It frustrates me to know end to set up a walk through on one of my units only to find the prospective tenants completely disengaged from me as the landlord. I go to great lengths in describing the unit, the surrounding area, the community and the lease terms before showing a unit. I ask at least 3 times in the phone interview (I insist on talking to the party in question before showing the unit), if they have any questions, concerns or special needs.
In doing so I expect that I am showing the unit to a decent prospect, but every now and then I end up showing the property to a far less than enthusiastic party. I know this can partly be attributed to personality but I think to myself ‘would I really want to deal with these people on a long-term basis?’
I find that the unresponsiveness is caused by one of three situations:
- There is dissension in the ranks— She loves the place but he thinks its to big. He does not mind living in the city but she is used to the burbs. On the drive out they realize the work commute will be longer then they thought. You get the idea.
- There is something fishy going on— On numerous occasions I find the reason for the non-communication stemmed from a sordid rental history or just a plain sordid past. It takes some digging to uncover the issues but if your ‘spidy’ senses are telling you there is something fishy, dig as much as possible into a probable cause for the concern. One experience led to the discovery that a single mom with little income faked a couple situation to bump up the combined income. The ‘fiance’ was so obviously not into the viewing (or the young mother and the child she had with her), that it prompted me to start digging. I found compelling evidence that the ‘fiance’ was in fact an ex-husband and I don’t believe he had any intent on moving in with his ex.
- They will not communicate with a landlord, ever— It could stem from disdain, lack of respect or whatever but they don’t like property owners. In this case you will find renting to them will be a less than good experience to put it mildly. I find renting to people in this category will mean late payments, property damage or neglect and an inability to ever contact them by phone, text or email. Do yourself a favor and just let them pass you by.
The amount of negative showings I have done are thankfully few because of my prescreening habits which are focused on not wasting either mine nor their time and travel. Just keep the above in mind as you begin the process of listing your investment rental unit, that you undoubtedly put a lot of time and money into.