We purchased and manage a 24 lot mobile home park in North Florida in the country about 30 minutes from a major city. This is our first year owning the property. We only offer rent to own for all of our mobile homes since there are no penalties if they choose to leave before the rent credit program is completed. We use AppFolio to manage our property listings and it will automatically post to all the major rental sites like Zillow, Trulia, Zumpper, Rent.com, etc. and we also have them listed on Craigslist.
We’ve been having a hard time getting people to apply and most that do apply do not qualify. We ask for their income to be 2.5x the monthly(average rent is $700). We also ask for 1 year of verifiable rental history or a 700+ credit score. Our application fee is $35. We try and do an open house at least once a month, otherwise we ask them to apply in order to get a showing.
Any suggestions on where else to advertise? Or maybe we need to describe our rent to own program better? Below is an example of one of our property listings. Any tips in general are greatly appreciated.
"Feel free to drive by and take a look at the area and the exterior of the home, please submit an application to schedule an individual viewing. Or come check out our OPEN HOUSE on Friday November 23rd from 4-5pm.
Great manufactured home ready to become yours for the same price as rent, with our rent credit program. Each month $149 of your rent gets credited to the future purchase of the manufactured home for 6 years and then become yours forever. The other portion of the rent goes directly towards the lot rent of $450. This home is in the beautiful and tranquil community of ****** Manufactured housing community. Good schools nearby including ***, *** and ***.
Please note, the Rent Credit Program is optional and you can chose to do a regular 1 year rental lease.
We allow pets there is a $35 dollar per pet rent and also a one time $125 dollar non refundable per pet deposit. The cost to move in is $599 first months rent and one-time move in fee of $350, there is no security deposit. We are also offering 1 month free rent!
If your are interested, apply on our website today at www.***.com the cost is $35 per application for adults over the age of 18. The application is transferable to any available properties. Also on our website check out our FAQ page that can answer most common questions and also requirements."
You may want to put out some “bandit” signs within a few miles of the property. I did this two weeks ago for a property I have under contract in a smaller market and am testing demand for.
Ended up getting over 100+ calls from them, which was much more than Craigslist and the other sites you mentioned. Just white signs, the metal stakes, and wrote “rent to own mobile homes” with my phone #. Super simple and they ended up being the best advertising method
A lot of my tenants get frustrated after reading more than a couple sentences. Not that they can’t, but they just want something simple explained to them. Anything longer is either too fancy or too complicated.
My ad would say something like, “Rent to own, income must be 2.5x rent. $35 application fee. Background check and references required. Call for details or go to our website www.blahblah.com” I have also had success with a higher touch approach where prospective tenants fill out a paper application (or can email a scanned copy).
While this requires a bit more work, it has helped me get tenants quickly. Hope this helps.
I agree with @jhutson. Keep it simple, there are way too many numbers in there. First sentence of my ads are a location description. Then I list sales price and “can be paid over xx months ($400/mo + $450/mo lot rent)”. Lastly, total to move in costs. Then I list criteria: pet deposit required, 2.5x income, etc. I don’t use a credit score, just income/criminal/references, and I don’t charge an application fee. Cross post to “For Sale” section of Craigslist as well.
Best of luck!
I don’t really see much inherently wrong but I have always found it more simple to not have that many upfront deposits and move in fees and that other fee. For some reason our minds get freaked out if we are told it’s $250 move in, $250 deposit, $250 application, $250 pet fee. Seems like if I just tell people “hey its $1000” to move in they dont get scared away. Yes it might sound stupid but when you break it up it just feels you are being nickled and dimed. Myself I just have found it easier to just sell it upfront with a hefty down payment and get way from the whole “rental” concept. If one has a hefty down payment and decent history no felonies most often that tenant will stick.