I have 4 tenants coming to view a rental tonight!

11 Replies

Well hopefully we are rented by this weekend. I have 4 phone vetted renters coming to view one of our rentals this evening. I guess I'm going to just cherry pick who is the best fit. Any tips? We've been using the BP tenant screening tool with GREAT success. 

Just make sure you have clear rental criteria... last thing you need is a discrimination suit.  Have a clear way to evaluate and be able to back up your decision... just in case.

Put the time on your applications when they're completed & turned in to you - if there's a question who was first (assuming you get more than one qualified applicant!), you can stick with the "first, come, first served" rule. Make sure the applicants know that, too. 

Good luck!

Originally posted by @Kathleen Leary :

Put the time on your applications when they're completed & turned in to you - if there's a question who was first (assuming you get more than one qualified applicant!), you can stick with the "first, come, first served" rule. Make sure the applicants know that, too. 

Good luck!

This is great advice, last unit I rented had 7 people/couples show in one evening. I scheduled them all 15 minutes apart and everybody showed. Ended up with 4 couples sitting on stoops and in cars racing to get the apps back to me first, pretty funny. I rented to the couple that actually brought their checkbook; they wrote me a check on the spot for first, last, security and credit check. They signed a 2 year lease with a $50/month increase for the second year. Who doesn't love landlording!!!

@Ryan Dossey  Here are a few ideas for the showing...

Have copies ready to give out: 1. Property Description (tenants shop around and you want it easy for them to remember the details about your place) 2. Rental Criteria (so they can self eliminate if they don't meet it and to show your practices are not discriminatory) 3. Application,

Have available: 1. Phone 2. Camera 3. Tape Measure 4. Pens 5. Floor Mats, Floor Runners (long drop cloths work well), and Disposable Shoe Covers (to protect the flooring). 5. Disinfectant Wipes (to address dirt/grime if you see it). 6. Receipt Book (ask for cash for the application fee and write them a receipt for it)

Do: 1. Open window coverings and turn on lights to give the place a lot of light. 2. Turn on heat so the place is warm and cozy. 3. Make sure the place smells clean (better than cookies cooking) because renters are most interested in places that are clean, so you want that to be their first impression. 4. Put down the toilet seat lid! 5. Move make ready supplies out of the area. 6. Dress smart casual or business like, depending on your market, not in your "working on the property" clothes. 7. Smile 8. Be very observant. 

This is your chance to ask more questions and answer questions of theirs. They are checking you out as well! I use this time to tell people about our management style. I observe how they look at the property, what their demeanor tells me, what their car tells me, what their dress tells me, what their hygiene tells me, etc. Talk less, listen more.

The benefit of giving people time to view the property and fill out applications without hurry is that the better applicants will value not being rushed. Also the applications will be written more completely and will be easier to read. If you set it up for "first come, first serve" you will create a cattle call that defeats your goal. Applicants know they can take the application home, fill it out carefully, and bring it back later, without losing out to some one who happened to see the ad sooner or filled out the application faster. We batch and then sort the applications with the most promising on top and the applicants know this. We abide by all fair housing laws. Its an open market.

We will take a photo of their ID at the time they turn in the application and pay the application fee. We also review the application when they turn it in to make sure there are no blanks spots or vague things that need clarification prior to processing. We tell applicants..."allow 2 - 3 business days for us to process your application" although it usually takes just 1- 2 days to do a thorough job of checking references and doing back ground checks.

Good Luck!

Originally posted by @Troy S. :
Originally posted by @Kathleen Leary:

Put the time on your applications when they're completed & turned in to you - if there's a question who was first (assuming you get more than one qualified applicant!), you can stick with the "first, come, first served" rule. Make sure the applicants know that, too. 

Good luck!

This is great advice, last unit I rented had 7 people/couples show in one evening. I scheduled them all 15 minutes apart and everybody showed. Ended up with 4 couples sitting on stoops and in cars racing to get the apps back to me first, pretty funny. I rented to the couple that actually brought their checkbook; they wrote me a check on the spot for first, last, security and credit check. They signed a 2 year lease with a $50/month increase for the second year. Who doesn't love landlording!!!

 Do you not do background checks? Have you seen the movie "Pacific Heights"?

Originally posted by @Troy S. : I rented to the couple that actually brought their checkbook; they wrote me a check on the spot for first, last, security and credit check. They signed a 2 year lease with a $50/month increase for the second year.

I have had people prepared to give me cash on the spot.  NO WAY!  Everyone must fill out an application and I have to run background checks, no exceptions.  I don't care if they're waving $3,000 at me in hundred dollar bills.

Originally posted by @Marcia Maynard :
Originally posted by @Troy S.:
Originally posted by @Kathleen Leary:

Put the time on your applications when they're completed & turned in to you - if there's a question who was first (assuming you get more than one qualified applicant!), you can stick with the "first, come, first served" rule. Make sure the applicants know that, too. 

Good luck!

This is great advice, last unit I rented had 7 people/couples show in one evening. I scheduled them all 15 minutes apart and everybody showed. Ended up with 4 couples sitting on stoops and in cars racing to get the apps back to me first, pretty funny. I rented to the couple that actually brought their checkbook; they wrote me a check on the spot for first, last, security and credit check. They signed a 2 year lease with a $50/month increase for the second year. Who doesn't love landlording!!!

 Do you not do background checks? Have you seen the movie "Pacific Heights"?

 Oh I do and I'd return their money, minus the credit and background check fee, if they didn't pass. With the interest in the unit and them being from out of town, they wanted to do everything possible to secure the unit. I ran background and credit on both. They passed with flying colors and have been awesome tenants. 

I do what Troy does. I have them fill out an application and give me a deposit and return the deposit minus the application fee if they do not qualify.

Learned the hard way a couple of times with people promising to take it and changing their minds.

Good luck!

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