Why Prospect Screening Helps You Find the Most Ideal Tenants

February 18, 2024

Every property manager knows that getting an awesome tenant makes life easier. We’ve all heard the horror stories: having to chase down rent money, discovering leaks that have been causing damage for months, finding surprise occupants that didn’t sign the lease, getting late night phone calls every other day for small issues. These unreliable, overdramatic, or dishonest tenants can truly cause a headache and make your rental property feel like anything but passive income.

Finding a quality tenant will make all the difference in your experience as a property manager. You should be careful and intentional about who you select-- although be sure to check out the most up-to-date information on Housing Discrimination Laws, and make sure you are treating all prospects equally and selecting tenants in a fair and lawful way.

Ideal tenants are:

  • Honest
  • Reliable
  • Financially stable
  • Respectful of the property
  • Easy to work with
  • Low-Maintenance

So, how do you find ideal tenants?

First, you need to set them up for success by creating appropriate requirements based on who would be a good fit for your property. Consider a few things like:

  • Do you want to accept pets in your rental?
  • Do you smoke or care if your renter smokes?
  • How much will you charge for rent? What is the minimum income they’d need to be able to afford this? (Most property managers require that monthly income is 3 times the rent)
  • What is the maximum number of people you’d like to live in the house? (No more than 2 per bedroom is recommended).
  • What is the minimum credit score you’re willing to consider?
  • When do you want them to move in?

Make sure you set these expectations up front when you’re marketing your vacancy so that tenants who are a good fit are able to self-identify. Showdigs offers a prospect screening feature where you can define your rental requirements for prospective tenants ahead of time. If you’re not using Showdigs, be sure to discuss these requirements with your prospective tenants and verify that they meet these requirements before you move forward with anyone.

For more support, check out this list of questions to ask your prospective tenants!

Next, you’ll want to run a credit check and a criminal background check. Using a service like Turbotenant is a great way to run these checks to screen applicants.

Once you have your list of approved prospective tenants, make sure you check the local landlord/tenant laws to see if there are restrictions on who you can select. Some cities require you to select the first eligible applicant, others have more flexibility on letting you select the right applicant for your space.

To make this process run smoothly, sign up for Showdigs! We connect your prospective tenants to a licensed real estate agent nearby who can show your property on-demand. No scheduling logistics, no rescheduling delays, no hassle of driving back and forth to show the property, and a built-in lead screening feature so you know your prospects are qualified beforehand. We help you find the right tenant and fill your vacancy faster.

Once you’ve chosen the right person, you can go the extra mile to solidify an awesome relationship with your tenant. Don’t forget to reinforce expectations for proper home care, be communicative, approachable, and professional.

Reach out to us with any questions! We’d love to hear from you.

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