Hey, everybody. My name’s Matthew Whitaker, and today I’m going to talk about how to rent my house in Denver.
So I’m going to roll through the steps that we go through. And if you’re looking at renting your own house, you can also walk through these same steps. Let’s jump in.
Is to get your house in order. This is a little play on words.
Like if you’ve been living in your house, the same insurance that you use to live in your house is not the same insurance you need, you need more landlord insurance. So make sure you have insurance.
The Second Thing
I Would Say Is, Make Sure You Find The Lease And Make Sure An Attorney Reviews It.
In Denver, in Colorado, it’s important that an attorney actually writes the lease, and there’s a number of them that are already pre-written out there.
But I would also make sure you have an attorney review your lease. And then the last part of getting your house in order is, go ahead and preset your tenant screening criteria.
This is one of the places I see, and I’m probably going to talk about this again because it’s so important, where people really screw up when they lease their house for the first time.
Make sure that you set some objective screening criteria that you’re going to abide by.
Set your screening criteria upfront, and then go ahead and use that to find your tenant. So that’s number one, get your house in order.
Is To Make Sure Your House Aesthetically Is Rent Ready
So, does your house need new carpet? Does it need new paint? What can you do to make your house attractive?
The rental market is becoming a very, very, very competitive market. And we want to make sure that your house is one of the next ones that rent.
So make sure when you’re looking at your house that you’re being very objective.
If somebody walks in, are they going to be as excited about your house as you are?
One of the challenges we see with people that are renting the home, especially one that they’ve lived in before, is that they don’t look at the house very objectively.
They look at the house from the standpoint of, you know, they have an emotional attachment to it.
And one of the things you need to know is that the tenants that come in are not going to have an emotional attachment to your house.
So, see if you can look at your house objectively through a tenant’s eyes.
How do you do this? Well, the most popular is online. So think about Zillow, Trulia.
Those are the most popular places that people find rental homes these days.
Another thing I would say, and this really predates putting it out on the market is, make sure when you’re marketing it, that you take great photos.
We have found that if we do not do a good job of taking photos, then that house doesn’t get people out there to see it.
People are going to see your house online first. I mean, that’s just the nature of the environment that we’re in.
And I would say 80% to 90% of them are going to see it online first. So, you need to make sure that that thing looks awesome online.
I Would Say When You’re Looking At Trulia And Zillow Is Write An Awesome Description
So, tell them all the benefits of why somebody would want to rent this house.
Can you walk to certain cool places? Does it have an updated kitchen? Tell them, give them the benefits of why they would want to see it.
And then the old-fashioned sign in the yard still rents a lot of houses. And we think the reason for this is the neighbors.
The neighbors see the sign, they know there’s somebody that is looking for a house to rent, and the neighbors rent the house for you.
We’ve also found that a sign in the yard certainly helps because people like to stay in the neighborhood that they’re in.
So a lot of times they’re just driving by your house, and if they see the sign, then they’re going to want to see it So that’s marketing your home.
The Next One Is, Once You Market Your Home, You’re Going To Get Showings And People Are Going To Come See It, And Then You’re Going To Have To Screen The Applications.
Getting a good tenant in your house is like step one to having a successful experience. What does that look like?
We used a company called TransUnion, which is one of the big three credit bureaus to screen our tenants.
They use what’s called a tenant score. Now, you can certainly pull the tenant’s credit.
There are ways that you can do that in a one-off situation. It’s a little harder if you’re doing it for yourself because we had to go through some hoops to be a TransUnion partner, but you can certainly do that.
Now, let me tell you a little bit about TransUnion because we’re pretty excited about it.
They have created what’s called a tenant score. So they’re using big data to underwrite or help us underwrite our applications.
And what we can tell them is what we want our eviction percentage to be, and then they can literally load the algorithm in the back end and tell us, “Hey, this is a good tenant, this is not a good tenant,” based on your objective criteria.
Do they make enough money? You’d be shocked at how many people don’t make enough money to rent your house that’ll still apply. You sometimes need to help them make the decision not to rent your house. And so you need to look at how much they make and make sure they can afford your house.
And what I would say, you got to be careful with this because the criminal background has become a big kind of hot topic.
You want to make sure that there’s nothing in their history that would be a threat to the property or be a threat to the people living around the property.
That’s all I’ll say about that. You’ll probably want to consult an attorney before you rent a house or not rent a house based on criminal background.
Have them sign a lease and give a security deposit. Do not let them sign a lease and not collect a security deposit.
The security deposit, if they don’t have the money for the security deposit, please, please, please, don’t get into a situation where you’re basically financing the security deposit. Make sure they have enough money for a move in.
Keep in mind your lease needs to be Colorado state-specific, meaning, the Colorado landlord-tenant law needs to be understood with regard to your lease.
Again, have an attorney review it, especially an attorney that’s versed in Colorado landlord-tenant law.
Very, very, very important, because judges don’t look kindly on leases that are written against that law. In other words, if you say something that’s different from that, judges basically know you don’t know what you’re talking about and they’ll just beat you up in court.
Keep in mind the security deposit is tenant money. It’s not your money until the end of the lease or the tenant, in writing, gives you that money.
And I mean like turns it over to you. Like they’re going to give you the money, but they have to, in writing, say it’s your money if you try to account for it before the lease ends.
This is what we’re all here for. Have ways of collecting rent. Most people, especially if you’re renting your house by yourself, are going to collect it via check.
Make sure that you’re very consistent with how you collect rent and make sure that you have set rules on when that rent’s due or trust our property managers in Denver.
So, that’s it. I’m Matthew Whitaker with evernest. I hope this video was helpful.
Matthew is the CEO of Evernest. He is a student of the book Good to Great and is passionate about building the best property management company on the planet (and maybe even the universe if Elon Musk will hurry up). You can usually find Matthew at the baseball field with his son, at a dance recital with his daughter, or at his favorite restaurant with his wife, when he’s not in the office. And if you can’t find him in any of those places, it probably means he’s traveling.
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