4 Tips for Prescreening Prospective Tenants

NOT Qualifying is NOT just about finances

by Wallace Gibson, CPM, GRI

Smart DIY landlords and professional property managers know that prescreening tenant prospects saves everyone time and money.

Having a prescreening phone script or e-mail response is key to starting this process and the questions and responses will assist landlords and property managers in determining if the next step is appropriate.

Although my rental inquiries usually come through my website with some prescreening questions, I like to ask them again just in case:

1) When are you moving? If their answer is vague or more than 30 days off from the available date of the property they are inquiring about, I tell them I need the property rented sooner than that.

2) How many people in their family? If they start with adults and then kids and then one-on-the way, then the size of the available property should be up for discussion.

3) Do you have pets? When they respond and say yes, I have learned to then ask how many, and then what kind. Several property managers require photos of pets to accompany application paperwork. I frequently ask to see photos on their phone and then show them my two dogs.

4) A biggie that often does not get answered until it is too late is how many cars do you have. For PUDs or HOAs with limited or assigned parking, this is a big deal, so knowing these rules as well as local ordinances about “over-night” parking is key as when it is too late, it is really too late!

Prequalifying rental prospects saves them and you time if the property or circumstances do not meet their needs.  If it does meet everyone’s needs then its time to move on to the next step, tenant screening.

Wallace Gibson, CPM, GRI, is the owner/broker of Gibson Management Group, Ltd., a full-service property management company offering 45 years of professional property management services for investment property owners in Central Virginia“Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa and Greene counties. Her firms website is http://VaHomes4Rent.com and she blogs at www.propertymanagementmaven.com.

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