Save Time & Find Great Tenants (even During a Pandemic)!
Hands down the number #1 question I have been getting lately is how I can be all over the beach AND launch the Lady Landlords podcast AND manage all our rentals at the same time....without losing my sanity. Being a Landlord can be very time consuming from finding the right property to getting the tenants screened to what to do once you get them in. Phew! That's a lot!
But it doesn't have to consume your life!
Tenant Management is almost an art that we have to practice in order to master it. I didn't know anything when we got our first rental. I didn't know where to get a lease from, how to rent a place, and I was totally freaked out the first time a tenant messaged me that there was a issue! Was I supposed to fix it? Was she? EEK! 😬
So I stepped my game up and got my Systems in place so I never had to struggle again!
And now we are going to break that down. Today, we are going to talk Tenant Screening!
Here is my process for you to incorporate as your own:
1. Be Picture Perfect!
Have your ad, pictures, and where you are going to advertise ready to go. I keep an electronic copy ready for each rental I have so I just have to cut and paste. I have a nice set of bright and sunny pictures from when each apartment was empty to showcase the space. I have also gotten into the practice of making a walkthrough video of each apartment (Thanks COVID!) that I can share too. My ad shares what the property is like, the unit, and the requirements to rent (which no one reads!)
2. Pre-Screen Tips
When I don't use a realtor, I use FB Marketplace and a few other aggregate rental sites which means the second you put your ad up, you get 100 messages asking if the place is available (🤦🏼♀️) Just as fast as they send me a canned response, I sent them one right back asking them to complete a pre-screening questionnaire. I simply use a Google Form (Click reply if you'd like a copy of mine!) and ask questions to confirm they READ the ad and meet the requirements I listed. Then, I only follow-up with those that meet the requirements. No reason to respond to the others. Here is a good reminder to make sure to know your Fair Housing Laws (That Topic is a whole 'nother Blog! coming soon)
3. Systemize your Selection!
Once you pre-screened, set up showings for those that passed. I always set aside a time block that is convenient for me and the current tenant, if there is one, to do this. I used to do it Open House style but have moved to short, 30 minute back to back viewings. If the prospective tenants are interested, I send them a link to complete an online application.
Personally, I use Naborly for my tenant screening. They charge the tenant directly (great for NY Landlords) and take care of collecting all of the necessary information. They then verify the information and give you a score letting you know where the prospective client stands! They even give a discount to those in Lady Landlords if you use this link: https://naborly.com/lady-landlords/
Lastly, I set a deadline for when the apartment will be filled so prospective tenants know to take action if they are interested and when the final decision will be made.
And voila! Now you have a new set of tenants with less of a headache and stress!