THE BIG MISTAKE EVEN EXPERIENCED PROPERTY OWNERS MAKE
When it comes to placing tenants in rental property you need to have a good plan when it comes to advertising, placing, and retaining your tenants. If you opt not to make life easy by working with a Property Manager, scouring the internet and some trial and error will in time lead you to a process that should work for you. But even those that have been doing this for a long time still make one all-too-avoidable mistake: they fail to do background checks!
In reality, a solid screening process is one of the keys to getting a quality match for your property and in turn ensuring yourself the number one goal in tenant placement: long term tenancy. An online background check is so easy and costs between $20-25. To not do it is borderline negligence. Property ownership is not easy because there are inevitably things pop up that you can’t control...but knowing the history of potential tenants is not one of those things. By screening all tenants you take major steps toward getting the highest quality tenant. And if you get the right people in there, these are members of your team that can help maintain your property by bringing maintenance issues to you before it is too late. They are people who will pay rent on time and allow you to tackle more difficult issues that may arise. In short, taking this extra step is invaluable. As a property manager, we screen and then recommend a potential tenant to the owner for their approval. There’s no other way to do it. The extra effort in the beginning will lead to efficiency and spared headaches down the road.
USE TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE LIFE EASIER:
The ease with which one can access a background check online is a perfect example of how technology can make life easier for a property owner today. Another way is to maximize your ability to communicate with tenants. Phone numbers are great but these days people are in the habit of ignoring and ultimately screening calls, especially from a number they don’t recognize; or do recognize as someone looking for late rent money!. For that reason, it is essential that from day one you get an email address and use it early on to initiate that as a means of communication for important issues. For example, use this to exchange important documents that the tenants wants/needs, such as lease agreements that require responses. That way, should you need to continually remind them about money owed (we provide DAILY ALERTS straight to the inbox) it is that much easier and more effective than having to call them and leave a message.
Technology is a great tool to help you separate yourself from the competition, especially those who have been at it for a long time, who rely on the best practices they established before the internet and smartphones transformed our landscape. There is always room for improvement and we encourage you to build efficiencies where others are missing the ball. Or you have the opportunity to give us a call (or email) if you’re interested in joining our team as a property owner or as a franchisee.
Mick Lefort is the Vice President of Operations for Nexus Property Management®. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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