Renting your property to high-quality tenants is key to long-term profitability. When property managers cut corners on screening or don’t have a process in place to alert them to any red flags, it can really have a negative impact on their property. A bad tenant can cause not only an interruption in cash flow and revenue but also property damage.
No matter how good a prospect appears, on paper or in person, you should never skip the tenant screening process. Savvy property managers have tenant screening software as well as a consistent process for screening out questionable renters. Here are some tenant screening tips for property managers and help avoid tenants who break leases.
1. Pre-Screen from the Get-Go
Pre-screening your tenants starts with your ad. In addition to the information about the rental unit, including a line in your ad that every applicant must undergo tenant screening. And, if you have a pet policy or smoking policy, be sure to incorporate that into your ad as well. This will actively filter out people who may not be a good fit for your property.
2. Have a Set of Standard, Non-Biased Pre-Screening Questions
The prospective renter has called or emailed about the vacancy and wants to see it. This is where you pre-screen to further eliminate people who may not be a good fit or a good tenant.
You’ll want to know:
- Why are you moving?
- When are you looking to move in?
- What’s your monthly income?
- Do you have any pets? (If you have a no-pets clause.)
- Will you have roommates/how many people will live in the apartment?
- Can I ask for references from your last two previous landlords?
- Can I ask for a reference from your employer?
- Will you agree to a credit and background check?
- Do you have any questions?
3. Get All Information Needed
So, the prospect seemed like a good fit during the showing and has now seen the unit and is interested in putting in an application. Bravo! This is where property management software is such a huge help, and far more efficient than a paper application that can incomplete or hard-to-read information. With an online application form, you can capture all the information you need to make a solid, non-biased decision. And, you have a digital record of the application.
4. Contact References
Speak to the current and past landlord and the prospect’s employer. Essentially your prime objective is to confirm the prospect’s rental history and employment information. Contacting not only the current landlord but the previous one as well will give you a better idea of your applicant’s character and rent-paying history.
5. Automate Tenant Screening
You can automate your tenant screening process so that the information from the application goes directly to your screening service. For example, our system uses a state-of-the-art algorithm to analyze more than 30 points of interest, such as credit score and debt, income and required rent. You’ll eliminate applications that do not meet your approval without having to lift a finger.
How Real Property Management Service Helps
At Real Property Management Service, we have developed a pre-screening process that works to provide the best possible tenant available for your property. Our system uses a leading-edge algorithm to analyze factors such as credit score, debt, income and required rent. We can accurately assess applicants, co-applicants, and guarantors, enabling us to make informed leasing choices.
If you’d like to reduce vacancies and attract and retain top-quality tenants, all while improving your cash flow and bottom line, we can help. To learn more, get started here.