Monday, April 11, 2011

Fool Proof Tenant Screening Process

Fool Proof Tenant Screening Process
I read Wallace's Blog post called "Trust but Verify..." about doing your due diligence on tenants. They may be feeding you a load while they are smiling your face. Do the home work on them and get the facts.
Liar illusion
Her post got me going on my technique that I share with my clients when they are turning their home into a rental. I live in a College town and the demand for rentals is huge. But finding good tenants that are responsible is a big challenge. So I have come up with a rigorous screening process that weeds out the Riff-Raff. I have gotten exceptional tenants this way. I hope it will help others in their quest.

Here is my technique...
I price the room/house just below rental market rates to get a good buzz and get lots of calls.
I schedule a 1 Day Open house and set aside 15 min. appointments for tenants to show up. (None of this... " Can I come by now to see the room/ house?"... on their time. Take the upper hand and scheule time on your terms.the appointments makes the home seem special, like the velvet ropes at a nite club, it feels more exclusive and special. If they are late, they don't get to come in. See ya!

I require a rental application, I previously sent them online, to be completely filled out before the appointment. No form, no further conversation. Bye-Bye now!
If they jump through those 2 hoops I give them a quick tour of the home and realy talk to them. I ask personal questions, family history questions... it gives me insight into who they are as people. I will only rent to people I feel comfortable with. Trust your gut!
By then the 15 min are up, I tell them I will be checking their references and get back to them in 2 days. Typically I have 2-3 people that have made it through every hoop out of 10 and I make my choice.

The goal is to gage, integrity, time management and overall normalcy. It has been a very useful tool especially in a college town with a huge demand for great rentals. I know this works for family rentals as well. My intention is to share this and have others build on the concept. It has woked for me for over 10 years.

"A Realtor that knows homes."

Traci Ferguson

License #01875751, ecoBroker #16082