Why I miss some
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Why I miss some (by S i d [MO]) Feb 28, 2024 9:49 AM
       Why I miss some (by Roy [AL]) Feb 28, 2024 11:06 AM
       Why I miss some (by Allym [NJ]) Feb 28, 2024 11:13 AM
       Why I miss some (by GKARL [PA]) Feb 28, 2024 11:22 AM
       Why I miss some (by WMH [NC]) Feb 28, 2024 12:18 PM
       Why I miss some (by S i d [MO]) Feb 28, 2024 12:20 PM
       Why I miss some (by Small potatoes [NY]) Feb 28, 2024 12:35 PM
       Why I miss some (by Sisco [MO]) Feb 28, 2024 12:57 PM
       Why I miss some (by GKARL [PA]) Feb 28, 2024 1:56 PM
       Why I miss some (by Allym [NJ]) Feb 28, 2024 3:37 PM
       Why I miss some (by zero [IN]) Feb 28, 2024 5:51 PM
       Why I miss some (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 28, 2024 7:49 PM
       Why I miss some (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 28, 2024 9:18 PM
       Why I miss some (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 28, 2024 9:23 PM
       Why I miss some (by Sisco [MO]) Feb 28, 2024 10:35 PM
       Why I miss some (by DJ [VA]) Feb 28, 2024 10:49 PM
       Why I miss some (by WMH [NC]) Feb 29, 2024 8:48 AM
       Why I miss some (by Robin [WI]) Feb 29, 2024 9:12 PM
       Why I miss some (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 29, 2024 10:19 PM
       Why I miss some (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 1, 2024 1:24 AM

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Why I miss some (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 9:49 AM

I forget the name of an excellent speaker from several years ago at the Mr. LL convention, but she was an expert at renting/property managing, and her take-away phrase I remember was, "I only need ONE tenant." As time goes on, I've adapted my business mindset to that more and more.

I don't need every prospect who calls and leaves a message demanding that I call them back, or who has shabby credit score and few to no positive references, or who ignores my process for filling out a pre-screening form.

I need ONE prospect who has good references, can follow directions, is capable of operating technology, respects my time, and is courteous/cooperative.

Just one example of how I find that person: The voicemail on my phone says that if someone is interested in touring a unit or has questions to fill out a request form on my website. The message takes a full 30 seconds explaining that's how we do tours/answer questions. I repeat the website name twice, speaking very slowly and enunciating clearly. In spite of that, I still get 2-3 calls a day, "Yeah my name's so-n-so and I seen [sic] your ad on Zillow. Call me back at (insert phone number)."

Nope. That's not how it works. I delete that voicemail.

But what about folks who don't like technology or prefer in-person contact right from the start?

What about them? I need people who do like technology and have the skills to use it. They will make my life simpler. If an applicant can't or won't go to the website, they also will not like how I use e-signature leases, do online screening, log maintenance requests, and do automatic bill pay. This prospect wants a 1970s landlord that knocks on the door every month to collect rent in cash. I am not a 1970s landlord.

So since we've figured out that we aren't compatible, no need to go any further. I'm not concerned that I "miss" those folks. Rather, I saved both of us a lot of stress.

How about you? Have you implemented the "Cooperative" test yet? Any other life skills and attitudes you use while screening applicant that go beyond the basics of income, landlord history, credit, and criminal background? If so, what tools do you use?


Why I miss some (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 11:06 AM


I will admit that I am old fashioned and I still cling to some of my old fashioned ways for one reason: it works for me! My system of screening applicants may not be the most efficient (compared to yours), however, my system does work for me. And like they say, "if ain't broke, don't fix it".

I will give you an example: In my small town, I have a reputation as the only landlord who still answers his phone. Every Zillow Ad has my phone number listed (actually a Google #) and when prospects call that number, I always answer it. Why? So that I can start screening that prospect right then with my list of probing questions. Usually within the first minute of conversation I can tell if this person has any potential or just an immediate DQ.

Did I answer your question?


Why I miss some (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 11:13 AM

People stay with me for over twenty years and sometimes their entire life. I was awakened one night at 2AM by a tenant who said to me "Alicia, I am out of my body. I walked from the hospital. What do I do now?". I told her to go to the light that she sees. We had talked about these things many times. This dear lady came with the house when my Dad bought it. When I have an empty I post it online and get responses. I read them and when I find a person who says specifically why they are moving and if it makes sense, I follow up on the request for information, meet the person and go from there. I bet you have very short stays in your units. Too much capability and intelligence means they will move to a new job in two years or buy a house. --173.61.xxx.xxx

Why I miss some (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 11:22 AM

I have very little patience with those who don't wish to use technology so in effect I screen for it. I send a canned message with a link to my pre-screener in response to inquiries. I had one person who wanted a phone number to call instead. I've had others who want to meet me to complete a paper application. Those situations result in an immediate pass due to the inability to work with technology. I'm not going to allow someone to take me back to the period of the telegraph because they can't operate in the age of the internet. I've absolutely no patience for that sort of thing.

The other thing that results in denial is the inability to follow directions. After getting the canned message, some want to know when they can see the place after clearly not having read the message which explains the process. I ignore and keep it moving.

I maintain there's an absolute shortage of tenants.


Why I miss some (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 12:18 PM

Sid we base our sanity on that phrase! I can't remember who said it either, but I was there when she did. It keeps me sane when all I am getting are the "I seen..." folks (nails on a chalkboard...) because I know the right tenant will come along eventually because IT ONLY TAKES ONE.

Sometimes when I am looking for that ONE, I have moments of quiet desperation and question our whole game plan and want to sell off all our units. After I find that ONE, I wish I had more!

And I am like you: we use technology to make our lives easier and to make sure our business is running efficiently. I am not going to change for someone who hasn't caught on yet, another will be along soon. --173.28.xx.xxx

Why I miss some (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 12:20 PM

Roy, yes it does answer my question.

Ally, my current tenant group runs between 2 week and 9 years typically. The average stay is around 2.5-3 years. I'm okay with this. I've found there's a sweet spot for moving tenants out and refreshing the place to avoid the huge hit of a total overhaul required after most long-term tenants. Yes, I like dealing with smarter people in general. I'm not sure why anyone would think that is a bad thing. They generally are not as problematic and don't require constant hand-holding. My vacancy rate is just under 3% going back to 2012, including down time refreshing units, so I don't see how having longer stays would be an advantage financially.

GKARL, we're drinking out of the same beer tap.


Why I miss some (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 12:35 PM

Since my ad is on zillow technology is already involved, so that means they have a device and prolly email. In zillow messages I send a short paragraph that says fill out the inquiry form w a link for the form. Since zillow won't let that link be live I end by telling them to copy it into a new window. I recently modified my reply to state that I do not use zillow's application. If a prospect cannot follow these simple directions and sends a second request to see the apt, I archive them in zillow. --172.59.xxx.xx

Why I miss some (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 12:57 PM

This isn’t “have it your way- at Burger King.” This is UPS; if you’re going to ship your package, you will do as instructed.

I think I caused myself tenant problems in the past by not setting forth all the terms. I evaluate and re evaluate my procedures and I see that I gain nothing by answering voice calls.

Last week, I answered calls and every one of them ended with my sending them a text of the address, price, viewing instructions and link to application. There was nothing that could have been handled quicker via text.

I wonder at the value to an employer that these folks who insist on having it their way can bring….first to be fired? --149.76.xxx.x

Why I miss some (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 1:56 PM

Here's a good example. Got a call today that I let go to VM. It was someone looking for a room. I sent him the canned message and the link to the pre-screener. He texts me back saying he couldn't complete it because he doesn't have a paystub (paystub must be uploaded into the form). It would have been a complete waste of time to engage him. I need data first, then I'll determine if a talk is needed At least he could function with the form, but still not ready for prime time. --209.122.xx.xxx

Why I miss some (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 3:37 PM

So the tenant wants to talk to you and see you? They want to make sure you are not a monster who is about to control their living space. Duh. --173.61.xxx.xxx

Why I miss some (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 5:51 PM

I have slowly moved to the online world with rentals. I love it. I will not be going back.

Except that I have a few current tenants that are not tech savvy at all. Just moved one from an apartment to a new house. She has no email or computer and couldn't figure out how to do the online stuff via her phone. Even with her daughter helping.

I printed off the new application and lease for them. All is good with the world again.

But, the new applicants need to follow the new rules. --107.147.xx.xx

Why I miss some (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 7:49 PM

Sid, I will be the first to admit that I myself struggle with technology. I am usually the one struggling when dealing with the college and young tenants. They know more about it then I do. If any of them ask me about how to do something involving technology, I usually don't have an answer. I didn't grow up in the tech world and we were poor. Growing up in that environment, I have always been a blue-collar worker, which does not usually require knowing technology. I have been trying to learn as I go, mostly from all of you, but it does take time as I am still working with my hands most of the time. I do like reading yours and others post though and will continue to learn from them. That said, I am not going to turn a tenant away that prefers to not use tech. Honestly, I prefer a simpler life that does not require technology. It may even be most likely that a young tenant would prefer not to deal with me not being tech savvy, IDK. Something to ponder I suppose. --76.129.xxx.xx

Why I miss some (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 9:18 PM

One thing to add, what I try to use as a guide, since I don't do too much tech, is when I do talk to them, I am trying to determine if we can communicate and understands each other. I think that makes a big difference in the LL/Tenant relationship. One of the downsides to using too much tech and not enough personal contact, would be losing the understanding in communication. This seems to be a common problem with some of the younger generation anyway as they do more gaming than human conversation. --76.129.xxx.xx

Why I miss some (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 9:23 PM

Question for you, I noticed that you mentioned using emails as part of your process. Are emails not becoming a thing of the past?

Everything seems to be more in the way of using text these days. --76.129.xxx.xx

Why I miss some (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 10:35 PM

When I hear about people who claim that lack of computer skills is a function of age, I often think of two friends of mine, Ed & Dick , WW2 vets. They were early adopters of pc, email and later texting. They have both been dead for a decade. I hope to be like Ed & Dick as I age. --149.76.xxx.x

Why I miss some (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Feb 28, 2024 10:49 PM

Like some others here, my very first step (well, two items very close together) of screening is following directions and using the internet.

If they just click the "I'm Interested" button, they are ignored because in the ad - toward the beginning, not buried at the end- it says that will be ignored & they need to send an email to xxxx at gmail dot com to begin the process.

Just that eliminates a LOT.

My last vacancy I had to have 400-500 + inquiries of some sort, including the button-clickers. No, I'm NOT exaggerating, but I did stop counting.

I had 3-4 dozen (can't remember exactly, it was a few years ago) who completed the pre-screen form that they got via auto-responder when they sent that email as instructed. Out of them, maybe 10 or so submitted answers that allowed them to be offered a viewing, and at that point direct contact from me.

With these kinds of numbers, it is Impossible to do phone calls or any type of direct communication until after they are narrowed down to a manageable number

Different markets = different systems and approaches, as usual - but that's what works best for me, here. I also am looking for a bit "higher grade" of resident. no C/D hoods.

Was that speaker possibly Patti Robertson? She spoke at a convention - maybe 3 years ago? It was a year that I missed going, but I know her locally. One very smart lady.


Why I miss some (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Feb 29, 2024 8:48 AM

I'm thinking she spoke on student housing but I might be confusing two people. --173.28.xx.xxx

Why I miss some (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Feb 29, 2024 9:12 PM

I agree with the goal of hassle-free tenants. For my SFHs, I want people who can navigate our modern world.

For my rooming houses, though, I'm leaning more and more toward older folk. Retired, living on SS, they find me through friends because they don't know how to search online.

I'm looking for residents that will stay for years because they CAN'T navigate our modern world to find anywhere else! I've had a couple of successes so far, and looking for more. --104.230.xxx.xxx

Why I miss some (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 29, 2024 10:19 PM

Interesting, Robin. --76.129.xxx.xx

Why I miss some (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 1, 2024 1:24 AM

Good stuff. I too look for cooperation and following instructions.

Just a heads up...

If you demand certain activities or behavior by prospects you MUST spell that our clearly in your ad, and save a copy to prove it was there when they cry discrimination up to 2 years later.

"I clicked the TOUR THIS HOME button on Zillow but the LL never called me back - that's discrimination!" True, UNLESS you can prove the prospect was fully informed in the ad that you don't respond to that button.

We log in all Zillow apps along with our own apps.

Phone calls/prescreen: we CANNOT turn down/ deny/ DQ someone based on a phone call. That can easily be deemed discrimination. You can be sued over what THEY claim you said, even if untrue. You MUST be able to prove you offered an application or pointed them to your website app. Just post their name or number on your phone log.

A simple reply like "You don't make enough money to rent this home" can cost you thousand$$$ in court if you don't have documentation to prove their income.

This is one reason we never talk to them before they apply.

Email: people don't read emails unless they work in a business setting. When I email our LL assoc folks I track that email. Many emails sit unopened for 2 weeks, many never get opened. Many bounce from the receiver's spam filters.

Gotta be careful out there. We can't just do what we feel like doing.

BRAD --73.103.xxx.xxx

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