Tenant Placement and Tenant Retention
Attracting the right tenants and then
keeping them is a core duty of a Property Manager
We do it better than any other management company.
We are finding that tenants are researching the reputation of the property management company before they decide on a property to lease. They want to make sure that they will be treated fairly, and with some level of customer service.
Your property needs Quality Tenants.
Placing an ad and checking a credit score is just not enough.
The bad tenants will prefer an uninvolved property manager or better yet, an owner who lives far away so they have nobody checking on them and they can treat your property any way they wish.
Quality tenants prefer to interact with their property managers, but not just any management company--a management company with a good reputation. These are the responsible tenants and the ones we want to attract.
Here's the trick….If we can give the impression of quality and systematic service at first contact with prospective tenants, we will attract a quality tenant.
The bad tenants will soon see that we are very hands-on and because they don’t want us in their business, they will shy away from your property. This is a form of self-screening that has seen proven results over many years (no evictions in over 12 years).
Marketing your property with Quality Photos and a Video tour
We start the process with top quality marketing photo's using professional equipment and a wide angle lens to better show the features of your property. The photo's are then run through our editing software to make them look as good as possible.
Video tour to showcase your property
In addition to the 20-25 color, wide-angle photos for all of our listings, we also shoot a quality video of the home to show off its unique features and give the viewer a better feel for the layout of the home that you just can’t get from photos.
Your property is Advertised on 25 different real estate web sites
Zillow, Hotpads, Trulia, realtor.com, livelovely, apartments.com, apartment list, Listanza, classifiedadds.com, rent focus, trovit, apartment love, realrentals, Rentmls, Call it home, Nestigator, Padmapper, Craigslist, apartable, radpad, rentlingo, hunt, Abodo, showmetherent, Everyrent.
Immediate response to prospective tenants
Phone calls, emails or text messages from prospective tenants are directed to a cell phone to maximize the possibility of immediate response with a live human. This is when the "sales" part of this process begins. Nurturing leads at every point in the sales cycle will find us a tenant sooner and result in more income to you.
Inquiry phone calls are directed to a live person, not a machine or an on-line scheduling system.
Each prospect is able to reach a live person who can immediately answer questions and schedule an appointment to show the property, but that's not the end of our first contact with a prospective tenant…. We then take this opportunity to pre-screen the prospect to make sure they will meet our approval criteria and that they may be a good fit for your property.
On-line applications makes it easier to apply
Once a prospective tenant had seen your property, they are able to make application through our On-line application system. It is faster and easier and it even works on their cell phone. We have had many tenants make application from their car immediately after seeing the home. Applicants have the ability to upload supporting documents such as bank statements, paystubs, and tax records which will help us in the screening and qualifying process.
Screening our applicants under the guidelines of Federal, State, and City laws
Once we receive a rental application, the tenant screening process begins.
During the screening process, the possibility of discrimination (unintended or not) goes up significantly. Fair housing violations lead to lawsuits that can cost thousands. This is a significant liability both for you and the management company. Knowledge of Federal, State, and local fair housing laws is critical. Fair housing lawsuits arise most frequently as a result of the application and screening process.
State Law requires written and posted acceptance criteria
State law now requires that all landlords have a written rental policy detailing the exact criteria necessary for approval. This criteria must be presented, in hand, to every prospect or posted publicly on a web site. We keep ours posted on our website.
Here's what we look for during the screening process
- Sufficient income and/or assets to pay rent
- Income should be at least 3 times the rent or substantial cash equity to offset.
- Credit score of 740 or higher is our starting point. A lower score will be considered depending on the reason. Oftentimes a credit score will be in the 600's simply due to lack of credit, not because of bad credit.
- Proven ability and desire to pay rent and other bills in the past
- Track record as a good tenant
- Is there Criminal history that would warrant a declined application
- Criminal record is checked to make sure the applicant does not have a history that would put our neighbors in danger.
- Debt-to-income ratio is considered…do they have too many bills to comfortably afford the rent?
- We ask for pay stubs or proof of last few pay periods for their current job.
- Self-employed people are required to show the last 2 years of tax filings and if we accept them, we may ask for a larger security deposit to off-set the uncertainty of their income.
- We check their payment history on their current bills as well as their rent. Some people make plenty of money but are horrible at paying bills on time.
- We look for late payments, charged-off accounts, bankruptcy or evictions, all of which may signal that paying rent will not be this applicant's priority.
Have they been a good tenant in the past?
- Past rental history is checked to see if they have been a good tenant.
- To verify that they have been honest with us on their application, we ask the past landlord if they have pets, roommates, children.
- Home business will not be allowed. A home office is fine but some type of business such as daycare or a business with multiple employees showing up at the house will not be allowed.
- If we allow pets, we decline any dangerous dog breeds and we will decline a dog that is under 1 years old, subject to owner's approval. We recommend not accepting cats.
- If an applicant has omitted relevant things on their application, this can tell us that they may not be honest and that is a red flag that we will consider.
Once we accept an applicant, it is time to sign the lease agreement.
A good lease will cover many things that you won't think of until it is too late.
Take a look at a generic lease. There is no mention of how often a tenant must clean the carpet. Does it specifically prohibit parking a big boat in the street next to the house? Many neighborhoods and cities don’t have rules or laws against parking cars and RV's on the street or even in the front yard. So, if your lease doesn’t specifically prohibit parking 6 junk cars on the side of the house, there is nothing you can do about it.
We have added rules to the lease agreement that reflect things we have experienced in the past. Things such as…parking rules, frequency of carpet cleaning, Boats & campers.
We use the most comprehensive Lease Agreement available, which is routinely updated to reflect changes in Landlord-Tenant Laws and to reflect the latest court rulings.
The eviction rate is an indicator of how well we perform the screening and tenant selection process.
We have not had to evict a tenant in over 12 years
We are very proud of that record and attribute it to our entire tenant process…from first contact with a prospective tenant, screening and background check, our move-in orientation, frequent inspections and ongoing communication with our tenants.
It all comes together to form a process the produces the best tenants.
Retaining a good tenant will increase the profitability of your property.
Our tenants stay an average of 3 1/2 years. That is over 12 months longer than the industry average.
We put effort into tenant retention because it produces more income for you.
A good retention program involves providing quick responses to tenant needs, establishing regular contact to assess needs, giving notice that rent increases are coming, and being willing to explain rent increases.
This translates to fewer turnovers and lower tenant placement costs, ensures a steady income stream and gives us a better chance of creating a responsible, well-behaved tenant.
We work hard to achieve a respectful working relationship with our tenants because it means a better return on your investment.
Most tenants eventually move.
When a tenant decides to move, we begin the process of finding a new tenant as soon as possible in order to minimize the vacancy period and maximize the income to you.
Many management companies will wait until the current tenant moves out before beginning to show your property to prospective new tenants. This method will guarantee at least a full month vacancy and significant lost income to you.
h3 class="center-text large-text">We begin showing before the current tenant moves out.
We communicate with the current tenant to make sure they know that we do have the legal right to show the property to prospective tenants.
We work with the tenant to schedule showings on pre-determined days and times. This will minimize the disruption to the current tenant. Resulting in much better cooperation.
If a tenant is inconvenienced or uncomfortable with the process, the can make it very difficult to show your home.
This is when a good, long term working relationship with the Tenant, that was established many months ago, is valuable and will result in significantly increased income.
Interested in Property Management?
Contact us at 425-908-7989 or click below to request a FREE rental estimate.