Landlord Time Management Techniques for the Tenant Screening Process
In an ideal world, all your potential tenants are highly qualified for your properties. In reality, especially with the modern economy, you run into unqualified tenants who end up costing you time and money. Time management techniques are essential whether you want to turn into a full-time landlord, or if you're doing it on the side to diversify your income. You have a few ways to save time during the tenant screening process by creating a barrier to entry to see your property, weeding out applicants before showing, and using third-party services to do the heavy screening lifting.
Screening Before Showing the Property
You save the most time when you remove applicants from the potential tenant pool before you spend time showing them around the property. You have a few options to thin out the list of tenants before you get to the point of meeting them in person. One of the biggest ways to cut down on the amount of time wasted is by introducing an application fee into the process. Even if it's refunded or added towards first month's rent or a security deposit, the reality of an upfront payment is enough to cut down on casual viewers. You encourage your potential tenants to put their money where their mouth is.
Another way to help in the early tenant screening process is by being upfront with what you look for when it comes to background and credit reports. If you only want applicants who have stellar credit, state that upfront so you don't go through the time and trouble of showing your property to people with credit problems. Handle criminal backgrounds in the same manner. If you're willing to work with specific credit problems or criminal background problems, explain these considerations in your property listing.
Screening Before the Lease is Signed
You found tenants who pass your criteria to see your property, but that doesn't mean you let up on the screening process. The application yields useful information for this process, such as the tenant's income and other important details. However, going through credit checks, background checks, public record searches, and other valuable screening tools takes a significant amount of time.
One of the best ways to save time during the screening process is to use a third-party tenant screening service. Some services allow you to choose exactly what kind of tenant screening you want, so you only pay for the level of service you need. Basic tenant screening includes background checks and credit checks. Additional screening includes looking through past address history, eviction records, employment history, and even known aliases. The third-party company provides you with a report so you make your own decision about whether the tenant is suitable for renting your properties or not. Since you aren't doing the research yourself, you cut out a great deal of time in the screening service. It tends to provide a greater return on investment when you factor in the time savings, as well. Evictions can cost thousands of dollars down the road, so it's important to manage your screening time wisely.
Your time is valuable, and you don't want to spend more time than you need in handling tenant screening. These tenant screening techniques free up your time to work on acquiring more properties, working with your existing tenants, and enjoying more free time to relax.
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