Don’t Wait Long!

Don’t Wait Long!

A landlord mentioned on the MrLandlord Q&A forum that they receive a lot of inquiries (in one particular case, over 1,000) and hundreds of applications. However, by the time he gets back to a couple of the truly qualified applicants, they have already found another rental home. I offered the following suggestion:

How long do you take before you get back with applicants? I used to take a day or two going through the entire verification process. Then after that, I get back with the ones who met my qualifications. To my frustration, every now and then, when I finally got back to a qualified applicant, he or she responded that they had already rented another property. Ouch!

So I changed my screening process. Now I make it my goal to do an initial “surface” review of the main application criteria plus run a couple of quick screening reports (credit, eviction, and criminal). I do this within one or two hours maximum of receiving the application.

If the surface review of the main criteria (income, rental history, credit score, cooperation level, etc) of the applicant meets my minimum criteria, I immediately get back with the applicant. I congratulate them and let them know they have been pre-approved!

After implementing this new process, I now do not have anyone who I pre-approve and call to congratulate respond that they have found another property. Once they get the phone call from me, they do not keep looking for another place to rent, which used to happen while applicants were waiting a day or two for me to call them back with an answer.

By the way, I still have the right to finish my verification process after informing the applicant that they have been pre-approved. If I am not able to fully verify anything on the application, I can call them back and inform the applicant that we were not able to verify something on the application.

Again, the beauty to this strategy is that I never lose any qualified applicant because they kept looking and found another place while waiting around for my answer. In this day and time, many applicants will not simply wait a day or two when there are so many other good looking homes or apartment options who are willing to respond very quickly.

If you are a landlord who finds very few truly qualified applicants, using a similar strategy may help you not lose out on one of the rare qualified applicants who come your way. 🙂 Best of success to you in your landlording!

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