8 steps to finding great tenants: Part 3
Taking the time to find the right tenant for your property will save you hours of unnecessary work down the track.
Blogger: Michael Gilbert, co-founder, Cubbi
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In part one, we covered why you cannot afford to put bad tenants in your property and preparing your home to attract the right tenants. Click here to read part one.
In part two, we looked at the three crucial steps to creating a killer advertisement to attract the right tenants. Click here to read part two.
Continuing from the end of part two:
6. Proactive tenant approach to showing your home
Alright, your ad is live and you're getting heaps of calls from potential tenants. This can die down quickly, so don’t take them for granted.
If you or your agent are slow responding to inquiries or are not getting tenants through fast enough, you are losing good leads that you’ve worked hard for. Besides, your house does not stay clean forever.
If you are busy, create multiple open homes for when your most suitable tenants are likely to be available. For example, if you want a working couple, don’t set an open home in the middle of a working day. Set it after work while it’s still light enough for people to see all the good things your house has to offer, or late Saturday morning, at around 11am.
Advertise your open home at least two full days before the inspection. Longer is better.
Now, before you show your house to tenants, make sure you have good application forms ready to hand out. Be ready with two applications per group of people you are expecting.
The right application form is vital to selecting the right tenant. If the tenants are not answering the questions you need answers to, how can you really determine if they’ll pay the rent and look after the house?
I have included a good application you can download in the special bonus at the end.
7. Screen applications like a ninja
If you have done everything correctly, you should have a bunch of high quality applications ready to be checked.
You need to be cut-throat here.
You need to prove what they told you in the application is correct, and calling referees and viewing evidence such as bank statements and payslips is critical.
I always prefer to speak to all referees on the phone, including past and present employers, and owners and agents they have rented through. Also, call any personal and professional referees you can get your hands on as well.
Speaking to as many people as you can about your potential tenants is what you need to do. Even if your applicant has never rented before. They might have just sold their house through an agent. In that case, call the agent. They will be able to tell you how your potential tenant looked after the house and how it was presented for inspections.
When you are speaking to the referees, you want to ask specific questions to try and catch any areas where they have contradicted themselves, especially their rental history. I have included these questions in the special bonus I’ve put together for you.
Remember this – if they were late paying in their past rental, there is no reason to believe it won't happen again.
I also recommend checking your tenants on the NTD (National Tenancy Database) or TICA. These databases hold the names of people who have previously been reported as a “bad” tenant.
Each person you check will cost you money, so I prefer to check them after I have done the most important part – calling the referees and seeing proof of income.
8. Go with your gut
I could not leave you without telling you about your gut instinct. It’s powerful – listen to it!
Over the years, whenever I have had a suspicion that my tenants would be, well, less than great, it usually turned out I should have listened to my gut instinct.
So that’s it. These are the tricks I’ve learnt over the past 10 years to find great tenants. And I did it following this exact plan.
I want you to do the same thing and I’m giving you several bonus resources to help you take action.
- Full list of 11 tips that will show you how to take professional photos with your smartphone
- The application form I recommend my closest family and friends use. This can be filled out by your tenants without having to print it
- Questions (in order) I ask referees, listed separately for each type of reference
- Parts one, two and three in a PDF file you can download or print
To get all this, click Get Bonus in the About the Blogger section below.
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