The rental market has been very, very good to me… My properties have performed well over the past month (and years); getting 100% rent collected (25 for 25) by May 2, once again. One person, who paid on the second, apologized to me for being late. Try that with low credit score renters, who generally always pay late. But since I have a vacancy coming up, this is how I fill apartments quickly.
I do have one vacancy coming up for 7/1. I started advertising my rental just a week or so ago. I advertised exclusively on PostLets.com this time. Postlets blasts your ad to several other major websites, and the majority of responses from Trulia and Zillow.
I had several of people that called directly off the ad, but most people just click the link in the ad, and expect a response. I often let calls go into voicemail, if I am not sure who is calling, so I am not sure of the exact number. All my renters are set up in my contacts, so they always come up as a known person.
Some people call off the ad, and do not leave a message, so I am not sure exactly how many calls I may have missed. Some are quick calls asking of I take Section 8, which I do not. I wish them luck and I move on.
I had 23 emails from people responding to the ads via the email link in the ad. I typically send the following response to them, so that I can weed out the renters that do not qualify. There is no sense wasting my time on them. Remember, most tenants that are looking for an apartment rental are unqualified. I send this email out as a reply to their email, and wait for a response.
==> “Thank you for inquiring. The unit will be available ~7/1, It will not be available any earlier. There are tenants currently in the apartment; the video and pictures were taken just prior to them moving in.
I generally show the unit between 6 PM and 7 PM during the week, and on weekends between 11 AM and 4 PM. I have tenants in the unit, so I need to give notice.
I do not take Section 8. If you have had an eviction, or you have had recent criminal activity including DUIs, I generally will pass on you. If you are not a legal resident of the USA, I will not be able to rent to you.
I will be looking for tenants with a 625+ credit score, and a solid household income of at least ~$46,000 per year. If you are marginal on both of these items, I will generally decline you. Your criminal and rental history must be clean.
If you still want to look at the apartment, please let me know.
Once I get a qualified tenant, I set up a showing and add a calendar invite to my Google calendar. I invite both the current tenant, and the prospect. I tell the prospect to call me ~30 minutes prior to arriving to confirm. That way, if I forget, or if they are a non-show, I am not inconvenienced. Once I get the text, I text my tenant that the showing has confirmed. It seems there is a 50% no-show rate for tenants.
I showed the property a total of three times. All tenants that I showed the property to were qualified to live there, or at least they said they were. With one tenant, I received an application and a $1,000 deposit with the application immediately after the showing. She came prepared, and had everything in order. I had her sign a Holding Fee Agreement, which guarantees me $1,000 if she does not move in. If she moves in, it is applied to the rent and/or deposit.
Another tenant wanted the property, and dropped off another application. She will be the backup tenant, or perhaps she can get an apartment if I get another vacancy fairly soon. I process the applications in order, once I accept one; I do not process the other following applications.
Another tenant that looked at the apartment might have been great, but they had other issues. Here is a tip. If you are a renter, do not have a 200 lb. English Mastiff. And don’t have another dog, a boxer. Most places would not take either dog, both are over 40 lbs.
I like dogs, and this one might have been great, but with so many qualified tenants I do not need a 200 lb. dog in the apartment. It could scare other tenants that might be afraid of dogs. In an extreme instance, it may get aggressive with another tenant, their dog, or child. Or just bump into a person and tip them over. It would have been an extra $25 per dog, which they were willing to pay, but I passed.
I charge more money in the deposit than one month’s rent. This apartment is $1050, the deposit is $1250. If someone doesn’t pay, a month’s rent is not enough. If they do not have the $1250, I do not want them. If they don’t trust me with $1250, I don’t trust them with a $100K apartment.
So, that is how you fill apartments nearly two month’s before you have a vacancy, and do it without any down time. The apartment will need a touch up paint, and carpets cleaned, and that is it.
What is your process to turn an apartment, or if you are a renter, do you like the showing process when a landlord shows your apartment?