New to Landlording, Need Resources

13 Replies

Hello! My name is Michael and I'm 31 y.o.  I've been listening to the podcast for about two months now and just joined the community.  I officially became a Realtor in June so my interest in real estate now matches my title.  However, the long term goal is to buy and hold as an investment.  In the mean time I working as an agent.

I had a walk-in while covering the floor on Monday and sold my services to manage a ladies two rental properties.   They are next door to each other and one is three bedrooms and two bathes and the other is two bedrooms and one bath.

I'm starting everything from scratch: Application process, lease agreements, background checks, and everything in between.

Any help as what I should read, download, or buy in order to get this started?  I'm worried about the rental application and lease at this time.  I want to have a home run (no guarantee's I know) with my first tenant.  I also know this is question could go on forever but maybe just a couple of resources would help me while I put together my own process.



I'm no agent, but I might have been one in a previous life.  That said...

In every state I've done business in, there's usually an Realtor association where you can get forms.  In Georgia, we have GAR forms (Georgia Association of Realtors).  There is a GAR Rental Application, a GAR Lease, GAR Homeowners Disclosure.  All fill-in-the-blank.  Check your state association, or with your broker.


Hi @Michael Thompson  , welcome to BP.

BP has a lot of resources and forms, and there's even a rental application in the Ultimate Tenant Screening Guide along with screening criteria.  

I am using my state REALTOR board's lease form, my own application form, and IREM's management agreement form.

Best of luck!

Welcome @Michael Thompson  ! Happy to share ideas and resources with you. Go to the BP Resources tab, select: File Place, Other Documents, Tenant Screening/Interview and you can download our telephone screening questions. They may be of help to you. 

Some of what you need will be state specific and some will be related to federal requirements. I recommend you get a copy of the landlord-tenant laws for your jurisdiction and learn them well. As others have suggested, network locally. Join a local group of landlords, sometimes called rental associations. They are different than realtor associations and may provide you with more info about hands on landlording. Check out the internet for tenant resource information specific to your locale.... as you will benefit from knowing the perspective of tenants and tenant unions, not only that of landlords, property managers and real estate investors. There are several BP podcasts about landlording, listen to them all. Good luck!

For getting started on your lease agreement this Nolo article is a great resource :

As for the application process the most important thing is get to know your applicants as much as possible in your few small interactions. I won't rent to anyone until I've gotten their application and met them at least once in person (if possible). From there I ask any applicant pay an application fee so that I can run their information through the tenant screening services on:


If you plan on building a management business while accumulating your own property, a management software company such as Buildium may be helpful. They incorporate the application, background check and some promotion in their offering. Another source as a realtor is the National Association of Residential Property Managers website.

Hope it helps.

@Michael Thompson  Also, don't overlook the need for adequate insurance and be sure to develop a list of reliable and reasonable vendors/contractors.

Hi @Michael Thompson  

Firstly, congratulations on getting your real estate license and landing your first client. To address your pressing issue rental application and lease see my thoughts below.

Rental Application - You can get several rental application templates online and here on BP. In order to streamline your process and manage you may want to look into web sites that offer tenant screening, rental application, electronic lease and rent collection. There are several website out there that offer such services some are listed below.

SmartMove - ok in my opinion too much tenant involvement and my tenants complained that they could not access the site etc. 

Lease runner - they offer tenant screening, pre-defined lease templates best part is its all electronic and minimal overhead from landlord/tenant pov collections etc. Found it easy to use and tenants seem to like it. Prices are reasonable

RentPrep - another website where you can do tenant screening, use forms  etc Price is higher

In addition, make sure to call these companies to see if they have a valid phone number etc, BBB ratings etc. 

For placing ad's for your rentals I simply use postlets, craigslist and don't have to do much advertising besides that to get the apartments rented. 

Also network with other investors in your area..use the BP find members to see other investors/flippers who are active in the area and get a reliable list of contractors as you will certainly need this sooner rather than later. 

Good Luck and let us know how things turn up. 

@Azeez K.  Thanks for the tenant screening choices.  I've listed a duplex of a local investor that manages his own properties and will be sitting down with him tomorrow.  He has used SmartMove but I'm not sure how he feels about them yet.  I'll look into the other options.

@Lisa Wright  I went through the for the must haves in the lease agreement and compared it to our Indiana Association of Realtors lease and it covers a majority of the list.  I took notes and will think about some changes or adding things to our state form.  Thank you!

Welcome @Michael Thompson  !

- it's always good to see another Hoosier utilizing this great site!

Of course, you need to read The Ultimate Beginners Guide to REI here on BP

If you haven’t already, please read/listen to these books ASAP!

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dads Cash Flow Quadrant

Rich Dads Increase your financial IQ

The Real Book of Real Estate

The ABC’s of RE Investing

The ABC’s of PM

Rich Dad RE Tax Advantages

The E-Myth

The 4 Hour Work Week - free e-book

Flip2freedom episode 77[] - podcast - LISTEN TO THIS TODAY!


Wholesaling101 You Tube Channel

Kent Clothier – You Tube Memphis Invest channel

@Michael Thompson   send me a message I'll send you over an editable version of our lease we use with our property management company as well as our application if you don't want to re-invent the wheel!!

I'm on it @Shawn Holsapple  - Already have ABC's of RE Investing in my iPad as we speak.  I read Rich Dad Poor Dad a while ago.  I'll keep working my way through the list.

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