If you have a rental property that you have put up on the market, it is natural for you to receive queries from people desirous of moving in as tenants. You need to be prepared to take phone calls of these prospective tenants as you can screen people based upon answers they give to your questions. You can spare yourself from lots of effort by simply analyzing the answers given by callers.
When do you want to move in?
This is a very innocuous question that you can ask anyone who has called to get more information about your property. You will be surprised to know that there are many people who start their house hunt even when their lease term is not expiring in another 4-5 months. Can you afford to keep your unit vacant for such a long time period? You can safely say no to such people when they tell you that are planning to move in after a few months. In fact, you should tell politely to check back again whenever they are ready to move in.
How much do you earn?
It is not easy to ask this question on phone when someone has called to inquire about your property. But you could be wasting your time if the caller cannot afford the monthly rent of your property. Instead of asking about income, you can tell the monthly rent and also your rental standard that requires monthly household income to be 2.5-3 times the amount of rent. The caller will himself stop the conversation if his monthly income is below the threshold level. If you wait to hear his story and bring the subject of rent after a long time, you are only wasting your precious time.
Ask the employment history of the caller
It is easy to ask the caller about his work history. Note down the facts given by him to see if they match with his written answers in the questionnaire form later. You learn if the individual is stable at workplace or not by the length of time, he has worked for one employer. Has he been changing jobs frequently? Unstable work history means the individual is fickle minded and he may not live in your property for a long time. Also, such a person might face financial crunch because of his habit to leave job every now and then. It is a good idea to stay away from such applicants if you want your business to survive and flourish. Ordinary people learn from their mistakes. Ask the caller about the length of time for which he has been working with his present employer. If he is working for more than a year, you can allow him to move into your property even if his past work history suggests he hops from one job to another.
Ask potential tenants about their rental history
Ask the caller for how long he has been living at his current address. If he has lived for only 6-7 months and looking for a new home, it shows that he is not stable and may not live in your property for a long time. You don’t want a tenant who lives for 2-3 months and moves out as it disturbs your cash flow. Start with current residence and ask questions about previous residences. If you get answers that reveal his short stays at a place, you can assume that he is not going to make a good quality tenant for you.
Do not forget to ask these questions when responding to queries on phone. Analysis of answers will help you in the selection of good quality tenants for your property.
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