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find the best tenants tenant screening

In order to minimize costs, you need to find a tenant that fits your minimum criteria as quickly as possible, and who wants to move in shortly after your property becomes vacant. This though isn’t always an easy thing to do.

From creating your listing to organizing viewings, to deciding on the final applicant, each of these steps takes time especially if you don’t have a good process in place.

In this article, we take a look at six of the key steps that every landlord needs to know to find the best tenant as quickly as possible. Additionally, we’ve outlined additional resources to ensure you manage each step efficiently.

1. Write A Killer Description And Get Great Photography 

The very first step for securing a tenant is to create a rental listing. There are three parts to a great property listing. The headline, the description, and the photographs. If you want your property to stand out from the competition and generate inquiry you need each of these aspects to be excellent.

Essential details to include in your property description include the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, the location, as well as highlighting unique features of the property that make it more desirable.

Alongside this description and title, you should include a selection of professional-quality photographs. You should include at least one photograph of each of the key rooms, kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and living room as well as any photographs of unique features.

2. Create Your Rental Listing With Landlord Studio 

With Landlords Studio you can now create a free rental listing site to promote your property. Write your description and title, highlight important amenities, set the price, include important details such as square footage, and upload up to 12 photos of your properties.

Once your listing is live with Landlords Studio, tenants can view and inquire or apply through the page. Plus, you can easily share your listing as a URL or simply copy and paste details onto listing sites to get it in front of as many applicants as possible.

Landlord Studio rental property listing
Landlord Studio rental property listing

3. Share Your Rental Listing on High Volume Sites 

Three of the biggest sites to advertise your rental on are Zillow, Zumper, and Facebook marketplace. Zillow and Zumper both own subsidiary companies and automatically syndicate to these sites allowing you to achieve massive reach across a variety of sites.

Facebook has approximately 2.4 billion users each month and its marketplace is free to use making it an invaluable resource for landlords looking for tenants. Find out how to create a great listing on Facebook Marketplace here.

4. Prescreen Your Tenants

Using the methods listed above it’s likely that you’ll get dozens of tenant inquiries. In order to filter these down so that you don’t waste your time on tenants that either cannot afford or otherwise don’t qualify for your rental, you will want to ask tenants a selection of prescreening questions.

We are currently working on building a prescreening questionnaire into Landlord Studio’s rental listings feature. However, you can also create a Google form to create an interactive prequalifying questionnaire to send to tenants to complete.

5. Organize Your Property Showings

Once you’ve pre-screened your tenants make sure that each of the interested parties has organized a viewing of the property. To save time organize multiple tenants to come and view a property at one time.

The first step to getting your unit ready for a showing is cleaning. This includes dusting, vacuuming, mopping, wiping down counters, and cleaning appliances. If a current tenant lives in the unit, you can offer to pay for a cleaning service before the showings. Tenants appreciate the free clean-up and can help make them feel better about people coming into the property while they are currently living there.

If the unit is vacant and unfurnished, you can show it empty, but it helps prospective tenants imagine themselves living in your unit if there is furniture. One solution is to stage the property with rented furniture.

Lastly, be prepared for your showing by knowing which aspects of your property are its selling points. 

A few selling points that you might highlight in a property include:

  • Big bedroom(s)
  • Updated appliances
  • Open space
  • Beautiful views
  • Natural sunlight
  • In-unit laundry
  • Outdoor recreational areas (rooftops, courtyards, yards)
  • Walk-in closets
  • Storage

During the showing, tenants need to see all the spaces they have access to. This includes the actual unit, and also common areas, rooftops, basements, laundry rooms, etc.

6. Run a Tenant Screening Report 

Finally, once you have a selection of tenants who have passed your prescreening questionnaire, have looked at the property, and you’ve met in person. You want to run them through a tenant screening report. You can do this through the Landlord Studio app.

This tenant screening report will give you accurate data on important details such as their credit, rental history, their employment status, and criminal and eviction histories.

If you have more than one tenant apply and qualify, it’s best practice to simply select the first person or group out of the qualifying prospects that submitted their application.

Read our complete guide on how to screen tenants here →

Final Words

There are a few more considerations when advertising rental property. The first of which is ensuring you set a fair rental price. Setting a rent amount that is too low means you’re leaving money on the table but setting it too high and you may put off prospective tenants. Before listing your property for rent do some market research to determine how much others are charging for similar properties to yours in the area.

Additionally, ensure that you do not discriminate against any of the protected classes in your rental listing or tenant application process.

Finally, with the hard work over you can welcome your tenant with a welcome letter and set up your rent collection through Landlord Studio to help ensure your tenants pay their rent on time and in full every single month. With Landlord Studio tenants can set up automatic recurring ACH payments as well as review upcoming and historical payments in the tenant portal. These payments will then automatically be reconciled in our income and expense tracking tool.

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Ben Luxon

Ben is the editor and lead writer for Landlord Studio. He has worked with real estate professionals all over the world and written educational articles on tech, real estate, and financial growth for sites such as Forbes, NARPM, and Business Magazine.

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