15 tips to find the best tenants for your investment property in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

15 Tips to Find The Best Tenants for Your Investment Property in Eastern Suburbs Sydney

Here are the tips:

  1. Present the property well
  2. Advertise in multiple places
  3. Get professional photos
  4. Make sure the ad copy is compelling
  5. Use a premium agency
  6. Have high standards of screening during the application process
  7. Stick to the 30% rule
  8. Read between the lines on the applications
  9. Use your instincts when you meet them at the open homes
  10. If they have children, see how they behave at the inspection
  11. Avoid the more demanding tenants!
  12. Regular maintenance
  13. See how else you can offer value add ons
  14. Know the local area and amenities well
  16. Summary


It’s really important now more than ever to find the best tenants for your investment property in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. And yet, it’s harder to find good tenants, who match with your property than it ever has been before. 

There are more properties available than ever before and currently, many fewer tenants in the area than there used to be. Couple this with the ever-changing regulations that are falling more and more into the hands of tenants, we can’t always be as picky. 

However, with the following 15 ways, you can still find the best tenants for your property!

1. Present the property well

The basic principle here is that the better you present, the more likely you will attract a high-class tenant. I mean, picture a property with cobwebs in the corners, carpets with stains and a kitchen with food scraps throughout. What kind of tenant do you think would apply for a property like this?

On the flip side, a premium property, which has been deep cleaned, given a fresh lick of paint etc, will attract that premium level tenant to match up.

Finding best tenants - present property well


2. Advertise in multiple places

It’s important to know that you can never be sure exactly where the best tenant will come from. Despite domain and realestate being the 2 big web platforms for real estate in Sydney, there might be better tenants to be found via Facebook marketplace, gumtree, or even on overseas websites. 

Tenants come from all different sources and sometimes even multiple sources. The best thing to do is to cast the net widely, find the interest from the different sources, and make assessments from there. Sometimes the best tenants are ones that are personally sourced by you, or that you can do some research on their Facebook profile (not stalking!) to build a good picture of who they are. 

3. Get professional photos

Part of presenting your property well is also in having high quality, eye-catching photos that are inviting to people. Great photos might not always have someone sold straight away, but bad photos can lose a prospective tenant instantly. Half of the battle in any market is standing out from other properties, and the other half is eliminating reasons for your prospective tenants to say no.

Professional photos are not as pricey as you might think, and they are exponentially superior to amateur photos. A smartphone is OK for snapping a sofa you might sell on gumtree, but property photos never look appealing when they are blurry or have poor lighting. 


Professional Photography


4. Make sure the ad copy is compelling

Once you have caught their eye with the photos, what happens next? They read the write-ups. Just as with anything else, the aim of this is to draw them in further and not put them off. This is a chance to help them start to fall in love with your property, or understand more of the details of life in your property. 

If there are added extras like Wi-Fi included, or monthly gardening included etc this is a great time to highlight this and ensure that prospective tenants understand what they are in for. 

The tenant will almost screen themselves based on the ad copy.


Charlotte Peterswald for lease ad copy compelling


5. Use a premium agency

If you are looking at going through a property management company, it’s a good idea to look into going with a top-level, premium agency, like Charlotte Peterswald. Tenants have a perspective shift when looking at a high-end property and dealing with a professional property manager. 

The theory is the same when applied to purchasing of goods – like cars or even groceries. If you’re grocery shopping in a farmers market you are more likely to haggle and think that you’re out for a bargain. However, if you’re shopping in the Harris Farm Markets or a Whole Foods, you know you’re in a more premium store (even if they may actually get the stock from the same place!) and generally accept the prices as they are. 

6. Have high standards of screening during the application process

You’ve got your applications in now – but what’s next? You will need to vet them. Ultimately, not every application is going to be a winner still. What you may not know is that the application screening process actually starts from the first contact that the tenant makes with you – which may be a phone call, an email or in person at the open home. 

You have a chance to screen their behaviour and etiquette and their punctuality. From the application, you should be doing employer references, past rental checks, and find out their situation. Don’t be scared to ask the tough questions – why are they leaving their current place? Would their employer rent their own property to them? These build up a great picture.


30 shaped balloons on wall high standard screening


7. Stick to the 30% rule

I cannot stress this one enough. The 30% rule relates to their rent not being more than 30% of their income. This is vital, and the stats back me up. The chances of the tenant defaulting or breaking lease down the line if the rent is above this 30% threshold are huge. 

Every tenant has living costs and lifestyle costs other than their rent – and what tends to happen is when purse strings need to be tightened, the tenant is at a higher risk of either falling into arrears or breaking their lease altogether. If you are looking for $1500 rent per week, then their combined weekly income would need to be at least $5000 to remain in the threshold.

8. Read between the lines on the applications

It’s true that 90% of all communication is non-verbal. Well, it’s also true that what someone DOESN’T say is as important as what someone DOES say. If you talk to high performing salespeople, or barristers, they will tell you that the truth is often in the things unsaid. 

Some examples of the “in-between the lines” information might be the email address of their employer. For instance, if it’s an “@gmail.com” it may not be their actual employer, or if it is an “@johnsmithinc.com” it may be. Likewise, if they have only been in employment for 1-2 months, or have lived at their previous address for less than 12 months, these may be indicators of an unreliable tenant.


two guys sitting laugh daytime read between the lines applications


9. Use your instincts when you meet them at the open homes

We are told that we should not judge a book by it’s cover. However, there are some books that have covers giveaway the whole book. Basically, whilst this lesson is a good one to learn, there are times when your early judgements do prove to be correct. 

When you think about your ideal tenants, you probably build a picture in your head. You either bought the property specifically to have as an investment, or you once lived there and have since moved out. You will know who might suit the property. Also, you can tell when talking to someone if they don’t show good levels of respect or engagement, or if they’re talking loudly on the phone and swearing etc, this might not be a good person to approve. 

10. If they have children, see how they behave at the inspection

Back at the open home, this is a great way to see how they behave in relation to their kids, or if they have brought pets or friends etc with them. If their children are unruly or allowed to run riot, it is a fairly clear sign that these may not be the best tenants for your property! 

Likewise, whilst rare, some tenants bring their dogs on inspections (it is rare in general, however, less rare in the Eastern Suburbs)… or come in with bare feet. These are quite strong indicators of a fairly entitled attitude and probably a good sign to avoid! Make a note of their names in the open so you remember them better if they apply.


two children playing on bed behave inspection


11. Avoid the more demanding tenants! 

I feel the need here to place a caveat – tenants making requests doesn’t equal demanding tenants. If a tenant comes through the open home and notices a kitchen cupboard door has broken off its hinges and asks that it be fixed prior to lease commencement, this is OK, and a sign of a good tenant for the most part. 

However, if they come in and demand fly screens on all the doors, the carpet to be ripped up or a reverse cycle air-con unit to be installed right from the start, it’s a sure sign of somebody who is never going to be happy, is going to complain a lot, and will always ask for more!


white paint bucket on floor avoid demanding tenants


12. Regular maintenance

Now that you have the tenants in the property, how do you keep them? Regular maintenance is a good way to start. Be both vigilant and proactive with possible issues, and quick and responsive to tenant requests. The more care you take in the property, the more your tenant will in turn take care, and stick around. 

This goes from cosmetic issues, like scratched paint or grimy windows, to more everyday use like dripping taps or faulty electrical wirings. 

13. See how else you can offer value add ons

What else can you do? You might want to look into adding in extras such as including the Wi-Fi costs or having a gardener come every month for example. There are some great out of the box offers that I’ve seen in the past such as offering a gym membership or offering some more pet-friendly features to the property. 

However, you choose to do this, offering extra value is vital to capturing and then keeping, the best tenants for your property!


people pool daytime offer value add-ons


14. Know the local area and amenities well

If you don’t know the local area well, it can make it a bit harder to find the right tenant for your property. It’s good to be able to paint the picture of what living in the property, in the street, in the suburb will look like. For example, if you have a property on Pacific Street in Bronte, you know that the tenants’ will be living a 5-minute walk to Bronte beach and you can sell this to them. 

The reason why this is important to find the best tenant is because it’s all about putting the right people, in the right property. Tenants just don’t always know what they want. The best tenant for your property is not going to be the best tenant for another property and vice versa. The Eastern Suburbs are great – and it’s good to catch the tenant that will truly fit in with the area. 


15. Have the right property

Now, this final way should really be the first way, so I’ll be brief. If you have a rundown property with holes in the walls, cobwebs in the corners, overgrown grass and patched paint, it’s going to be harder for you to attract a premium price. Premium prices are what attracts premium tenants – this is because lower quality tenants usually can’t afford to pay premium prices! 

All the tips above will help you present as premium, attract a premium price, and then gain applications from the premium tenants. But you can’t do this if you have a sub-premium property in the first place. 


In short, those 15 ways to find the best tenants for your property in Eastern Suburbs Sydney again are: 

  • Present the property well
  • Advertise on more than one forum
  • Get professional photos
  • Have compelling ad copy
  • Use a top agency
  • Have strict screening requirements
  • Use the 30% salary rule
  • Understand what is not being said in the application
  • Judge some books by their cover
  • Observe their children if they have them
  • Watch for entitled/ highly demanding tenants
  • Do your regular maintenance
  • Offer other add-ons
  • Know the area
  • Premium properties will attract premium tenants

Many of these ways can be followed whether self-managed or not – but using a premium property management company like Charlotte Peterswald Eastern Suburbs will mean that all can be followed and you can ensure to get the best tenant for your investment property!

Learn about 20 expert tips of preparing your home for rent for the first time.

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