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4 Steps to Find the Perfect Tenant

July 20 2012

3990rent keyholeRental professionals want to fill vacancies quickly – but not at the (significant) cost of choosing the wrong tenant. After all, what's the value of a tenant that does not pay their rent and fails to care for the property? Sometimes, the perfect tenant may seem elusive, but RentJuice is making the process easier with their "lead qualification kit." We'll share a few of the key steps here, but for the full scoop – including sample pre-qualifications questionnaire, rental application, rejection letter, and much more – download the free whitepaperdownload the free whitepaper.

1) Phone first.

Meeting a prospective tenant in person requires a large time commitment. When you consider the fact that many of the people who contact you about the property will not be qualified, it's easy to see that in-person meetings with each and every one of them can become a major waste of time. This is why RentJuice recommends running through some basic pre-qualification questions over the phone before scheduling a showing. (They've included sample pre-qualification questions in their whitepaperwhitepaper.)

If a phone interview reveals that the prospective tenant is qualified for the property in question, invite them to a showing. If they are not a good fit for this particular property, but they have potential for future properties, gather their information into a lead tracking system and tell them you'll keep them at the top of your list for a better fit.

2) Meet in person at a showing.

As we mentioned above, if a prospect sounds qualified over the phone, your next step should be to schedule a showing. RentJuice says, "Don't skip this step, no matter how perfect prospective renters sound during pre-qualification."

RentJuice offers some other interesting tips for showings:

  • Invite several prospective renters to the same showing. This increases their interest in the property and creates a sense of urgency to move through the application process.
  • Offer applications right at the showing. (You can find a sample application in the RentJuice whitepapewhitepaper.)

3) Review applications carefully.

Choosing a tenant is not a time to "follow your heart." Intuition and instinct may play a role in your decision, but it should be a secondary role. First and foremost, you need to carefully examine each application – keeping an eye out for blank fields and missing details.

You should also watch out for false information . . . which is where the next step comes into play.

4) Check references and credit.

Call the references listed by the applicant, double-checking the applicant's social media profiles to confirm that they are being honest with you. Also check the applicant's credit. In order to run a credit report, you need to be properly credentialed. RentJuice recommends that you "use a screening solutions company such as NTN Online to get started with obtaining your credentials."

This chart will help rate applicant credit scores:

3990rentjuice credit

Free "Toolkit" for Finding the Perfect Tenant

The whitepaperwhitepaper from RentJuice also includes:

  • Sample Pre-Qualification Criteria
  • Rental Application
  • Applicant Qualification Checklist
  • Employment Verification Script and Checklist
  • Landlord Reference Script and Checklist
  • Sample Rejection Letter

You can download the whitepaper for freedownload the whitepaper for free at