According to studies, seven percent of rental properties remain unoccupied in America.
Filling rental vacancies can be a real challenge. You need to find the right tenant, and that takes time.
Every day you have an empty rental is money lost. And if you’re like most landlords, you’re busy with other things so screening tenants can gall to the bottom of your priority list.
Streamlining tenant screening is the key to filling vacancies faster.
Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn how to speed up the process without sacrificing quality.
Make Sure Your Rental Ad Makes Sense For The Property
If you’re renting a house that comes with a private yard, don’t bother listing it as part of the amenities. It might seem like common sense, but plenty of landlords list their yards as an amen for houses.
Keep Your Application Short, But Include Everything You Need
Make it clear to potential tenants that you are interested in efficient screening. Otherwise, applicants might fill out the application with extraneous information just because they have the time.
Conduct Interviews After A Tenant Reference Check
If you let your applicant know that you will be checking their references before scheduling an interview, they’ll be less likely to embellish or omit things on their rental application. But this can work in your favor.
This is because, if someone doesn’t work out, you won’t have wasted your time doing a lengthy interview for them anyway!
Require More Money Up Front When Choosing Among Applicants
Having multiple people vying for your rental property means higher profit. If you want to get the most value out of your rental property, charge higher security deposits and application fees.
This will mean there is a strong incentive for applicants to choose your rental unit over another one.
Ask Applicants About Expectations They Have Of You As A Landlord
It’s important for you and your application to be on the same page about responsibilities and expectations during their tenancy. Make sure everyone understands the situation before they sign an agreement.
Having this information in advance can save headaches later on!
Don’t Give Any Information Away For Free
Landlords often provide potential tenants with extensive information about themselves or their property without asking anything in return. This practice is actually more beneficial for the tenant than it is for you.
What kind of landlord would you be if you didn’t ask for anything in return?
Be Honest About Whether Or Not The Unit Is Up To Code
It can be tough to balance between being honest and keeping your property competitive. Make sure that your unit passes inspection standards before telling a potential tenant about amenities.
Always Give Current Tenants The First Chance At A New Unit
Leaving a unit vacant while the tenant is adequately fulfilling their end of the rental agreement can be perceived as unfair. Do current tenants a favor and give them priority over new potentials.
They will appreciate the loyalty!
Don’t Let Time Slip By Unnoticed
The best way to make sure your property doesn’t have vacancies is to stay on top of tenant screening from start to finish. Make sure you’re not allowing days or weeks to pass without doing anything.
This means you’re just wasting time in between possible leads.
Communicate With Applicants In A Timely Manner
Applicants need to know where they stand when it comes to moving in. Don’t make them wait days or weeks for a response when all they want is an answer about whether or not their application has been accepted.
Try Out The “Good, Bad And Ugly” Approach When Choosing Tenants
If you’re choosing between multiple qualified applicants, consider interviewing three of them instead of just two. For example, interview both the good and bad candidates that come in before deciding.
If all else fails, take someone with lower income over no-income any day!
Work With A Property Management Company
A lot of landlords can attest to how difficult tenant screening is – even when you have all the time in the world. Working with an experienced property management company can make your life easier.
It does so by managing tenant screening for you, therefore allowing you to concentrate on other important things!
Don’t Give Out False Information About Your Rentals Or Property
Lying about your rental price or availability is a quick way to get yourself into hot water. Not only are potential tenants likely to learn that this information was false if they contact anyone else about moving in.
Educate Yourself About Fair Housing Laws
Many landlords aren’t aware of their fair housing rights or requirements when it comes to choosing who they will take as a tenant. If you’re ever wondering about what’s considered discriminatory, search online.
Remember To Keep A Paper Trail
You should always keep records of contact with potential tenants or other related parties. This way, if the applicant becomes unresponsive after signing an agreement, you have all the information documented.
This means no one can turn around and say they didn’t know what was expected of them.
Show The Management And Screening Process On Your Website
This can be beneficial for multiple reasons. Applicants are likely to feel more reassured knowing that the process is transparent.
Plus transparency often leads to good reviews. Just make sure not to show any personal information such as social security numbers, copies of IDs, or bank accounts.
Good online tenant screening services like Rent Safe will generate all of this data for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Fill Your Vacancies With Tenant Screening
Streamlining a tenant screening report can be a big help if you want to get vacancies filled faster. With the right strategy in place, your business will see an increase in occupancy rates and long-term success.
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- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.