05.07.14 Best Use of Postage Stamp
One of the first things I do when I get a tenant application is pull up the county assessor page, plug in prior addresses listed, and check the owner name against the contract name given. If they are not a match, I search for a phone number. If I can’t find a number, I pop a letter to the name and address on the assessor page in the mail right away.
The letter ends with this: Any information you can share about your experience with them would be very appreciated. Attached are the phone interview questions we normally ask. If you could e-mail or phone, whichever is most convenient.
This week we had an applicant that was scoring surprising high on our criteria. If we had stopped there, we’d have new tenants.
We kept digging and uncovered reasons and justification to disqualify them. The confirmation that we had made the right decision came a day later when an older woman phoned. The owner of the property they listed as a prior address, calling to tell us that the applicants cost her $11,000 in damage and theft when they moved out.
This isn’t my first success with this method; it’s just the most dramatic. New or lazy landlords are easy to fool – leave no stone unturned when digging!