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FRUSTRATION Hard to find a new tenant - Landlord Forum thread 358584

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FRUSTRATION Hard to find a new tenant by John on September 13, 2018 @13:34

I have a piece of property in North East baltimore that I've been renting out for the past 7 years. I've had a total of 4 tenants and I've found tenants usually within a week to a few weeks. For some reason this time around I'm having a hard time finding a new tenant. One thing to note is that I just have done a moderate renovation to the place (new carpet, repaint, new hardwood floors). There are a few rooms where I've left some of my tools (organized), not sure if this is an issue. There was also two rooms where after new hardwood flooring was put down, the basembord had to be re-attached. Not sure if this is a turnoff, but I tell the tenants this will be all fixed before the move in. I've been advertising for about a month. Here is what I'm noticing and it's real irritating.

1. I'm advertising on FB, Cozy, Zillow, Craigslist. I will get a notification, I will reply back asking some pre-screening questions (i.e. income, credit, move-in date). They never come back. I notice if I get a notification via FB (message), I have to ask question after question to get the pre-screen information. I'm not asking in an obtuse manner, I'm even telling them I ask these of all tenants. They sometimes stop answering or say they will get back to me. The even worse thing is they would message me via FB with "is it available" I would reply back with "Yes", they would never send anything back, it just goes dead...

2. I setup 3 viewings on Monday. I tell them that I work in DC and if you can't make it let me know. I only get one person showing. The other two have no response to emails/calls. I know they are avoiding my call!!! The irritating thing is one person actually sent me a notification that they are interested in it a few weeks after they did a no-show. I was about to send her an email indicating "if you can't show up how do I expect your rent to show up?". I emailed her indicating that she didn't show to the previous showing we scheduled, therefore let me know if you are "truly" interested.

3. I had this desperate person who messaged me via FB, she passed my pre-screening questions. I then asked for her Phone Number, she sends me her phone number and I began to call her. I called that number the next day. I then messaged her that we need to speak before I can proceed. She indicates to me that she's busy. I then contact her again based on a prearranged time, it still goes to VM. At that point she sends me a message saying she can send me her paystubs??????? I then think this person is full of shit and leave her alone, mainly because she seems so desperate that there is likely something wrong with her. She then notifies me saying she's sorry but the phone number was 123-456-7899 not 123-456-7890 (meaning she gave me her wrong number). I left her along and didn't respond. I was about to respond with "if you can't provide me with your correct phone number the first time how can I depend on you with the rent".

4. The viewings I've had seem to go positive, they make nice comments as they roll thru each room, I follow behind them and tell them a little about the place. Then at the end I provide them a paper application, I'm of course using the long-ass Landlord-LPA app, they don't want to fill out that thing here, so I provide them the pdf fillable version, they never send it back.

5. One couple I showed text-messaged me a day after the viewing indicating they are very interested and want to know if I could send an app (I had already sent it). Well, she replied back to the email indicating that she had received it and she never sent it back!!!

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Re: FRUSTRATION Hard to find a new tenant by Garry on September 13, 2018 @16:45 [ Reply ]
First of all, John, the way I read your entire post, is that it's all about YOU----what YOU want, not what the prospective tenant wants. A tenant just wants to see a place, and THEN decide if the y want to fill out an app for it. You INTERRIGATE the T with questions before they see it, and because of those Qs, they have already determined that YOU are not the type of LL they want, no matter how nice the place is. Stop asking Qs up front. You are asking the internet to do what you should be doing. When somebody calls , texts, or emails, simply say it's available, and ask when they want to see it. Then set a time and meet them there. I NEVER set up an appointment more than 1 day out-----too many no-shows past that.

IF they show up, let them wander around first, THEN ask them IF they want to fill out an app.------NEVER more than 2 pages long, and only PERTENANT Qs. TOO many Qs turn people off, and they feel you are invading their privacy. Once they leave, there's NO getting them back. The LPA app is a good app, but its geared towards protecting the LL. and is not tenant-friendly.

Your rental should be 100% ready to show-----everything repaired and clean, and ALL of your tools and material gone. Do NOT follow behind them during the showing-----if they want to know something, they will ask . And finally, you are a business, and are competing with all the other businesses (LLs) out there, for customers (tenants). The things you are doing, are not tenant-friendly things. Change that around, and take a few more "risks", and you will have more people calling and applying for your rentals.
Re: FRUSTRATION Hard to find a new tenant by lpadave on September 14, 2018 @03:53 [ Reply ]
this is the business we're in.

the internet has increased and made our ability to advertise easier but it also has a lot of trols, data harvesters and isolated people with nothing else in their lives.

finding a tenant is sort of like being a single person trying to find their soul mate.

In the first 90 seconds on the phone I ask how many people, pets, income and credit and when are they looking to move. respondents with marginal income and/or credit are invited to offer up guarantors / co signers,....which i'm starting to believe is just wasting my time as most of the ''guarantors'' are in worse shape than the applicants. and they have their own bills to pay first.

the due diligence starts with the first sentence out of their mouths,......and I keep written notes. and i ask no nonsense direct questions. Anybody who takes offense to my inquiring about ''how their credit and income looks'' in the first conversation,....usually has something to hide because they have basically none of either.

there are many landlords who will put a warm body into their property and hope for the best. I don't.

the premises should be 'show ready'.

I e mail, complete, good quality detailed photos FIRST. I put several photos in on line ads also.

this tends to eliminate a lot of the ''lookers'' and those fung shuea - ers who seem to also need toilet paper holders on specific sides, height and position.

Re: FRUSTRATION Hard to find a new tenant by LAMAC66 on September 17, 2018 @10:19 [ Reply ]
This is not unusual. I suggest not showing until you are completely finished your reno. I think thats the professional way to do things.

I don't do individual appointments for the exact same reasons of what you are going through. People don't show or are late and don't have the courtesy to call to that effect. I suggest doing open house.

Open house saves time and frustration. If you get tire kickers so be it, they just wasted their time. Set up a 2-3hr window and if folk are serious they will show.

I stay away from craigslist and FB as far as looking for applicants. That reduces my pool of timewasters considerably

I stick with zillow, trulia, and other forums to advertise. By no means are these timewaster proof but not as many as FB and craigslist.

Finally, these contacts you have so far have screened themselves out. So your screening process has worked to some effect.

I self manage 3 properties using a property managment software that is inexpensive and very effective as well. Easy to work with. It is worth the $35/mo I pay and pays for itself in headache free features. It comes with a free easy to set up website and allows to list your property and everything you want to provide as far as preescreening ect.

It even allows you to set up tenants on online rent pay and maintenance request. AND YOU GET FREE LINK UP TO MOST RENTAL ADVERTISING WEBSITES where it sends people to your website where they can:

*See EVERYTHING about your properties
*Read your pre-screening criteria
*See what you are looking for in a tenant
*Post your application and application process
*List when you hold open house

In my opinion its a waste of time taking calls from people. Because all you going to end up doing is repeating what you have stated in your prescreening document over and over again.I just list when my open house is and I can answer questions then!

Everybody who is serious will show up and if they like the house, they can take an application and fill out then or bring it back or apply online.

I dont spend time showing properties, paying phone tag, repeating myself over and over again, chasing prospects ect.!

This is the second best decision I made screening applicants.

Good luck, my .02 cents worth. If you have any questions, hit me up.

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