Appealing To Your Target Renters Through Tenant Screening

Have you ever asked yourself how to attract more family tenants? Or how to attract more retiree renters to your rental property? You already have the marketing data you need – it’s in your tenant screening. Learn how to pull that information out and understand each demographic’s rental needs to appeal to your targeted renters.

While there is no set formula to appeal to certain tenant types, there are property attributes that various demographics are looking for in a home rental. For instance, attracting quality student tenants looking to live close to campus is different than attracting traveling professionals, who may prefer a quiet neighborhood to relax or sleep when not working.

When appealing to a specific demographic, remember that the Fair Housing Act prevails, and you can’t discriminate against any protected class – federal, state, municipal. “However,” explains Southern California owner of House Simply Sold Caleb Liu, “it is not illegal to own a rental property that naturally appeals to a certain type of renter.”

Make the best use of your rental home and increase your profit with more long-term tenants by knowing the following different renter group demographics for more effective marketing:

Attracting Quality Student Tenants

Students often share housing – preferably close to campus on bus lines – to cut their costs on their limited income. They also tend to neglect basic home maintenance, they need high-speed internet and tech areas, and they require lots of parking space but not necessarily interior space.

“They will not be too concerned or appreciative of the finer things,” notes real estate investor Ron Humes. Amenities and perks, such as in-home washer and dryer or a free movie ticket, are a win with this group.

Drawing In Single Professionals

Single, young professionals are focused on their careers and social lives. They want to be close to healthy – but growing – companies, and they want to have a flexible lease in case they find a better employment opportunity elsewhere. Entertainment areas and open floor plans are important.

Humes states, “They will be interested in their commute to work, proximity to airports and public transportation, access to entertainment/downtown, and the presence of other young working single people.” Amenities such as a fitness area, pool, spa, and outdoor paths are popular. Like students, this group is not interested in doing landscaping or home maintenance. Pay for a monthly landscaper and advertise that it’s a paid perk.

Older single professionals have more disposable income than their younger counterparts with more expensive taste in homes (envision a condo with gorgeous view). Liu reports that the layout and finishes “will be more refined than the younger crowd.”

[Traveling professionals] work very long hours and just want to come home to a safe and quiet place.

Woo Traveling Professionals

Traveling professionals can be any age and are often in the healthcare profession – typically a nurse who needs short-term accommodations for a few months. Familiar with this type of renter, Liu notes, “They work very long hours and just want to come home to a safe and quiet place.”

Fully furnished with linens, kitchen appliances, pots, pans, plates, utensils and a television are necessary for this tenant profile. Play up black-out windows, if you have them, as well as the safety of the neighborhood and a flexible lease option.

How To Attract Family Tenants

According to Investopedia: “Families or couples are generally better tenants than singles because they are more likely to be financially stable and pay the rent regularly.”

Family tenants are concerned with space – indoors and outdoors – as kid’s rule in this target demographic. Outdoor parks and playgrounds, fenced yards, and pools are important.

Both Hume and Liu agree that the school district’s performance and reviews are the most crucial factor for families and should be highlighted when advertising the rental property. Square footage and number of beds and baths is a close second.

How to Attract Retiree Renters

While some retirees prefer low-maintenance condos or 55+ communities – with entertainment, onsite medical, transportation, etc. – single-family home rentals for this demographic are still popular.

Budgeting is a necessity for those on fixed incomes, while others are financially secure, so incomes vary. Retirees prefer the finer home details and single-story rentals with few-to-no staircases.

“Whether they can find a single-story home to rent is another story,” states Liu. If you have a single-story house, it may be worth it to market to retirees, who are finding that the condos they wish to purchase because of affordability and low maintenance are being bought by younger working professionals.

If you have a single-story house, it may be worth it to market to retirees.

As this demographic prefers long-term rentals, but may be on a budget, clearly writing into the lease agreement the percentage the rent will increase the second year makes the rent transparent for planning ahead. Just be certain the increase adheres to all laws.

Play up the downstairs rooms as a complete living space if the home is a two story, as the second story will mostly be used for guests. Add a smart home security system and advertise this extra feature to retirees who want added security. Similarly, replace low-wattage lights with brighter ones for increased security and better visibility for retirees.

Use Tenant Screening To Appeal to Target Renters

Processed using information from the prospect’s application, tenant screening provides background information on tenant credit reports, bankruptcies, judgments, liens, sex offender status, criminal history, eviction history, and employment verification.

Create a spreadsheet with the application and screening data and include if the tenant rented the home. Soon, a picture will emerge on just what type of renter is interested in that property.

For instance, do over 50% of the applicants work within a certain radius of the property? Are most prospects single or over age 55? Use this data to effectively market to the types of tenant the property most appeals to. Add the budget-friendly amenities that appeal to those target renters, and you may very well see your vacancy rate decrease.