How we screened 300+ tenants with ZERO phone calls! For FREE!
Hey everyone! I am a landlord, turned property manager / real estate agent in Connecticut & Massachusetts and wanted to share with the rest of you the system I've developed that has saved me literally days worth of phone calls!
As is the case with most of you, I put myself in charge of renting out my own apartments...this is all fine and dandy - if I didn't have a full time job already! You know the drill - you post the ads and the countless zillow, trulia, hot pads, etc etc etc emails start coming in... "John Doe is interested in your apartment! Call them IMMEDIATELY!" (Jeesh, chill out Zillow). So what are you left to do? Hop on the phone, hope John answers, have a 5-10 minute conversation talking about all of the things you put in the ad...what a time suck, right?
I was still employed while filling all of my personal vacancies, and often had things happening after work as well. There was no way that I could respond to the hundreds of inquiries I was getting. These rental websites make it way too easy to "one click" your way into showing interest.
I was convinced there had to be a better way, and for now, I think I've found it. I use Google Forms to pre-screen all of the potential tenants for each of my vacancies. I created a google form (example: https://goo.gl/forms/bnhKGIH6oxq5yyM53) that I send with a warm welcome via email (and as a text through Google voice) to all the inquiries that I receive in my inboxes. The prospective tenants fill out the form, and if I think they are a good fit, I show the apartment. If they aren't I explain why and wish them luck.
Here are the benefits that I've experienced:
-I don't try to track down leads. It's a time suck.
-I am no longer showing my apartments to strangers that I know nothing about.
-The form does not allow the person to complete it if they smoke or if they have ever been evicted. (This pre screening is based on the honor system, further verification is essential if they apply.)
-I *almost* NEVER call a prospective tenant. If they can't check their email or text messages, that's on them. I am looking for tenants who are easy to get in touch with. Being able to use technology is important.
-It has become very easy to see where my leads are coming from, and to gauge what the "average" tenant looks like. Google logs all of this information for FREE.
-Time. Time. and mo' time. Time is the one thing I can't get back, so this system is CRITICAL for me and the business I help run. Did I mention I hate wasting time?
I know it's a long post, but I'm excited...please feel free to ask me any questions...I can certainly break it down further. I've attached some screenshots of the data I've collected from my most recent vacancy.
Real Estate Agent CT (#0807610) and MA (#9557050)