Who's "first" for tenant priority?

18 Replies

I have an application, an application fee, and the background check. The background check requires the potential tenant's email address and it sends them an email asking to verify their information and ok my background check on them.

I have a potential tenant that came today and filled out the form, paid the fee, and I'm waiting on the potential tenant to ok the background check through their email. I just left a message on their voicemail letting them know they should have received the email and if not to call me back so I can make sure I typed the email correctly. 

I have an additional potential tenant who wants to pay the fee and has filled out the application.

How long do I wait for the other person to ok the email? Are they "first" in line or is there still room for "first" since they have not oked the background check through their email for the site to send me the report yet? 

What is the proper thing to do in this position?

I am thinking that I will call again later tonight and if a voicemail to let the potential tenant know there is 24 hours to ok the background check through that email otherwise I will have to move on to the next applicant. 

I guess I never thought about that, because the person could hold one up while waiting for that ok to actually receive the report. I'm thinking I'll also add a 24 hour to ok the email sentence on the application too for the future to avoid this issue.

But of course, the question is what to do right now, lol.

I use the concept that "first" is the application that is complete, has followed your process, and the background, income and credit reports are available.  If any of these are delayed (for any reason), this applicant is not even on the horizon.  IMO, your application should state the following and NOT rely upon an email response:

"I declare the above statements are true and correct and agree that they are part of the rental / lease agreement.

I hereby authorize a background check, verification of references, employment and a credit check as a condition of occupancy; 

Signature _______________________________ Date __________"

@Therese V.

Sounds like the tenant your waiting on possibly lost interest.  I would wait and waste little time following up.  When a tenant is ready to move and want to property, they will move quickly.  


Frank

Originally posted by NA Beard:

I use the concept that "first" is the application that is complete, has followed your process, and the background, income and credit reports are available.  If any of these are delayed (for any reason), this applicant is not even on the horizon.  IMO, your application should state the following and NOT rely upon an email response:

"I declare the above statements are true and correct and agree that they are part of the rental / lease agreement.

I hereby authorize a background check, verification of references, employment and a credit check as a condition of occupancy; 

Signature _______________________________ Date __________"

I have that on the application. The issue is that the background check service I do online requires an email sent to the potential tenant oking that I am going to pull a background check/credict report/eviction notice on them. It won't release the information to me until the potential tenant clicks in the email that service sends them.

And thus lies the issue. 

Originally posted by @Frank R.:

@Therese V.

Sounds like the tenant your waiting on possibly lost interest.  I would wait and waste little time following up.  When a tenant is ready to move and want to property, they will move quickly.  


Frank

What about the application fee? Do I return them the amount they gave me? I believe I was already charged for the background check even though they have no yet clicked in the email from the service website.

I want to do this fairly of course. The other potential tenant understands there is one in front.

My background check service has an arrangement where all that "boiler plate" stuff was resolve when I signed-up.  The  result of the extra work in the front-end allows my verifications flow immediately and I get the reports (aka access to Experian or Trans Union) online w/o delays.

Subject to site moderator approval for links, you might like to review RHOL.com.

Originally posted by NA Beard:

My background check service has an arrangement where all that "boiler plate" stuff was resolve when I signed-up.  The  result of the extra work in the front-end allows my verifications flow immediately and I get the reports (aka access to Experian or Trans Union) online w/o delays.

Subject to site moderator approval for links, you might like to review RHOL.com.

Yes, maybe I do need to find a different service. I used this one for the last property but the person ok'd it as soon as they received the email. I guess I didn't see that as a potential issue thinking that people are on email on their phones and stuff.

In order to avoid the potential tenant ok email from the service, don't I need to have the company send someone to my home office? The site I am using charges $39.95 for the credit, criminal, eviction, past addresses, social security verification, etc. 

Yep - - similar fees for RHOL; but I get the report immediately :)

Yes, they inspect your "office" to ensure the applications (containing the raw data) and reports are kept under lock-n-key - - that's it - - just need a simple locking file cabinet.

That is exactly why I stopped using SmartMove. Tenants wouldn't check their email and ok the background check, or they would have trouble figuring out how to use it. It was just a pain to use.

For now, my suggestion is to keep accepting applications until everything is complete and you approve the best one.

Originally posted by Account Closed:

That is exactly why I stopped using SmartMove. Tenants wouldn't check their email and ok the background check, or they would have trouble figuring out how to use it. It was just a pain to use.

For now, my suggestion is to keep accepting applications until everything is complete and you approve the best one.

So, go ahead and run the other potential application check and then choose between the 2? Or still give the 24 hours to the "first" one?

Since you said you already left them a message to check their email, and they still haven't done it, I would move on to the next application. Then if the first guy gets it done, I would pick the best one between them.

No issues here.  The first applicant that actually completes the application process becomes the first real applicant.  If they don't complete, they are not first.  I'd continue to show and vet, and never ever wait on an applicant to do anything.  If they really want the place, they will come through.

Originally posted by @Randy E. :

No issues here.  The first applicant that actually completes the application process becomes the first real applicant.  If they don't complete, they are not first.  I'd continue to show and vet, and never ever wait on an applicant to do anything.  If they really want the place, they will come through.

Thank you. I did tell the potential applicant earlier today when they asked about taking the application with them that it is a first come situation. The one who gets everything back first will be first in line. I didn't qualify that with also being first to ok the email from the background check service though.

Therese--couple of things that are addressed some on the board already, mostly to help streamline this for the future...

For the future-- maybe clarify if you are using a first qualified applicant (gets it) screening method or if you are allowing a set/variable time to get a pool and then sifting it for best qualified applicant; this can help you from the outset... 2) Trouble shoot every procedure in the application, screening (and even from the showing through offer and signing process) to make sure it works without glitches. Perhaps because I run a small operation, I find the simplest solution is often the best. See what works for you because if it can go wrong, it often will. 

Originally posted by @Michael Boyer :

Therese--couple of things that are addressed some on the board already, mostly to help streamline this for the future...

For the future-- maybe clarify if you are using a first qualified applicant (gets it) screening method or if you are allowing a set/variable time to get a pool and then sifting it for best qualified applicant; this can help you from the outset... 2) Trouble shoot every procedure in the application, screening (and even from the showing through offer and signing process) to make sure it works without glitches. Perhaps because I run a small operation, I find the simplest solution is often the best. See what works for you because if it can go wrong, it often will. 

Thank you for the idea of the "best qualified applicant from a pool" method. I had been under the impression that we are supposed to use the "first qualified applicant" model. This will make it easier in the future.

I have since found out I had one character incorrect in the email so that is why had still been waiting approval. Hopefully, the potential tenant will ok it soon so I can make sure they qualify.

Therese

My approach is the first tenant to complete all of the forms and meets the qualifications and then provides the deposit, then they are the successor. Until all of those criteria ate meet, I continue to proceed with applicants. Too many times I have seen applicants lose interest and then I've lost market time.

Good luck!

Brian