but they may not be able to pay it all at once. Another way to be flexible with tenant rent is to arrange with tenants to lower the current and next few months of rent and raise the second half of rent payments to make up the difference. This should give the tenants enough time to fully stabilize their household and begin to make regular rent payments.
If you have a really great tenant apply and you want them to pick you over another landlord, offer extras! Make sure the rental unit has a clothes washer and dryer, and all other major appliances in the house, such as the stove, fridge, and microwave etc.. Also, make sure the unit has clean and working blinds, door handles, and locks. You may sweeten the deal even more by offering a free unlimited utility, such as internet or cable services. Perhaps, provide the basic high demand essentials, such as a pack of paper towels, toilet paper, or hand sanitizer with every payment towards rent.
If you can, you may want to update the kitchen, especially if there is visible wear and tear on the cabinet doors or counter tops. Make sure all toilets, sinks and showers are clean and in working condition with no rust or mildew build up. You may even want to throw up a fresh coat of paint and patch any holes missed. Great tenants will appreciate your efforts to keep the property up to date and clean and will work to make sure the rent gets paid.
One of the easiest ways landlords in Chicago can appeal to tenants during COVID-19 is to improve the curb appeal of the property. If the property appears well maintained with some inviting landscaping, a tenant will be more apt to select your house over a house that appears like it needs to be pressure washed or the mulching looks old. Your rental property appearance speaks volumes to your management style. Clean, updated properties are more quickly rented and have less turnover than properties that are dark and dingy.