I answered my phone
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I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) May 21, 2019 9:33 AM
       I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) May 21, 2019 9:34 AM
       I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) May 21, 2019 9:51 AM
       I answered my phone (by Roy [AL]) May 21, 2019 9:52 AM
       I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) May 21, 2019 9:53 AM
       I answered my phone (by Doogie [KS]) May 21, 2019 10:17 AM
       I answered my phone (by Oregonwoodsmoke [ID]) May 21, 2019 10:32 AM
       I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) May 21, 2019 10:42 AM
       I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) May 21, 2019 10:54 AM
       I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) May 21, 2019 10:55 AM
       I answered my phone (by Rich [PA]) May 21, 2019 11:12 AM
       I answered my phone (by Mickie [OH]) May 21, 2019 11:18 AM
       I answered my phone (by TIm [IN]) May 21, 2019 11:30 AM
       I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) May 21, 2019 11:35 AM
       I answered my phone (by LisaFL [FL]) May 21, 2019 1:44 PM
       I answered my phone (by Beth [WI]) May 21, 2019 2:49 PM
       I answered my phone (by GKARL [PA]) May 21, 2019 2:57 PM
       I answered my phone (by GKARL [PA]) May 21, 2019 3:03 PM
       I answered my phone (by Sisco [MO]) May 21, 2019 4:26 PM
       I answered my phone (by Mike [TX]) May 21, 2019 4:42 PM
       I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) May 21, 2019 5:05 PM
       I answered my phone (by RB [MI]) May 21, 2019 5:12 PM
       I answered my phone (by JKJ [MA]) May 21, 2019 5:19 PM
       I answered my phone (by Tim [IN]) May 21, 2019 5:34 PM
       I answered my phone (by Skip [CT]) May 21, 2019 9:58 PM
       I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) May 22, 2019 11:34 AM
       I answered my phone (by Tim [IN]) May 22, 2019 11:46 AM

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I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 9:33 AM
Message:

So it's been slow lately, so for kicks 'n giggles I decided to answer a few incoming phone calls on a vacancy yesterday:

Caller 1: Had three ESAs and was "looking for a job".

Caller 2: On disability of $800/month total income and had an eviction. Not his fault, of course...ex-girlfriend didn't pay the rent after he got thrown in jail.

Caller 3: Four animals, one of which was a service dog for her deceased husband. Credit is shot and wages are being garnisheed. Moved in from out of state and currently staying in a hotel.

How do the folks that answer the phone get anything done with all these time wasters? Okay, I got some chuckles and grins since it was a slow day, but today I let the first call go to Voicemail per my "all calls go to voicemail" policy and here's how the message started:

"Um, I'm in a bad situation right now and I need to talk to you right away...."

Back to my policy. --173.20.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 9:34 AM
Message:

You deal with prospects by phone? --76.120.xx.xx




I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 9:51 AM
Message:

Jeff...only when I need a laugh. ;-)

No, I do not talk to callers. My policy for several years has been "all calls go to voicemail". My recorded voicemail message tells them how to fill out a pre-screening form, and from there if they pass I send text/email them the lock box code for a self-tour. Usually the first time I talk to someone on a phone is when we're discussing their conditional app approval and setting up the 2-minute in home inspection. 95% of "callers" never hear my voice other than the recording, and the reasons why are listed in my initial post. --173.20.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 9:52 AM
Message:

Sid,

I always answer my phone,..sometimes just to get entertained by listening to all of the crap that you just heard. It can be quite comical at times.

--68.63.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 9:53 AM
Message:

An in-home inspection? Giving lock box codes to strangers? Providing phone numbers to strangers?

Wow...

Hey, it works for you, and that's what counts.

--76.120.xx.xx




I answered my phone (by Doogie [KS]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 10:17 AM
Message:

I have the same policy Sid. My voicemails (if I'm lucky to get one, most of the time it's hang up and call back until I answer) are funny to listen to now. "Call me back ASAP, I need to move by tomorrow!" Haha! No. Everyone goes through the same process!

Rent on! --72.209.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Oregonwoodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 10:32 AM
Message:

I know that there have always been bad tenants, but it seems like every year, they are a higher and higher percentage of the population and the responsible tenants are becoming a very low percentage of the population.

I can remember when it was embarrassing to take welfare and not pay your bills and it seems like now both of those are considered to be clever if you can get away with it. --98.146.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 10:42 AM
Message:

Renting to someone when you haven't seen how they keep their current home? Wasting time talking to dozens of unqualified callers? Spending gas, time, and mileage to drive and unlock the door for now shows, looky-loos, and liars?

Wow...

Hey, if it works for you, that's what counts.

Okay, we've had fun pulling each other's legs a little bit. Actually, I used to do all that stuff (prospects, showings, applicants) the traditional way, and when we had less than a dozen units that worked ok. But we started expanding about 5 years ago, so I had to come up with a new plan.

I get 80-100 responses for the average vacancy. 30-40 of those turn into pre-screen requests for showing. Those yield 4-5 applications. It's a numbers game. My goal is to get someone approved and lease signed in 3 days or less. We're running a bit long on this one since we did some electrical upgrades (1 week is a long time not to be making money with my investment, gahhh!) and the former tenant gave us short notice (5 days) and didn't clean very well.

The worst problem with lock box I've had so far is someone pooped in the toilet in a house where the water was turned off. Flush, cap of bleach, swish of the toilet brush, flush again...done. 2 minute "fix". No vandalism, no squatters, no thieves. It's all in how you manage the process.

I'm "showing" the house to 2 people right now...while I'm at home. One actually looks promising based on the pre-screen. Good income, good job history. If it's all true, they'll be a good tenant I think.

$12,000 savings in gas, wasted time, and reduced vacancy. Yes, it does work....very well.

In-home inspections have saved me 2 "for sure" evictions so far, and one possible. That's where you find the hoarders, the bed bugs, the roaches, the filthy people, the ex-con boyfriend, and the pit bull they "forgot" to list on the app. One of their LLs gave me a glowing reference. He must not have been in that house in 2 years given all the junk, filth, and animals they had acquired. Or he did know and was lying to get rid of them. I don't care. Denied.

It's true that everyone has a right to do it their way, but I think there are many arguments in FAVOR of this approach and few, if any, significant arguments AGAINST. The Pros outweigh the Cons at least 20-to-1, from what I've personally experienced. Perfection isn't the goal: best practices is. Give it a try. --173.20.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 10:54 AM
Message:

Btw, if anyone is curious on my "savings" math, I figured the average turnover used to cost me $300 in time, gas, wear and tear, etc. to do traditional showings, phone pre-screens, etc. $12,000 / $300 / 5 years = 8 turnovers per year, which is about what we've averaged given our size.

This figure doesn't even include the money we've saved on reduced vacancy time since we're showing the place today vs. the traditional LL who has to schedule an appointment only to lose the applicant to someone else. It also does not include savings from the 3 "pretty-certain" evictions I would've had from in-home inspections that were horrible. Considering the average eviction costs me $1,000 - $1,500 in lost rent, damages, aggravation, and extended vacancy...my real savings are likely above $15,000 over the past 5 years. --173.20.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 10:55 AM
Message:

"Renting to someone when you haven't seen how they keep their current home? Wasting time talking to dozens of unqualified callers? Spending gas, time, and mileage to drive and unlock the door for now shows, looky-loos, and liars?"

:)

Yes, because the professionals like Mill Creek go to the current residences of their prospective tenants to see how they are living. LOL!

I never talk to prospective tenants. Everything is done online. I show places 3 or 4 times before they are are rented. Dozens??? Something is wrong there.

No-shows are rare. And it's just me here, but giving strangers my lock box codes doesn't sound like the brightest idea. --76.120.xx.xx




I answered my phone (by Rich [PA]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 11:12 AM
Message:

I see these stories and wonder why folks do not 1031 transaction some class C units into class B units.

I have small multi-unit class B apt buildings (3, 4, 8) and had an opening I filled this past weekend (one bedroom, $850 per month in my 8-unit building). I posted this listing last Friday on Craigslist and Zillow. In the ad, I ASK folks to call me for questions or to arrange a showing. The ones that do auto email response or text is already a step in the wrong direction. The first person who viewed the unit took it. He filled out the application completely, paid the $25 app fee and returned both within 24 hours. He is a robotics employee recently moving back to Pittsburgh from San Fran. I had to tell four other well qualified candidates (hospice nurse, PNC professional bank employee, full time foreign translator) that the unit was taken.

The tenant moving, as of June 30, is an IT employee for an energy company and is being transferred out of the area. He keeps a neat apt (90 % of my class Bs do) so I was able

to show the unit and get it rented without any lost rent. The unit only needs a once over cleaning since I installed a new kitchen and a full paint job a year ago.

What do these prospects and 95% of my tenants have in common - jobs that pay at least $40,000 per year, wanting a better than average apartment, respectful and follow the lease (respect neighbors and the apt, no smoking / no pets, and pay on time).

I understand that class C apts are where the best returns are but once you have enough income and units, why not upgrade to more trouble-free buildings and tenants? --100.6.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Mickie [OH]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 11:18 AM
Message:

Sid, I'm curious to know how you would deal with a rooming house like GKarl has? What would you do to make the process of showing and renting rooms out to make it efficient? I'm asking because I'm curious to see what your analytical mind would do with that challenge. --199.253.xxx.xx




I answered my phone (by TIm [IN]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 11:30 AM
Message:

Curious Jeff... what is your system?

Im in the same boat. Earlier this I had three pre qualified and showed, went home with not a one saying "im taking it." For like four straight years, they saw it... they rented. I just needed to wait two days. They got with me, and took the apt.

I do no lock boxes (stolen AC lineset, $350), no answering of phone calls. --66.170.xx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 11:35 AM
Message:

Tim, I run ads on Craigslist and Zillow. After a quick e-mail exchange, if they are interested, we set up a showing. I can walk to any of my buildings within 3-15 minutes. (I usually arrive early and check the property).

I can usually tell if they are a good prospect from their first e-mail. At the appointment time, I give them no more than 2 minutes grace. If they aren't there I leave, and chalk it up to a good walk.

Very easy. Like you, no phone calls and no lock box codes.

--76.120.xx.xx




I answered my phone (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 1:44 PM
Message:

I don't consider apartment managers particularly professionals. Their job is to fill vacancies and deal with problems. If they used Sid's approach they might be out of job.

If you're doing it on your own and you value your time, your property and your sanity Sid's approach is a mighty good one. Nothing wrong with having higher standards. --75.89.xx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Beth [WI]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 2:49 PM
Message:

Sid, you must not try to fill any of your units until the prior tenants have moved out?

Do you only get tenants who are looking to move in right away?

Seems like better tenants are usually looking a month or two in advance (typically)?

It sounds great that you have a streamlined procedure but on the other hand I wouldnít like the extra vacancy required to do this. --47.12.xxx.xx




I answered my phone (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 2:57 PM
Message:

I agree with Sid's approach. Let's keep in mind that we're dealing with different demographics and what might work for A and B class tenants doesn't work for C and vice versa. Although I don't have it as automated as Sid does at this point, that's where I'm going.

Mikie, I send every applicant a standard text or e-mail wit a link to my google screening form. That form is reviewed and a preliminary criminal and eviction check is completed on all rooming house applicants before showings. I have to physically schedule showings for both the rooming house and my apartments, so no lock box deal, however, I've culled them down so much with the pre-screening that I'm only showing a few. I schedule them all 15 minutes behind each other and send them to a site to complete the application.

I have three applicants coming in this evening for one room. All have been pre-screened and the showings will occur between 7:00 and 7:45. --64.121.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 3:03 PM
Message:

"My goal is to get someone approved and lease signed in 3 days or less. We're running a bit long on this one since we did some electrical upgrades (1 week is a long time not to be making money with my investment, gahhh!) and the former tenant gave us short notice (5 days) and didn't clean very well."

I can never fill a room or an apartment that quickly. The room I'll trying to fill has been vacant for a month. I've been marketing the apartment for at least two months; however one of those months, it was still occupied by the tenant while we prepped another unit for her, so to be fair, it's been vacant since the beginning of May but I started advertising it in April. --64.121.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 4:26 PM
Message:

Ever since Brad20K introduced the lockbox showing system on this forum (Thank You Brad), we get many forum responses that elaborate on how lockbox showings won't work in their locale.

What we don't get is an alternative system for screening/showing that conserves time spent on inquiries.

Jeff walking 15 minutes one way to serve as the doorman for a looker underscores the need for safe,secure,zero personal time investment showings.

Frankly, it seems to me that absent lockbox showings, an 80- 120 unit multi seems to be a necessity to justify the manager salary for these hands on showings.

--72.172.xxx.xx




I answered my phone (by Mike [TX]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 4:42 PM
Message:

I am confused as to why Brad 20000 says lockbox is the only way to go and acts as though anyone showing in person is out of their mind nuts. Yet, in another post he says heís having an open house to get his place rented. Seems like he talks out of both sides of his mouth. --73.166.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 5:05 PM
Message:

It's interesting to see how a thread starts one on topic and morphs to another.

My main thought here--per the subject--is how answering the phone for callers is often a time-waster. Each time I go back to answering, I get another version of a sob story or some just plain weird stories. I'm getting calls out the wazoo on this place because it is smaller and less expensive (but clean, safe, and functional!). Recently, the local slummer who used to take all the low income folks got shot, and over 500 of his properties are being seized and foreclosed on. So, we're in a bit of a "low income housing shortage" presently. All the folks that normally call him with a wad of cash and a sob story seem to feel the need to call me now... ;-)

Anyway, I've got both of my online pre-screened, lock box-showing, online applicants conditionally approved. I'm going by this evening to check housekeeping and whoever has an acceptable place and puts down the money first wins. --173.20.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by RB [MI]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 5:12 PM
Message:

I hear ya, TX Mike.

Wouldn't it be fun to visit (in person) a few of these

creative Landlords and see (from Top to Bottom) how they

really operate ?

--184.53.x.xx




I answered my phone (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 5:19 PM
Message:

Sid, I usually donít answer calls regarding my apartment when itís vacant....but when I have/do I seem to get the craziest stories also. It seems to me that the normal tenants will leave a message and wait for a call or email, the desperate, deranged, and needy tenants keep calling till they can talk to a LL. They probably figure they have zero chance unless they can get someone to fell bad for them. I dont know, it is funny at times though. --71.248.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Tim [IN]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 5:34 PM
Message:

Sid, I don't answer my phone most of the time too. When I do, I usually regret it or get a laugh like you do.

Here is my system:

-post ad on fb marketplace and zillow

-direct them to my website

-website has pics and video

-once they view that, fill out application

-application gets most of their I fo and they need to submit two paystubs

-if they pass my screening requirements, I send them email.

-some will email back, others will text me and set up a showing

-meet and show. 97% of the time, they take it.

-meet another day, sign lease for keys and $$$.

Haven't had a break in, a no show in 7 plus years, no more phone calls wasting my time. --73.22.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Skip [CT]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 9:58 PM
Message:

Tim-

That sounds like what I need. The bad applicants and sheer volume has me and the realtor burnt. How did you set up a website or with who? Forgive my ignorance. Also the tenant Turner sounds great but class c has me worried. Must pre screen.

Thanks for help guys. --71.126.xxx.xxx




I answered my phone (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: May 22, 2019 11:34 AM
Message:

Sisco, my farthest property is a 15-minute walk. Vacancies are rare. I can drive it in 5 and bike it in 8.

I don't want strangers wandering through my buildings.

But that's me. --76.120.xx.xx




I answered my phone (by Tim [IN]) Posted on: May 22, 2019 11:46 AM
Message:

Skip-

I have my website hosted by Melbourne IT and designed on Weebly. Weebly is very easy to use. Cut and paste. Go daddy is a good hosting site too. Fairly easy to design on. Lots of YouTube video showing "how to..." --107.77.xxx.xxx



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