Finding a Tenant.................................................

20 Replies

As I get prospective tenants emailing me, would you have them fill out credit and backround check before you would show them the property or after.  My thought is if they don't qualify whats the point of wasting my time.

thanks

Alec

Depends.. are you eating the cost of the credit and background check? What kind of property is it? Is it a luxury complex, middle tear, or low income property?

I usually have an 'open house' on a Saturday for 2-3 hours and that is the time that everyone can come and view the property. They are welcome to come with a completed application or complete one during the showing. This helps prevent all of those one-off trips to the property to show it.

@Alec Khlebopros If you want to only show the property to pre-approved applicants then you may reduce down your applicant pool who do not want to pay the application fee before they even see the property. If I was a renter I would not pay an application fee without seeing the property first.

But this could also be regional specific standards.

@Alec Khlebopros

Hey Alec! Facebook marketplace works best for me. When they initially show interest, I would email or call them and go over what your minimum requirements are. Let them know that you require a credit and background check so nobody is wasting their time. If they schedule a showing give them an application in person and encourage them to fill it out before they leave. With their signature you can then start screening tenants. Good luck!

My experience only. Avoid interested parties (IPs) that want an application without viewing or need to move within 30 days or are moving from more than 100 miles away. 

Do heavy phone screening. I lead in with 'tell me a little about yourself' then ensure the following are answered - landlord history, employment history, income, credit score, reason for moving, how many people will be living in the house, etc.  Only schedule showings for the IPs that pass your criteria. Do not discriminate against protected classes. 

When showing, watch for the IPs that take the time to imagine how they would live there.  Avoid the IPs that are in and out in a couple minutes. 

My application directs that the applicant will pay for a background check if they are selected.  I don't charge an application fees.  It allows me to decline with a simple 'thank you, I have selected someone else'. 

Good luck. 

@Terrell Garren @Matthew Ferguson Is it a mistake that I have an auto responder with my criteria like so....

hank you for reaching out about property in ________.It is still available for rent and we do have a set standard of criteria we require to be eligible for consideration.If interested, you must have the following in place:

  • Your monthly net/gross salary should be three times the rent.
  • We run a full background and credit check on each person over the age of 18. This is to be paid for by the applicant.
  • We also do not allow smoking or pets at this residence.

If you’re comfortable with ALL of the terms above I’d be happy to answer anymore question you may have about the rental.Please call me at (__________ to discuss further.I look forward to chatting with you.

Hi Alec, Jon's suggestion of holding an open house is a good idea if you are getting a lot of inquiries and don't want to be running back and forth showing the property throughout the day. I typically try to qualify prospective applicants over the phone to weed out as many people as I can who are not qualified. Some of the things I ask them is if they are working, how long they've been working at the same job, how many are in their family, do they have pets,if it's a dog what breed and age it is etc. There is nothing that says you can't qualify or disqualify someone over the phone. You can also ask them how soon they need to move into a place which will tell you their urgency and motivation. If they don't have to move into a place immediately encourage them to come by your open house so you don't have to make a special trip for them. Remember, you are the one that holds the gold so make people work on your terms not theirs. Be somewhat accommodating but make sure to structure your showings and marketing. It's also a good idea to put as much information into your advertising as possible which helps to weed out the people who are not qualified and who will waste your time. Good luck.....you are in control.

Originally posted by @Alec Khlebopros :

@Terrell Garren @Matthew Ferguson Is it a mistake that I have an auto responder with my criteria like so....

hank you for reaching out about property in ________.It is still available for rent and we do have a set standard of criteria we require to be eligible for consideration.If interested, you must have the following in place:

  • Your monthly net/gross salary should be three times the rent.
  • We run a full background and credit check on each person over the age of 18. This is to be paid for by the applicant.
  • We also do not allow smoking or pets at this residence.

If you’re comfortable with ALL of the terms above I’d be happy to answer anymore question you may have about the rental.Please call me at (__________ to discuss further.I look forward to chatting with you.

Net/gross seems confusing.  I've never tried doing this but no concerns otherwise.

 

@Alec Khlebopros large PM companies will do a application and credit check before showing properties, but they have many properties to chose from. If you are only offering one property and ask them to pay $30-50 just for the privilege of looking at the property, most people will say not. Worse, you may have some demanding money back if you refuse to show them the property. I only give someone an application link after they viewed the property. 

Prescreening needs to happen in your listing and then a second time before doing a showing. You want to convey your standards to them, so people self screen. Here is an idea of what that looks like:

Monthly income of 3X rent

600+ credit

2 landlord references 

Applicant pays for credit and background report

Other qualification requirements apply (put this on to make it clear that this is not a complete list of requirements)

You also want to verify move-in date during screening. If the tenant is looking to move in three months, you don't want to waste time showing the property.

Put the requirements in your listing and then confirm each item before showing.

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

@Alec Khlebopros large PM companies will do a application and credit check before showing properties, but they have many properties to chose from. If you are only offering one property and ask them to pay $30-50 just for the privilege of looking at the property, most people will say not. Worse, you may have some demanding money back if you refuse to show them the property. I only give someone an application link after they viewed the property. 

Prescreening needs to happen in your listing and then a second time before doing a showing. You want to convey your standards to them, so people self screen. Here is an idea of what that looks like:

Monthly income of 3X rent

600+ credit

2 landlord references 

Applicant pays for credit and background report

Other qualification requirements apply (put this on to make it clear that this is not a complete list of requirements)

You also want to verify move-in date during screening. If the tenant is looking to move in three months, you don't want to waste time showing the property.

Put the requirements in your listing and then confirm each item before showing.

 Pretty much the same process here except for the landlord references. If I am on the fence about a candidate that I get to the part of having to check their landlord references I've probably already moved on to another candidate. Most of our past landlord checks either the landlord never answered/never returned call or just said "they were fine". It's definitely another piece of information, it just doesn't do much around here where I am. We also get a lot of younger people who have no rental history behind them, since we do a lot of student rentals. 

Hi @Alec Khlebopros ! I would suggest maybe a prescreen email or phone call. If the applicant then insists on seeing the property after being told the requirements, they may in fact be interested and won't waster your time. I would also request copies of their drivers license, pay check stubs and a bank statement. Applicants are getting very creative these days and will try to submit false documentation for approval. In addition, of course you will want a credit and background check. Hope this helps! 

Originally posted by @Alec Khlebopros :

@Raven Henderson @JD Martin thank you, guess I was too restrictive with no soup for you until Credit and Background check first

😂 Love Seinfeld references! Yes, the credit/background check on the front end will do some serious damage to your pool of applicants. We use our website (in my signature, below) to have applicants self-screen through our requirements, then the free application lets up pre-qualify them before bothering with a credit/background check. If we don't like what we see on the application we don't bother going any further, and no one is out anything. 

 

Originally posted by @JD Martin :
Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock:

@Alec Khlebopros large PM companies will do a application and credit check before showing properties, but they have many properties to chose from. If you are only offering one property and ask them to pay $30-50 just for the privilege of looking at the property, most people will say not. Worse, you may have some demanding money back if you refuse to show them the property. I only give someone an application link after they viewed the property. 

Prescreening needs to happen in your listing and then a second time before doing a showing. You want to convey your standards to them, so people self screen. Here is an idea of what that looks like:

Monthly income of 3X rent

600+ credit

2 landlord references 

Applicant pays for credit and background report

Other qualification requirements apply (put this on to make it clear that this is not a complete list of requirements)

You also want to verify move-in date during screening. If the tenant is looking to move in three months, you don't want to waste time showing the property.

Put the requirements in your listing and then confirm each item before showing.

 Pretty much the same process here except for the landlord references. If I am on the fence about a candidate that I get to the part of having to check their landlord references I've probably already moved on to another candidate. Most of our past landlord checks either the landlord never answered/never returned call or just said "they were fine". It's definitely another piece of information, it just doesn't do much around here where I am. We also get a lot of younger people who have no rental history behind them, since we do a lot of student rentals. 

 Honestly I do landlord references to partially to prevent 18 year old roommates from wanting this to be their first house rental. I don't want to be their first landlord and have to train them. I get it though, if you are in student rentals that comes with the territory. 

@Alec Khlebopros What I typically do are scheduling tours close to one another, so tenants can either view the property at the same time or simultaneously. 

This way I create a sense of urgency and during the tour, I ask very open-ended questions. 

Usually, you would be able to tell the tenants who are serious and you can then get them to fill an online and then the system does a credit check and background check as well. 

We like using Zillow Rental Manager as it does all for us and it is free to us but tenant pays for it. 

I recommend providing the terms of approval to all prospective tenants before showing the property. 

This way it is not an extra cost to you up-front and your tenant is aware of what it will take to get approved. 

Most prospective tenants wont bother attending a showing or applying for a property that they know they will not be approved for. It's just a waste of time at that point!

Wishing you the best of luck!

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