Showing renters may be one of the most frustrating deals in Real Estate. Many agents use renter checks as a cash flow bridge between closings, and while this can be a sound business strategy, you may find out, you have to work even harder with renters just to receive a huge pay cut. The first thing you need to understand about renters is that the act of renting itself, is not difficult, anybody that can pass a background check and has a credit score, can pretty much get accepted at any apartment or Townhome complex. Where the problem arises is when you get into private landlord, single family type homes. Situations where the seller is going to make the ultimate decision. In these cases even an A+ renter risk the chance of getting rejected, and wasting countless dollars on application fees, simply because of the whim of their potential landlord. They key word when dealing with renters is patients, ask yourself are you willing to spend 20 – 40 hours to satisfy the needs of a client, when the immediate financial reward is very small? As If the financial burden wasn’t tough enough the mental burden can be bitch. Imagine sacrificing all this time and energy to find the right place just to get rejected by someone you don’t ever get to meet? When this happens, Human nature is to lash out, and you can bet who is going to receive the blame, it’s not going to be the credit company, that provided the background report, it’s not going to be the seller who made the ultimate decision to reject them, and it’s most certainly not going to be the property management company that relayed the decision to the client. It’s that burden that an agent must decide if they want to carry before adding a renter to their database. While this process can be complicated, I’ve added a few questions to ask that may help your decision making when deciding if this renter is actually worth your time.
- Do you know your credit score? – Let’s face it the first thing any landlord is going to look at is a potential tenant’s credit score. Thin of your credit score as a reflection of how well one is doing in life, and if your client doesn’t even know theirs, then you might want to start rethinking about the amount of time you’re going to spend.
- Do you have any evictions on your record? – Honestly this should be #1, if a client does have an eviction on their record, you can bet the chances of them getting that premo rental are slim to none. Better to find this up front than to spend countless hours searching.
- Can you pass a background check? – Always ask this question, just like this. Human nature is to respond with a yes, however the way it is answered will provide telling insight into your client. A direct yes, is much more powerful than a stumbling, mumbling “I think so”
Hope these tips help, while renters may not be the main focus of most agents, our job is to try to help and you never really know how providing quality service may benefit you in the future.