Is Your Tenant Qualification System Turning Away Renters?

explorativeapproach Source: Flickr

explorativeapproach Source: Flickr

As a rental professional, your time is valuable. In addition to marketing your rental listings, your daily tasks might include property maintenance, rent collection or helping a new client search for an apartment. When your job requires you to be in multiple places in a day, it makes sense to have a system for separating the serious renters from the wishy-washy ones before you decide to schedule a showing. However, when does your lead qualification system stop being efficient and start turning away renters, and what’s the best way to schedule showings without wasting your time?

Here are 4 strategies rental professionals use to screen renters before scheduling showings. Which one works the best for you, or do you have a new one to share? If so, tell us in the comments section below!

Have interested renters fill out an application and pay the background check fee before the showing. This strategy could be a little problematic, as you’re basically trying to convince a renter to commit to something without ever seeing the product. Filling out an application takes time, and background check fees for multiple apartments they’re seeing add up fast, leaving you with a system that could be turning away renters. If this is your policy, inform renters about the property as thoroughly as possible with a video tour or property photos.

Have renters fill out an application prior to scheduling a showing. Once the renter has seen the property, ask if they’re interested and would like to proceed with a credit check. This strategy can help you root out the renters on the fencepost, but once again, make sure you provide quality photos or video tours so renters can make an informed decision before deciding to fill out your rental application.

Show a property to anyone who shows interest. This strategy is time-consuming, but could have big payoffs. While not everyone you show the unit to may be interested, you’re using the showing as a networking opportunity, asking renters what they want and possibly following up with other listings that might fit what they’re looking for. On the other hand, you may also get renters who disappear after the showing. Have a sign-in sheet for showings so you can follow up with renters and suggest other properties they may be interested in.

Inform interested renters about your property’s policies and rules before scheduling a showing. This strategy is the happy medium between the three above. You want to maximize your time by showing listings to renters who are serious about renting the property, so before scheduling a showing, make them aware of your qualifications and policies for renting. E-mail them a copy of your tenant rules, monthly rent/fee breakdown, and any pet policies you might have. Renters who find that they don’t qualify won’t bother wasting their time, and serious renters will follow up with you to schedule a showing.

For more help on qualifying renters, download a free copy of our all-in-one lead qualification kit.