Rental property ownership certainly has its benefits. But every rental investor knows there are a host of challenges when it comes to finding and keeping quality tenants. One of the most critical and probably tedious aspects of your process is screening potential renters. If you feel you’re struggling with vacancies, you might need to rework your pre-screening strategy. And to help ensure you’re on the right track, we’re sharing must-know tips to keep your Goshen rental property occupied long-term.
Stick to Your Application
When your Goshen rental property sits vacant for too long, you’ll start to feel the financial pressure. But don’t let your guard down in desperation. Stick with your application and pre-screen process for every candidate, no matter what. Remember, a rush to lease can leave you open to renting to non-payers, late payers, or worse. A vacancy, in the end, will cost you less than an awful tenant and subsequent eviction process. Take your time with each applicant and stick to your own guidelines every time.
Don’t assume or take their word for it when they tell you where they work or how long they’ve been employed. Call to verify each applicant’s employment. Anyone who tends to job-hop frequently, or has trouble with keeping a job, can be a red flag to a landlord. An unemployed tenant is a non-paying tenant.
Call All the References
Sometimes, Goshen rental property owners feel it may not be necessary to call an applicant’s references. When the showing goes well, and the conversation flows, it can be easy to trust your gut instincts after a first meeting. But past rental references are critical in helping you avoid problem tenants. Don’t cut corners on this step of your screening process. It will either reinforce your initial instincts or allow you to dodge a potential headache tenant. Either scenario is a win for you.
Visit the Social Media Profiles
Much like an employer might visit social media pages of a potential new hire, as a Goshen rental property owner, you can check the social presence of potential tenants. See first-hand if these new applicants tend to host lots of parties. Verify if there is a pet in the family. These snapshots of public information can be very telling as you make your decisions to move forward or not.
Background Checks Matter
Background checks can be tedious and time-consuming. But this screening tip could be one of the most critical. Minor indiscretions in the past might not be concerning to you. But anyone with a violent history of convictions, countless drug use charges, or theft might be someone you avoid. We won’t suggest ruling out the idea that people can change and overcome their pasts. However, it’s best to learn of past issues before you make your rental decision to ensure you know and understand the risks of moving forward.
Partnering with a Professional
If the tasks associated with screening tenants becomes overwhelming, it may be time to partner with a professional. Goshen rental property owners get bogged down in operations, making it harder to adhere to your original screening plans. If this scenario sounds all too familiar, consider working with a rental property manager. You can delegate the pre-screening process to a professional who can keep your original guidelines intact and ensure each applicant is thoroughly reviewed.
Out of all the tasks you manage as a Goshen rental property owner, your tenant screening strategy may be one of your most important. Remember to take your time with each application and don’t cut corners. And when you’re ready to outsource those reference and employment verification phone calls, contact us! Our professional property managers can follow through on your tenant screening requirements, allowing you more time to focus on other aspects of your investment strategy.