Tenant Screening Working Well

7 Replies

Just wanted to share a neat trick I picked up from a realtor in Albert Lea, that I modified with the help of @Tim Swierczek , who found a site with a totally free form I can use to pre-screen tenants.

So, the realtor associate in Albert Lea told me she pre-screens before anyone sees the place.  Historically, people would call or FB, say, "I want to see it", and 25% of the people would show up, and none of their data would be documented.  So I added a step to the process. Tim suggested a free form site at wufoo.  I created a form, placed my ads out there, and started getting a lot of hits.  

I directed interested parties to provide their email, and then sent them a link to the form, that is like an application form, but much shorter.  It has worked brilliantly to pre-screen.  I get a general idea of their income and other pertinent info.  If they meet my criteria, I set up a showing.  We've had much better success with people showing up and actually applying to rent from us.

This screens out tire kickers like crazy.  I've gotten well over 50 hits on FB Marketplace, and of those, half have sent their email, and half of those filled out the form.  I then send email links to our full application to people who followed the process, and have interest in our apartments.

@David Moore Thanks for the follow up on that tip.  Interesting to implement.  I find most people don't even read the ad.  They see pictures & price they like then they send one of the automated replies.  I have an auto email that goes back to them with our instructions.  Maybe 50% follow those.  Zillow and the other rental websites have made it too easy for someone to say they would like a showing.  you can contact them back 5 minutes later and they have no idea what property is yours because they emailed 20-50.   Your tip will save a lot of time.

I post all my requirements in my ad....when they contact me, I don't answer the phone, I reply with all my criteria again....and I do open house showings only....set a date and time....anyone interested can show up on that day and time....no individual showings since as you found out, most never show or are late etc...huge waste of time.

That will weed out the tire kickers pretty quickly...... if you contact me and you didn't show up to one of my open houses (usually do 2-3 in a week, 2 hours each), then you have near zero shot...