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Finding Quality Tenants: Winning Through Intimidation

Jason Hanson
2 min read

One of the best business books ever written is Winning Through Intimidation by Robert Ringer. If you want to become a successful investor, buy the book. You see, far too many people don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable and are often too nice.

In most aspects of your business this won’t hurt you too badly. But there’s one part of your business where you can’t afford to be too ‘nice’ because it will come back to bite you and probably cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the process.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m referring to finding tenants for your property. How often have you had a prospective tenant promise, that if you’ll just let them move into the house today, they will give you half of the money now and half next week?

Or, how often have you had a tenant tell you that their bankruptcies and credit problems in the past were not their fault, it was their ex-wife’s and if you’ll give them a chance they’ll always pay on time. And the list goes on and on.

I can pretty much guarantee you…

That 99% of the time letting a tenant into your property who does not meet your rental guidelines will come back to haunt you. You don’t have guidelines you say? Surprisingly, many landlords don’t, and this is why many landlords end up thinking the rental business is difficult.

So what are some guidelines to follow? Well, anyone over the age of 18 has to fill out a rental application. And you must see a valid driver’s license from all applicants. Also – this is where the intimidation part comes in – before you give someone an application you should tell them your guidelines and be very firm about it.

You should say…

That your company will bend over backwards for its tenants and be the best property managers they’ve ever had. However, anyone who rents a property must be screened, have a clean criminal background (excluding traffic tickets), a credit score of 620 or more, proof of a job using the last 3 months pay stubs, proof of a checking or savings accounts using the last 3 months bank statements, and so on.

You want to give this speech to people before they end up filling out an application so you don’t waste their time and yours. Believe it or not, there will be a lot of people who after you give this speech will tell you “let me take this application home with me and think about it, I don’t think I want to fill it out today.” Of course, you never hear from these folks again.

But that’s the point of the speech. You need to ‘intimidate’ the bad tenants so they go rip off another landlord. And quality tenants won’t be intimidated by your guidelines because they’re good honest people who intend to pay rent on time and take care of your property.

Photo: Jason Hargrove

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.