Finding a Great Rental Property

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A lot of the advice real estate agents will read has to do with buying and selling properties.
However, a great many people cannot afford to buy homes in one go, and so are out for a great place to rent.
Renting is becoming a very popular option, given the current housing/economic crisis.
Many people who own apartments or houses are trying to find buyers, but cannot, so are considering looking for lodgers, instead.
Here are some bits of advice for real estate agents who want to step into rentals.
Expect the market to be glutted with so-called accidental landlords.
These are people whose first intention was to sell their homes, but who are now looking to get lodgers, since buyers are in such short supply.
Under such circumstances, the prospective landlords must compete for lodgers, not the other way around.
You should then be prepared to have a landlord/landlady adjust his/her expectations.
The person wanting to put his/her residence up for rent must also be flexible about things other than price.
For instance, it will be easier to get buyers if there is more leniency about the way the lodger is to treat the property.
For instance, a landlord/landlady who does not want any pets in the house might have to reconsider this policy.
Still, it pays not to be too hard on accidental landlords.
If their requests are reasonable, you may also give them advice on how to handle rent collection and the other issues that come with having lodgers.
Once more, it helps to treat everyone you work with well, so that you get repeat business.
This is particularly relevant if you are working with landlords who have only a short-term agreement with their lodgers.
Once the agreement is done with, they may require your services again when the time comes to look for another lodger.
Secondly, be aware that college students constitute a large part of the market of prospective lodgers, to the extent that the market for rentals is significantly different in the months around the start of classes.
You might want to orient your marketing towards college students, or deliberately go after listings that college students might be interested in.
For example, go for places that are near universities, libraries, or youth hang-outs.
Keep college students in mind when it comes time to network.
You might want to leave some of your advertising material around popular websites concerning college life, for instance.
Also, try to harness positive word of mouth.
Students who found you pleasurable to work with may tell their friends about you.
You might end up "inheriting" a crop of student lodgers every year, asking you to find a good place for them to rent.
Finally, remember that some owners do renovate and rent out their residences with a sale in mind, some time in the future.
If they ask you about long-term sale plans, do tread very carefully, especially if their expectations for the future real estate market are unrealistic.
Remember that you are supposed to look after your client's best interest, not puff up their expectations beyond reason.
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