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Just like the foundation your house is built on right here in Cincinnati, there is a foundational building process to take when finding that perfect resident. Your rental property residents are going to be the ones not only living in your building, but taking care of it, keeping it safe, notifying you of any major repairs that are needed, and much more. They are the lifeline to your home. Without them, you wouldn’t be in business. The entire foundation of your landlord experience includes the process of screening residents. With that said, it is extremely important to do a proper job of screening your residents when going through the leasing process. The five tips below will give insight into C.R.E.G.'s tips on property management screening.
1. Develop a Scoring System
Using a scoring system to screen prospective residents does several things. For one, it standardizes your screening process across the board so each and every applicant will be vetted out in the same exact way. The other thing it allows for is a quantitative assessment of the applicant which will help you identify the best candidate.
2. Go Digital
This tip not only applies to the screening process, but across the board in property management. Highly qualified residents in today’s world do not want to hassle with taking pen to paper to fill out applications. There are a ton of great websites out there that offer resident screening for the tech savvy landlords/property managers. Working your applications through a digital process so your prospects can apply through their smartphone sends a strong message right from the get go. It says you keep up with technology and are thinking what the process is like from the prospects shoes.
3. Search Social Media
Searching every applicant on social media is a great insight into what the prospect will be like as a resident for your rental property. Does the applicant state they do not own any pets, but there Facebook profile pictures are full of posts with a dog that appears to be their own? You would be surprised to find certain things some people post to social media which would be a red flag to any property manager or landlord.
4. Check for Outstanding Previous Landlord References
What do you do before heading out to find a new restaurant? Search Google and Yelp for reviews to see what previous customers said about the place. Same thing holds true for understanding what a new resident will be like. Calling the previous landlord or property manager to get their input is an essential part to the screening process. Sometimes an applicant can look great on paper and when you talk with the previous landlord/property manager, you come to find out the resident was a huge troublemaker.
5. Prove Yourself & Your Property Management Company
To kick things off on the right foot with your future residents, it’s critical you make an outstanding first impression. You are about to enter a 12+ month long relationship with another person or group of people. Property management is a two-way street. If you treat your paying customers, your residents, with care and respect, you will get this in return!
Remember, this is the very first step in determining how your rental experience is going to be. Make sure to take it seriously and set yourself up for success!