Author Topic: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?  (Read 4198 times)

MillenialMustache

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Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« on: August 05, 2014, 05:41:28 PM »
My DH and I just closed on our first rental property. It has been for rent for 5 days. We have gotten at least 20 calls. Many were from the sign outside the home - it is a pretty busy road, but still residential. I have made five appointments, and only one has shown up. No applications yet. I was not expecting to have any applications by this time per se, but based on that volume of calls I thought I would generate 1-2 applications. I also thought about 75% of people would show up for their appointment.

We are telling people up front we are running a credit check. This I think is deterring people, so I guess that is good. We have had the gamut of people so far - one person who was crying on the phone because she didn't have the security deposit or good credit, so we said no. A university graduate student who works for the oil company in Saudi Arabia and wanted to know if he could change the carpets (would pay for it and leave them - too bad he didn't apply).

Is this normal? Any advice?

escolegrove

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 05:46:45 PM »
I personally do not use signage in front of the house. I find I get 95% of unqualified interest. I personally post to postlets and craigslist. Lately I have been doing only postlets. I also follow up with my tenants the day of. I have found that these two measures have decreased the amount of "junk" interst.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 05:51:00 PM »
Thank you for the advice. I am on Craigslist and was considering postlets. I will add my listing there. All the appointments were less than six hours after we talked, so I didn't follow up with them. Should I start in that small a time frame?

monarda

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 06:13:59 PM »
I typically run a craigslist ad saying showings will be on xx date, about a week in the future, and they should email for an appointment on that day. This is convenient for us (as we live 20 minutes away) and the current outgoing tenant (they only need to have the place clean on one day). As the week goes by I indicate how many appointment spots are still available, and I'm open to have showings the day after xx, but indicate that the place might be filled by then. That gave prospectives plenty of time to drive by and decide if the neighborhood was for them.  Then I racked the appointments up, 20 minutes apart, all day long.  For our last opening, we had 19 appointments, 16 showed up, we got 9 applicants, almost all of whom were qualified.  We narrowed it down to four finalists and went with the best communicator who also happened to have a great credit rating. 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 06:16:11 PM by monarda »

theonethatgotaway

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 06:22:33 PM »
You're in the people business first and foremost, the housing business is secondary.

I would stick to the 2% rule and lower the expectations. Having a rental property, you will see it all. You can also list on zillow. Also, the rate is important. Is the rent at market rate, lower or higher? All different strategies that will attract a different type of tenant.

Olde Stache

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 07:59:29 PM »
I have posted my rentals on Postlets which in turn allows you to be listed on Trulia and Zillow. I have had good responses this way.
The variety of people that respond is interesting. I have not had too much problem with people not showing up for appointments. Maybe that is because I don't have a sign in the front yard!

Good luck!

escolegrove

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 09:23:06 PM »
I only get a handful of inquires with postlets. At the same time I tend to rent the house with 2-3 showings as long as it is priced right. If you made the appointment within 8 house than I wouldn't follow up. I do organize the showing's back to back in 15 minute increments. Makes my life soo much easier.

Trifecta

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 09:55:21 PM »
This probably isn't recommended by many, but I've had many great tenants without ever running a credit check.  I primarily look at income vs expenses to determine if I think they'll be able to pay each month.  That along with security deposit and first month's rent up front, and just going with my gut.  Out of 17 tenants I've had over the years, I've only had payment issues with one of them (knock on wood!).  One of our best tenants ever told me up front that he had recently filed bankruptcy and had to walk away from his house.  I appreciated his honesty and he turned out to be an awesome tenant (of course he had a decent income; enough to pay rent).

Of course if your property is in demand then you can afford to get a little pickier.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 10:29:21 PM by CoachC »

Bobberth

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 03:57:17 PM »
That sounds about right for percent of tenants showing up.  I pick days of the week that I will be at the property and tell people I will be there from "6-630 on Tuesday".  I usually get to the property at 530-545 and that gives me time to get ready to show and I try to keep the minor things that need to be done until the showing stage so I have something to work on if people don't show up.  Since it's all one time period, I will get several people looking at the same time and that generates a bit of competition.  I'm not sure it's always positive competition as some people look to be a bit scared off by the interest of others but that may mean they know they are not the best candidate.  I will usually be at the property later doing some jobs later but it's not as efficient to have to stop what I'm doing constantly to show the place.  If I'm going to be there I will make exceptions and do individual showings but I really try to get everybody into that half hour time period.  If the place is done and I'm no longer working on it, I will stick to 2 showings during the week and once on the weekend. 

I used a sign once. No more.  Part of it was the neighborhood but everybody that called or showed up from the sign was a deadbeat.  Craigslist and postlets only now.  That seems to get higher class renters.


Fishingmn

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 05:28:23 AM »
I have a foolproof way to get tenants to show up that I started after a few no shows.

After agreeing to a time for our showing I tell them that they must call or text me 1-2 hours before the showing to confirm that they will be there. If they do not contact me I won't be there. This puts the responsibility on them to prove to me that they remember and can be responsible enough to reach out. Haven't had a no show since I started this practice.

Last thing I want to do is drive 30-45 minutes to have someone blow off our appointment.

And always use screening. I use Mysmartmove (online service) and it works well.

arebelspy

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Re: Finding a Tenant - Is this typical?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2014, 04:03:36 PM »
I have a foolproof way to get tenants to show up that I started after a few no shows.

After agreeing to a time for our showing I tell them that they must call or text me 1-2 hours before the showing to confirm that they will be there. If they do not contact me I won't be there. This puts the responsibility on them to prove to me that they remember and can be responsible enough to reach out. Haven't had a no show since I started this practice.

Last thing I want to do is drive 30-45 minutes to have someone blow off our appointment.

And always use screening. I use Mysmartmove (online service) and it works well.

I do the same thing - they must contact me an hour or two before showing to confirm their appointment.  I've only had one person contact me like that then no-show, and about a 99% success rate with it.

Ditto MySmartMove for screening.
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