When working with real estate tenants, your primary task is to learn how to help tenants find the right property to lease. Doing this efficiently saves everyone time and ensures tenants have the best options based on their needs and preferences. Then, you don’t waste their time taking them to homes or apartments that aren’t suitable for them. Here are some ways to please your tenant clients and earn future referrals.

Review the Tenant’s Situation

Before you begin the search, confirm the information you gathered during your first meetings with them. Make sure you know the following:

  • When they’re moving
  • Who is making the rental decisions
  • Their preferred price range
  • The locations where they wish to live
  • Who do they want to rent from

Your tenant clients may not have thought much about who they want to rent from, such as a third-party property manager, a large-scale property owner with an onsite manager, or a small-scale landlord. These choices offer different benefits and downsides.

With a third-party manager, your tenants will be dealing with a professional, but each property manager is different, and not all are helpful. On the other hand, a large-scale property owner may be less flexible than other property managers and owners. The positive side is that they always have help onsite so the tenants can resolve various matters quickly. Finally, with small-scale landlords, you work directly with the owner. That means more flexibility and often good maintenance, too.

Remember, you can learn all this and more in online real estate courses like Roadmap to Success: Tenants.

The Search Is On!

You begin learning the MLS system when you know how to become a real estate agent. It’s a part of nearly every task you do as a real estate agent. When it comes to helping tenants, we suggest you use the MLS. In addition, we recommend using Red X for FRBO properties.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a fantastic tool for finding tenants the best properties that fulfill their needs and wants. Mastering the MLS is one of your most important learning experiences in real estate, but it takes time to get to that level. That’s okay. Learn as much as you can, whenever you can, and put it into practice when working with real estate tenants.

Because the MLS is complex and has many features, continuing your education long after you finish real estate school is essential. Here are some courses you can take to maximize your learning on the MLS.

  • An introductory course on the MLS
  • A course on doing advanced searches
  • Courses about data, statistics, and comparative market analyses (CMAs)
  • iMAPP Tax Roll Solution
  • A course on the Realist system, which gives you access to public records databases

Beyond the MLS

Most of the time, you can find the right home for typical tenants using the MLS. However, you may have other tenant clients that present unique challenges to finding the right property. If so, you can go outside the MLS to find properties in creative ways, like the following:

  • Find the preferred neighborhood and drive around looking for rental signs
  • Talking to people in your professional network
  • Checking out newly built properties for lease
  • Looking at distressed properties
  • Running ads aimed at finding landlords with suitable properties to rent
  • Reviewing other real estate websites

Red X to Find “For Rent By Owner” Properties

There are several websites where you can find properties for rent by owners. We recommend the Red X FRBO site, but you can use several different sites, including:

  • For Sale by Owner (FSBO)
  • Pre-Foreclosure sites
  • Expired Listings
  • For Rent by Owner (FRBO)

These sites often bring advantages like lower rental prices, less competition, and more flexible terms. Check out Red X first, and then move on to other sites if necessary.

More Ways to Search Online

Often, your tenant clients will find their own homes, and you can help them negotiate the terms. They can assist you with the search, and you can search these sites, too. Here are the most common sites where tenants enjoy looking for properties.

  • Zillow
  • Trulia
  • Apartments.com
  • Hotpads.com
  • PadMapper
  • Apartment List
  • WalkScore

These sites typically have filters so that you can quickly narrow your search to find apartments with the correct number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other variables. Whether you find something of interest on one of these sites or your tenant tells you they found one, do the following:

  • See if it meets the tenants’ needs.
  • Look at the photos, price, and date available.
  • Find out what type of property management is in place.
  • See if the renter can apply online.
  • Favor listings that mention a screening process, as this is a sign the landlord will be open about their requirements.

Enjoy the Search!

Hopefully, you enjoy working with real estate tenants as a real estate agent. If so, you should have fun looking for your tenant client’s new home. You will enjoy your work even more as you become more familiar with all the options and how to find them. When the search is complete, you can be satisfied with doing your job as a real estate agent to the best of your ability. And that’s a beautiful way to learn how to help Tenants.