12 Questions To Help Rent Your Property Fast

Every rental property owner wants to rent their home out as quickly as possible. After all, vacancy is the number 1 expense when it comes to your rental property investment. So how can you make sure you rent your home out as quickly as possible, and what qualifies us to write about this?

We’ve helped our client owners of a combined 800+ properties rent out their homes quickly and with minimal vacancy time between tenants. It all boils down to consistency. We’ve developed multiple systems and procedures that allow us to rent out properties in the Inland Empire and High Desert in under 30 days.

It’s worth pointing out that even though we have the system down pat, there are certainly exceptions. Some properties have rented in under 24 hours while others sit for several weeks. This is especially true of unique properties or properties in unique areas such as mountain homes, homes with extremely large lots or located in new development areas to name a few. Market conditions and time of year also dictate average vacancy times.

Following the guidance on this page and answering the following questions the way we do will put you in the best position possible to rent your home as quickly as possible.

Question 1

Do you know the going rates in your neighborhood?

Here’s the biggest trap that rental property owners fall into: my expenses for the property are “x” amount therefore I need at least “y” amount in rent every month to have positive cash flow or at least break even.

We’ve got tough news for you. This is a horrible way to price your home. Let’s say you have your mortgage, property taxes, insurance and any special assessment taxes that total $3,000/month in expenses, but comparable properties in the area are renting for $2,500/month.

You may be tempted to say to yourself, well I need at least $3k/month to break even so that’s what I’m going to list my property at. Good tenants that have good credit scores and rental history won’t even consider your home.

The reason that they have good credit scores and rental history is because they are smart with their money. They could care less what your monthly expenses on the home are. Why would they pay $500 over market to rent your home so you can cover your expenses?

You can go ahead and post your property over market, but be prepared to watch it sit for weeks with little interest. The only tenants you will attract are the ones that are now desperate because they have been turned down by multiple other property owners for their poor credit, rental history, income or employment.

And guess what?

You’re desperate now too which means you are going to jump at the opportunity to rent to someone who is willing to pay over market for your home.
Now you’re looking at potential late or missed payments and a potential eviction because of the weak tenant you placed.

How are you going to cover those monthly expenses now?

If you can’t cover your expenses by renting out your home, maybe selling is a better option.

Question 2

Based on your research, is your property priced above, below or at the market for rentals in your neighborhood?

This question as very similar to question 1, but the keyword here is research. 

How do you research going rental rates in your neighborhood? You’ve probably heard of and used Zillow’s nifty tool called the “Rent Zestimate,” but this is often way off. Sometimes Zillow shows the home as a different bed/bath count and square footage then what it actually is. Zillow’s algorithm estimates based on what other “comparable” properties are listed for, so if it has these details wrong, it’s going to give a wrong rental estimate.

You need to research what other properties in the area that are similar to yours have actually rented for or are listed for, as well as how long they’ve been on the market.
You may find that one home that’s similar to yours and listed way above what other rentals in the area are and consider pricing yours similarly. Before you do that, check how long it’s been listed for.

You may be shocked to see over 60 or even 75 days on the market, and that’s with a couple of price cuts. Don’t make the same mistake that guy did!

We recommend listing slightly under market value. This will generate a ton of interest and you will collect multiple applications, giving you the ability to choose the most qualified applicant and place a tenant that’s going to pay the rent on time every month and take care of your property.

Let’s just do some quick math. If you price your home $100 below market and you rent it out immediately versus renting it right at market and letting it sit for 30 days, how long is it going to take you to make up that difference? Well if you listed it for $2,400 instead of $2,300 and it sat for 30 days, it will take you 2 years to make up the lost rent due to that 30 day extra vacancy.

It is for this reason that we are big advocates of the slightly under market approach and believe it to be the best method to give yourself the greatest chance to rent your home in under 30 days.

Question 3

Have you rented out this property before?

First time landlords are much more prone to making rookie mistakes than seasoned landlords or investors who turn properties all the time.

If you’ve rented your home out before, you should have an idea for what the going rent is, what major issues tenants find with it and how you can fix it up or change it to make it more appealing to potential tenants.

If you haven’t, you may end up pricing it too high, fail to make the necessary repairs prior to move in or advertise it poorly.

Every landlord once had to rent out a home for the first time, but if you’ve rented out that particular home in the past, you are much more likely to rent it in 30 days or less.

Question 4

Is your property currently in move-in condition?

This may seem like another no brainer, but a lot of property owners will put their property on the market before they’ve made it move in ready. Move in ready means all of your stuff is out, all repairs have been made, carpet is new or clean and the paint is fresh.

If you don’t do this and instead try and show the property with your stuff everywhere, dirty carpet, old paint with nail holes in the walls and obvious repairs needed, you will find yourself having to convince and assure the potential tenants that all of this will be taken care of before they were to move in.

What ends up happening is you take care of the stuff that you verbally promised the potential tenants, but they think you promised something else or more than you actually did. Now you have upset tenants calling you on your verbal “promise” to get the home up to their standards. Alternatively, they just won’t believe you when you say you are going to make it move in ready and won’t apply at all.

It is so much easier if you have the home move in ready when you start advertising and showing it so that you can inform everyone that it comes in an “as is” condition. That way, if there’s something potential tenants don’t like, they can go elsewhere instead of assuming you will take care of it before they move in.

Don’t let yourself get caught up in a “he said she said” situation! Make the property move in ready before you start advertising it to give yourself the best chance of renting it out in less than 30 days.

Question 5

Has your home had new carpet and paint in the last 3 years?

The easiest thing you can do to make your home more attractive to potential tenants is new clean carpet and fresh paint.

You don’t have to change the carpet out and fully repaint every time a tenant moves out, but if it’s more than 3 years old, it’s probably a good idea. Worn and dirty carpet and peeling paint are great ways to cause potential tenants to lose interest.

You may have noticed, but not every landlord does this. What that means is that if you are willing to do this, you are going to have a much easier time attracting potential tenants than your competition and you will have the greatest chance of renting it out in less than 30 days.

Question 6

Have your kitchen and bathrooms been updated in the last 10 years?

Want to turn off potential tenants as quickly as possible? Then go ahead and try and rent out your property with outdated bathrooms and a kitchen that look like they belong in their grandmother’s house.

They certainly don’t need to be brand new with the latest and most expensive appliances, but if the kitchen and bathrooms are clearly outdated, tenants will lose interest quickly and your property will sit on the market for weeks.

If you want to win at the 30 days or less game, make sure your kitchen and bathrooms look like they were redone sometime in the current century.

Question 7

Has it taken you over 2 weeks to find a qualified tenant in the past?

If you answered yes to this question, wake up! You are probably doing at least one if not several things wrong when trying to rent out your home.

In 2018 when this was written, the Southern California rental market is hot and homes are being rented out in a matter of days, not weeks.

If your home has been sitting for weeks with little to no interest, refer to the other questions in this guide and see what you could be doing differently to get it rented out in 30 days or less!

Question 8

Will you allow pets in your home?

Most first time landlords don’t even think of this as an issue, so this may be rather eye opening.

We process hundreds of applications every single month, and 3 out of 5 applicants have pets. That means that if you aren’t willing to accept pets in your rental, you are turning down approximately 60% of potential applicants.

Pets can cause damage and are a liability, which is a big reason many landlords just don’t want to deal with them. You can help protect yourself from this by asking for an additional deposit (up to 2x the monthly rent) to cover damage from the pet and requiring your renters to obtain renters insurance.

Be very careful in California! If you are going to try and ask for a non-refundable “pet fee,” this is considered a security and it is illegal to collect an non-refundable security fee. If you take an extra pet deposit, that is perfectly legal as long as it does not exceed 2x the monthly rent for an unfurnished rental and is refundable if the pet doesn’t cause any damage.

If you want to rent your home out in under 30 days, allowing pets is a must!

Question 9

Are you available to show the property 7 days/week including evenings?

Unless you don’t work, have an extremely flexible schedule or have no life, the answer to this question is probably no.

If you are very limited in your availability to show your home to potential tenants, it will take much longer to rent it out. Many potential tenants are looking to move right away. Perhaps they are relocating to the area for a new job or their current lease is ending and they want to find somewhere else quickly.

If you aren’t available to show them the property right away, they are likely going to find someone who can and will end up renting out that home instead. If you want to rent out your home in under 30 days, you need to show it to lots of people and that means being available all the time.

Many property management companies will offer placement only services so they can do all the showings for you and help you lease it out, but don’t actually manage the property after the tenant moves in. This may be a great option.

There are also companies that offer self showing options where you allow the potential tenants to access the property unattended. We actually tried that once. Check out this article to read about just exactly how that went down.

Question 10

Do you have a system in place to thoroughly screen tenants (including criminal, credit, income and past evictions)?

How do you verify the information that tenants give you on their application? Do you just call the phone number that they gave you for their past landlords and employer?

Here’s another interesting fact that we’ve learned processing hundreds of applications every month. About 20% of applicants lie in some way on their application. They put their friend’s number down as their past landlord or employer. You call and what do you know, this potential applicant is an angel sent by God himself to apply for your property.

You need to have a better system in place that allows you to find the tenant’s actual employer and past landlord without relying on the information that they give you. You also need to know the right questions to ask when you get a hold of them to make sure they’re legit.

If all you’re doing is running credit and choosing tenants based on their credit score, you are seriously rolling the dice. There are plenty of tenants with great credit scores that could turn out to be horrible tenants and there are also plenty with not so great credit scores that would make great tenants.

A credit score is just one small part of the whole picture and you need the whole picture to make a good decision about who you are going to let rent your home.
You also need to be able to do it quickly if you want to rent your home in 30 days or less.

Question 11

Do you have accounts with all the major online listing services including Zillow, Hotpads, Truila, Rentals.com, etc, and time to manage all of them?

If people can’t find your property, they won’t rent it. You never know which platforms potential tenants will prefer, so it’s best to list your property on all of them to give it the most exposure and ensure you can rent it in 30 days or less.

That being said, there are a ton of services out there! Do you have the time and ability to manage all of them to include uploading the pictures, writing a description and responding to all inquiries that come in?

If not, you may need to look for another solution on how to advertise your property effectively.

This step is crucial if you want to rent out your home in 30 days or less!

Question 12

Can tenants apply for your property and pay the application fee online?

The same question can be asked about whether or not they will be able to pay their rent online should you accept their application. Tenants love convenience, just like you do, and they will be much more likely to apply if they can fill out the application and pay the fee online instead of mailing it or bringing it to you with a check.

Besides, who even has checks anymore?

If you have the ability to allow tenants to apply and pay the application fee online, you will receive way more than if you don’t, meaning it will be much easier to rent out your home in 30 days or less.

Summing it up

There’s a lot to renting out a home, and we’ve just scratched the surface here.

Renting out a property to a good tenant is the number one most important part of managing a rental home.

We didn’t even talk about everything that has to happen after the tenant moves in and how to maintain the property for years to come.

If you have a good tenant that pays rent on time every month and takes care of the property, you are setting yourself up for a very pleasant experience owning investment property.

However, there’s a lot that goes into it and a lot of it takes a lot of time.
This is where we come in.

If you are finding that you just don’t want to deal with the headaches that can come with renting out your home, give us a call or visit this page. We’d love to answer any questions you have and help you figure out if we would be a good fit for managing your rental property and taking all of this off your plate.

Sawyer Shwetz

Property Manager

Sawyer is a Property Manager at Mesa Properties Inc. He focuses primarily on property management and improving “behind the scenes” processes. Sawyer obtained his Bachelors of Science degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona.

During his college years, Sawyer worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he designed and implemented new destructive tests for flight hardware prototypes. He also conducted heat treatment operations for projects including the Mars 2020 Rover, Mars Insight, and the ISS.

Sawyer has been involved in the property management business since High School. He enjoys business more than engineering, which is why he has decided to pursue a career in property management.

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Moenique Hall

Administrative Assistant

Moenique is an Army Veteran and brat, born in Baltimore; raised mostly in Texas. In the Army, her job was in aircraft and vehicle logistics. She obtained an Associates Degree in Business Administration from San Joaquin Valley College with a 4.0 GPA in 2019. She is currently attending Park University in pursuit of her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration/ Human Resources.

She is married with no children. Her husband is currently serving active duty Army so she enjoys seeing new places and making new memories with him. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and trying new foods, growing in her faith, bike riding, hiking, small decor projects and binge watching movies and TV shows.

She enjoys working with Mesa as an administrative assistant and is looking forward to endless possibilities and growth within her career.

Iliana Urena

Director of Leasing and Applications

Iliana manages the application process at Mesa and is responsible for screening tenants as well as helping out with other admin related jobs around the office. Prior to joining Mesa, Iliana held several customer service job with her most recent being the dispatcher for a transportation company in Mira Loma, CA.

Iliana currently resides in Phelan, where she lives with her husband and three children. Iliana enjoys working for a company where there are opportunities for growth, while gaining experience and knowledge.

Tina Salazar

Real Estate Agent

Tina Salazar joined our real estate team in July of 2019. Prior to becoming a Realtor, she had a background in the medical field. After many long hours and becoming a mother, she decided to pursue real estate. Her family and friends have always been involved in new construction and real estate, which helped spark her interest in the field. She also works along side her brother, Michael.

As a Realtor, Tina’s services consist of helping buyers and sellers obtain property that best suits them. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her 3 boys and husband. They enjoy their time in Boy Scouts and soccer.

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Irish Dee

Maintenance Coordinator

Irish is the maintenance coordinator at Mesa. She has an Associates Degree in Arts for Dental Medicine and has experience with customer service and problem solving from her time with AT&T and Microsoft. She then worked in human resources which helped improve her people skills and ability to create processes and procedures, which is part of what makes her a great Maintenance Coordinator here at Mesa.

Irish loves working at Mesa because of the culture in the office and her ability to help our tenants with their maintenance issues. In her free time, she loves spending time with her daughter, reading books and keeping up with politics.

Meghan Williams

Accounting

Meghan is one of the newest members of our Mesa Team and works in our accounting department. She studied accounting at Chaffey College. Prior to joining Mesa, Meghan was a bookkeeper for 6 years at a CPA firm that primarily worked with dairy farms. She enjoys working for Mesa because she is able to use her accounting experience in whole new ways and also enjoys the friendly office environment that has been established here. Meghan resides in Rancho Cucamonga with her husband and two sons.

Rebecca Anthony

Administrative Assistant

Rebecca is one of our administrative assistants and is one of the warm and friendly voices you will hear when you call our office. She has a strong customer experience background from her past role with Sprint and loves assisting our owners and tenants. When she isn’t working, Rebecca loves to bake and spend time with her son and family.

Steve Shwetz

Managing Broker

Steve, the Managing Broker and Founder of Mesa Properties Inc. & Mesa Real Estate, began his real estate career buying, fixing and reselling distressed properties in Southern California. Seeing the long-term opportunity in a buy and hold strategy, Steve began acquiring residential real estate to build his own real estate rental portfolio. As a 10 year owner of an international service franchise, Steve saw an opportunity to take his experience in customer service and developing systems and processes and apply that experience to the world of property management and real estate. Prior to starting his own businesses Steve held various senior and advisory level sales positions with IBM Corp., B. Braun Medical, Insight Direct & Reach Local. Steve is a licensed real estate broker and holds a Bachelors in Business from the University of Southern California.

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Sheryl Shwetz

General Manager, Administration

Sheryl helped to establish Mesa Properties Inc. with Steve. Today, she serves as the backbone of all things administrative for the company. Sheryl oversees all the details of running a property management company including on-boarding new owners, converting applicants to tenants, and paying all vendors. After earning her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, Sheryl worked for a software development company running the support and training department and writing user documentation. Sheryl also gained experience at an advertising agency servicing non-profit organizations where she drafted vendor instructions for merging customer data with various fundraising campaigns. Sheryl has 3 sons and home-schooled them through various stages of their K-8 education. Each one is now thriving in adulthood.

Sam Shwetz

Inland Empire Branch Manager

Sam is the Inland Empire Branch Manager at Mesa focusing on engaging both new and existing owners of residential and commercial properties. Sam is a U.S. Navy veteran having served in the Nuclear Field on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

After his military service, Sam worked for a lighting control company as a field service engineer on various projects including extensive work on Apple’s new corporate headquarters in Cupertino California. Sam has his Bachelors of Science degree in business with an emphasis in finance.

Sam and his wife Sydney are homeowners in Ontario, CA where they live with their golden retriever.

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Verenice Guardado Alvarado

Lead Office Administrator

Verenice is the office administrator to our Mesa Properties Inc. Team. She is also licensed and manages properties in the high desert. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from San Joaquin Valley College and used her skills working in customer service. Previously, Verenice worked 4 years with Target where she trained sales associates and developed strong communication and teamwork skills. Through her position at Mesa Properties Inc., Verenice strives to find the right tenant for each owner and the right home for each tenant.

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Mark Parmenter

Property Manager

Prior to joining Mesa Properties Inc., Mark worked in the construction industry as a member of the carpenters union. He holds an Associates degree in Business, he is a licensed agent, certified in property management and enjoys the unique challenges of property management. Mark is a homeowner himself and experienced with on site multi-unit management. He understands the delicate balance of working with tenants as a landlord, owner and neighbor.

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Joshua Long

High Desert Branch Manager

Joshua is the High Desert Branch Manager for the Mesa team. With a background in sales and finance, Joshua gained the strong communication skills necessary to be an effective problem solver when handling any situation he is faced with.

He currently manages and facilitates office relations including hiring new office personnel. Joshua also assists with the business development side of the company, as he effectively works to enroll new and existing homeowners for management of their investment properties.

Joshua graduated in 2019 from CSUSB with his Bachelors of the Arts degree in Administration with a concentration in Management. He graduated with the distinctions of honors and cum laude. Joshua and his wife, Claudia, are currently homeowners in Victorville where they reside with their son and two dogs.

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Julia Morrison

Property Manager

Julia is a property manager to the Mesa Properties Inc. Team! Julia currently holds an Associates degree in Criminal Justice. She is currently enrolled at CSUSB with plans of going to law school after. Having worked 4 years in a customer service field, Julia has gained much experience in working with difficult situations and learned how to be a team leader. Prior to working in customer service, Julia worked for an HOA, where she gained computer & phone skills and learned how to handle an overflowing stack of paperwork! She enjoys working with people and assisting them in finding a home that they love. Julia became a homeowner in 2016 and currently resides in Upland with her fiance.

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Carmen Franco

Administrative Assistant

Carmen has been part of the Mesa team since 2017. She graduated from University Preparatory High School in 2011. She has earned her certificate in Business Administration from San Joaquin Valley College with a 4.0 GPA. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her children and volunteering for animal rescues. Getting to know the team at Mesa, Carmen has been inspired to pursue a career in property management. She is a very driven individual who is motivated to learn more each and everyday. Carmen enjoys communicating with tenants and owners to ensure the best customer service. She is eager to learn all there is to know about property management and enjoys helping her coworkers complete tasks as a team. She also prides herself in bringing a positive and caring attitude to everyone and everything she does. Carmen currently resides in Apple Valley with her husband and 2 children.

Amairani Palacios

Transaction Coordinator

Amairani Palacios is the Transaction Coordinator for our real estate team at Mesa! She is highly driven, motivated and bilingual. Her main role is to work with our real estate agents to ensure the administration side of a real estate transaction runs smoothly during the escrow process. She enjoys what she does and is constantly looking to learn and improve her skills as a transaction coordinator.

Amairani is currently going to school to obtain an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. When she is not working or attending school, she enjoys spending time with her three daughters and her family. She enjoys coaching youth soccer and being outdoors.

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Michael Melendez

Real Estate Manager

Mike has been practicing real estate in Southern California since 2006. His family and friends have always been involved in home loans, new construction, and rehabilitation projects, deepening his knowledge of all aspects of the industry. As a Realtor, Mike’s service’s consist of helping buyers and sellers obtain property that best suits their interests. Finding his clients great deals, maximizing their proceeds and finding them the right home is what he does best. Mike understands that real estate is one of the biggest purchases and sales that can be made, and choosing the right agent is an important decision. He has both the experience and technology to help his clients meet their goals.

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Sonya Dod

Real Estate Agent

Sonya Dod has been a licensed real estate agent since 1989, Sonya is an agent who facilitates successful transactions for buyers as well as sellers, boasting a solid reputation for making deals with honesty and integrity. Since Sonya was raised on a Texas farm, she isn’t afraid of hard work and long hours. After her parents moved to California 40 years ago, they started buying investment properties. So she grew familiar and comfortable with the process of finding, fixing up and selling properties at an early age. Having served as an underwriter, processor and loan officer, Sonya has the knowledge and experience necessary to help sellers and buyers avoid wasting time opening meaningless transactions. What’s more, sellers are protected by her expertise as she requires buyers to provide written permission to speak directly to lenders. This unique approach fosters quickly closed deals and eliminates false representation.

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Raymond Palacios

Administrative Assistant

Raymond is an administrative assistant to the Mesa Properties Inc. Team! His tasks include performing inspections, showing properties, serving documents, and assisting with phone calls. Raymond holds a Bachelors in Business Management from California State University of San Bernardino. Having worked 4 years at a customer service field, Raymond has gained much experience in assisting and providing great quality customer service. Prior to working in customer service, Raymond volunteered and worked 6 years for a food distribution center where he gained the experience in efficiently coordinating important tasks within a company.