My mom was an English teacher for almost 30 years. If I had a dollar for every time she corrected the way I spoke or the way I wrote, I could feed a small 3rd world country.
That is why it is so funny that the idea for this article hit me recently. So, Mom, this one’s for you!
Leasing your home is by far the most important responsibility you have as a manager or a homeowner. Much like getting a business to make money, getting the right tenant on the bus makes the experience so much more enjoyable.
That is why, I was wondering, what does it take to lease to a great tenant? I came up with three adjectives that should help you.
If you are leasing a home, tenant prospects have very little patience for not being able to get someone on the phone and see the house.
I always say, if I’m selling a house and you called me to potentially buy it, and I didn’t get back with you by the end of the day, chances are you haven’t purchased a home yet.
It is not that way with leasing homes.
There is a great chance if you don’t get someone to see the home THAT day, then they will find another one that suits their needs. Why?
For a tenant to lease a home, they are typically looking for a few important boxes to check.
Things like the neighborhood, proximity to work, number of bedrooms or bathrooms and perhaps a school district.
Once they check all these boxes, typically they go ahead and rent. The number of boxes to buy a home is a much more lengthy list. Thus, tenants will lease before buyers will buy.
If you are in the business of leasing houses, you better be a patient person. You are going to get a million phone calls and emails and every single one of them is going to be asking the same questions!
How many bedrooms is it? What are your qualifications? What school does it go to? Same questions . . . every time.
In fact, we got so tired of answering the same 5 or 6 questions, we decided to have voice recording tell the prospects the answers PRIOR to talking to a live voice.
Do you know what was funny?
They STILL ask the questions. Bottom line is you better be willing to answer the same questions over and over again to find the right tenant.
The last thing you want is for the right tenant to call and you to be so tired of answering those questions you don’t answer or you don’t sound very nice on the phone.
Why do I say that? If you’ve taken a million phone calls, talked to a million people, shown the home a million times and taken a million bad applications, you need to stay disciplined to your underwriting criteria to find the right person.
One house we leased a number of years back, we showed over 100 times and received over 30 applications! It’s hard to keep showing up at the same house that many times to find the right tenant.
Discipline is also very special to me because it is one of our core values that we believe so strongly in. The ability to stay disciplined when finding the right tenant will pay off, but you have to keep reminding yourself through the process.
Finding the right tenant for your rental home is the most important accomplishment you will have as a manager or homeowner. Make sure you remember my English teacher mom and stay true to these adjectives.
Mom, if you’re reading this, it is too late and making changes now wouldn’t help.
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.