Do you deviate from your process?

17 Replies

Applicant views a house we just listed. He's very interested and has "cash in hand" to move in today. I know this guy personally because he applied to rent from me a couple years ago. He had a good application but decided to rent from someone else.

Despite my knowledge of his history, his ability to pay, and his desire to move in immediately, I stuck with my process and required him to fill out the application. It took him a week to get me everything so I could process his application. I approved his application and he still hasn't put down the deposit four days later so the house is still sitting on the market.

I had enough information to indicate this guy would probably be a good renter. At the same time, it's a red flag any time someone attempts to convince me to speed up my processes by offering cash and a desire to move in immediately. Sure enough, the guy has an OK record but he sucks at communicating and is wishy-washy about what he wants. This indicates trouble and I'm glad we stuck to our processes.

Have you ever deviated from your process? Did it come back to bite you or did it work out?

@Nathan G. anytime we have deviated it hasn’t worked out for us (twice total).  So it has reinforced the process we have and to make sure we do it properly each and every time.  

Can’t guarantee a perfect outcome from it but I can guarantee the best chance for success.  

Originally posted by @Eric C. :

@Nathan G. anytime we have deviated it hasn’t worked out for us (twice total).  So it has reinforced the process we have and to make sure we do it properly each and every time.  

Can’t guarantee a perfect outcome from it but I can guarantee the best chance for success.  

And that's the rub. Nobody can guarantee anything but we have to do our best to mitigate risk.

 

@Nathan G.

Out of all of the professional landlords on here, you seem to be the strictest most by the book person.  So it surprises me that you even ask this question.  Stick with your process.  It is tried and true and gives you the best chance at getting the best tenant. 

@Nathan G. I haven't had enough interactions that have required me to make this kind of decision, however, sticking with your tried and true process will yield consistent results. Speeding things up can leave room for error which may screw you over in the long run. 

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

Applicant views a house we just listed. He's very interested and has "cash in hand" to move in today. I know this guy personally because he applied to rent from me a couple years ago. He had a good application but decided to rent from someone else.

Despite my knowledge of his history, his ability to pay, and his desire to move in immediately, I stuck with my process and required him to fill out the application. It took him a week to get me everything so I could process his application. I approved his application and he still hasn't put down the deposit four days later so the house is still sitting on the market.

I had enough information to indicate this guy would probably be a good renter. At the same time, it's a red flag any time someone attempts to convince me to speed up my processes by offering cash and a desire to move in immediately. Sure enough, the guy has an OK record but he sucks at communicating and is wishy-washy about what he wants. This indicates trouble and I'm glad we stuck to our processes.

Have you ever deviated from your process? Did it come back to bite you or did it work out?

Yes I have deviated from my process. Specifically with the tenants in my most recent rental purchase. I am renting the house to college students who have absolutely no credit. Normally I run credit through Transunion Smartmove but in their case it would not work. I ended up approving them by verifying income/employment and running criminal background on them. 

I will let you know if it works out.

 

I've done one rental with a move-in tomorrow situation however they still completed the application, credit & background check. They didn't have landlord references after living with an ex and parents but so far so good.

I use Cozy for background checks and rent collection and use that to defer the cash now offers. Personally I'd rather have a direct deposit that takes a week than cash that I have to go deposit. Call me a millennial I guess. I'd debated offering rent discounts for electronic payments but thankfully now 7 of my 8 rentals use Cozy.

@Nathan G. without fail when someone is pushing hard, there is always an underlying problem. I just remind myself that if waiting a couple days makes them change their mind, you are better off without them.

Originally posted by @Damaso Bautista :

@Nathan G.

Out of all of the professional landlords on here, you seem to be the strictest most by the book person.  So it surprises me that you even ask this question.  Stick with your process.  It is tried and true and gives you the best chance at getting the best tenant. 

It's just a conversation starter. I get tired of seeing the same questions about property management software or how to find a property manager. ;)

 

Originally posted by @Kris H. :

@Nathan G.

Yes and yes. Then a few years go by, and yes and yes. Then I stopped. Luckily it was a matter of $500 once and not much more the second time.

We all make mistakes. Some of us learn from them.

 

@Nathan G. The one time I deviated from my process, I have a tenant that I am in the process of evicting. It’s a strong remember that this is not a charity business and people will take advantage of you when giving the opportunity. Create a standard, stick to it. It’s a long game and you want to be in it for a long time.

I have learned to never do it. It has bit back enough where it is never worth the reward of saving some time or money. Just do it by the book and you will have way less headaches in the end. 

@Nathan G. I deviated from my process twice and it lead to two evictions. I was sympathetic to a situation having experienced a natural disaster in hurricane Harvey. No matter what going forward, I will stick to the process. Sticking to set rules takes the emotion out of it. Red flags were everywhere. I am a better investor for it. I choose not to learn the hard way going forward.

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