Thanks to its stunning architecture, flourishing economy, and numerous exciting recreational activities, Spokane has become an attractive haven for most people. While this may sound like a windfall to rental property owners, it is not devoid of challenges. A primary one being landlords have to be extra vigilant when screening prospective renters to avoid ending up with a problematic tenant.
So, just how can a Spokane property owner successfully screen prospective tenants?
Here are a few useful tips that you can employ.
Create A Clear Description Of Your Ideal Tenant
Before you even start advertising the vacant property, you need to have a vivid picture of the kind of tenant you wish to occupy your asset.
Do you want to host families, students, or people who are just starting out in the employment world?
How much income should the person be making?
Do they own pets?
These are just a few of the questions you need to answer to help you define your ideal tenant. You could further demand that the tenant must have favorable credit scores, great landlord referrals, and good tenancy history. Moreover, as a general rule of thumb he or she should earn three times the rent price, and lack a criminal record.
Question The Prospects
In most cases, the first interaction between prospecting tenants and landlords is via the phone. So what better way for you to learn more about a prospecting tenant than by asking him or her a few questions?
For starters, you could inquire about the type of property they are looking for, how much their maximum budget is, how soon they plan to move in, why they want to relocate, their marital status, how many bedrooms they want and so on. These questions will help you to pre-qualify or disqualify a candidate early on in the screening process.
Get The Applicant To Talk
It is astounding just how much you can learn about a tenant if you encourage him or her to talk. You only need to know how to ask open-ended questions. Through a discussion you can unravel the real reason why the person is moving, the nature of his or her relationship with the previous landlords, how they handle conflict as well as how the person relates to others. If the prospect reveals some worrying information for instance that he or she sued a former landlord, or got an eviction notice, it is prudent to disqualify him or her.
Get Them To Fill An Application Form
Every successful landlord in Spokane understands the importance of asking the prospecting renters to complete an application form as part of the tenant screening process. Through this document, the candidates will provide valuable decision-making information which includes; their legal names, Social Security Number, National ID, physical address, credit scores, criminal records, tenancy history and consent to request for information. Considering how important this process is, you should disqualify any applicant who is unwilling to participate.
Scrutinize The Applications
Many landlords make the mistake of relying on the information that prospects provide without performing their own due diligence. That can prove disastrous considering that most if not all tenants would want to conceal any information that might hinder his or her chances of getting the property. For this reason, you should interrogate the candidates’ application to ascertain their credibility.
Confirm The Applicant’s Identity
With so many cases of identity theft going on, you can never be too careful. Always take the time to verify whether the person you are dealing with is truly who he or she claims to be.
Luckily, thanks to online technologies, you can effortlessly type the applicant’s name in a search engine and find more details about them. Some of the
information that you should find out are; whether the online photo is of the person you met, whether their social media profiles depict a responsible person, and so on.
Confirm The Legitimacy Of The Contact Numbers
Do not be too naïve to trust the landlord’s and employer’s contact information that a prospective candidate gives you. Instead, you should be inquisitive enough to find out whether those phone numbers indeed belong to the said individuals. After all, it is not unusual for prospecting renters to get a third party to pose as an employer or landlord and provide misleading information to favor the applicant.
Avoid falling into such a trap by researching the landlord and company’s contact details online. Use the number that you find on their website to inquire more about the candidate.
Compare Your Findings With The Applicant’s Data
Once you have conducted independent credit and background checks about the prospects, compare your findings with the information a candidate furnished on the application. If there are serious discrepancies between the two, it is judicious to eliminate such a renter from the screening process.
The type of renter you end up with will significantly impact the kind of investment experience you have. You should always be vigilant when screening and qualifying tenants, or else you will end up a nightmarish experience. If you follow these steps on how to effectively screen tenants you should end up with high quality renters that will make your real estate investing experience quite pleasurable.