When I do a lease option deal I try to make it as risk-free as possible. For instance, I’ll put a clause in my contract that says I won’t have to start paying the landlord rent until I find a tenant for the property. However, if the landlord isn’t super motivated then they often won’t go for this clause and they’ll want me to put a time frame.

If this occurs, I try and get 90 days before I start paying rent and the absolute minimum I’ll go is 60 days. If a seller won’t give me 60 days to find tenants then they’re not motivated enough for me to work with them and I’ll move on to another deal.

But let’s assume you’ve found one of these less-than-motivated sellers who have only given you 60 days to find lease options tenants. What do you do? Well, advertising your property on Craigslist.com is a good way and I have found tenants from Craigslist. Also, putting up signs in the front yard and directional signs work well too.

However, in my opinion…

The #1 way to find lease options tenants for a rent-to-own property is by running small classified ads in your local newspaper. I’m talking about the paper that’s for your specific town or city and is very cheap to advertise in.

I run my ads Monday-Friday and if you know the right type of ad to place, your phone will ring off the hook. In fact, I’m going to give you the very ad that I use. It simply says:
Rent to Own/Bad Credit OK/No Bank Qual, 3br/2ba house, $1,499/mo, plus FREE $300 rent credits. Call Lisa now at 703-555-5555.

Perhaps you’re wondering about the free $300 in rent credits?

Well, that means out of the $1,499 they pay every month I’ll credit $300 towards the purchase price when they end up buying the home. This is very important to put in the ad because you get to use the word “free” which obviously increases the amount of calls you get.

This is important because finding a quality tenant/buyer is a numbers game. Just like you have to talk to a lot of landlords before you find someone motivated enough to let you do a deal… you’ll also have to talk to a number of tenants before you find someone you’ll want to let into the house.

Another important thing to consider is how you’re going to take all of the calls you get. Personally, I have a virtual assistant who takes all the calls and after hours they simply go to a voicemail.

If you don’t have a virtual assistant and everyone goes to voicemail just remember to call the person back as soon as possible. When a tenant is looking through a newspaper they’re probably calling several “for rent” ads and you don’t want to lose a good tenant because you took forever to return a call.

The bottom line is, if you’d like to fill a lease option property quickly you should definitely run a weekly ad in your local newspaper… but of course, don’t forget about other marketing methods too. The more the better.

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