If you have the money behind you to invest, real estate can seem like a no-brainer.
There are few other options which see such a significant return on your money with relatively little effort. If you sell properties to investors, you could soon see a handsome reward. Better, this option is barely more complicated than selling your own home. So, you’re sure to have the right experience behind you. Many property investors also choose to go down a rental route. In many ways, this stands to gain you a more substantial return on your property. Not only will you be able to sell the house itself down the line, but you’ll also earn a monthly payment in the meantime. That said, a fair bit more effort is required when you go down the rental path. As a landlord, you will have a responsibility to your tenants. Repairs and maintenance will fall to you, as well as any questions your tenants might have. And, before you get to that stage, you’ll need to deal with the screening process. If your property is in a desirable area, the chances are that a fair few people will apply for acceptance. And, it’ll be down to you to sort through the applications. As they pile up, you may start to lose sight of why you went down this route in the first place. Wasn’t it supposed to be an easy way to make money? Yes, it was. And, to make sure it stays that way, we’re going to look at some simple solutions to help you screen potential candidates.
A straightforward application
Applications are rarely straightforward. But, you may want to keep things simple in the early stages. Applications for rentals often ask for references, past addresses, and a myriad of other information. All of which you’ll need to sift through. If you have fifty applicants, you’re sure to struggle. Instead, it might be worth keeping your application simple. Ask some essential personality questions, and confirm income. That way, you can check through each one in a matter of seconds. This will reduce your deliberation time in a significant way. The technical questions can come into play once you’ve narrowed things down.
Before you even consider renting to someone, you need to confirm they are who they say they are. Otherwise, you could find yourself in trouble down the line. After all, a tenant under a fake name could leave you in the lurch with no repercussions. Even worse, they could trash the property and leave you to pay for it. Make sure that doesn’t happen by verifying identities from the off. Obviously, you won’t be able to meet with all applicants. Instead, it’s worth turning to an app like Netverify, which offers social security number verification and identity authentication.
A service like this does come at a cost, but it’s sure to be cheaper than the money you stand to lose otherwise. So, don’t hesitate to get started. You could either gain verification on everyone or only ask those who get further in the process. Either way, this is sure to save you money and time.
As such, it’s worth opening email correspondence with your applicants. You don’t have to go all out with this, but a quick email to let them know you’ll be in touch will open the conversation. Take note of the speed of their reply, and the wording they use. If someone takes a week to even look at your email, it’s a sure sign they’d be tough to get hold of. Equally, someone who doesn’t use professional wording, may not be that concerned.
Obviously, when you narrow things right down, you’ll want to interview your chosen tenant face to face. But, you only really want to go through that process with one or two applicants. As such, it’s worth conducting phone interviews once you’ve narrowed things down. This is the first direct contact you’ll have with applicants and could be incredibly revealing.
You don’t need to ask in-depth questions at this stage. You can do that when you’re closer to a decision.
For now, ask about their lifestyle, and have a general chat. You need to get a feel for these people. Jot down feelings during the conversation, and pick one or two who seem like the best fits. Then, call them back up and arrange that face to face meeting.
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