Don’t Be a Rookie: Qualify Applicants Before the Showing

With social media being a main force in communication and commerce today it is easy to lose focus on business practice and processes.

I see this a lot now that facebook marketplace has become a go to source for listing rentals.  It is indeed a great place to find tenants, if you are not using it I suggest adding it to the tool belt when filling vacancies.

You have to be smart about how you use it though.

Don’t Be a Rookie: Qualify Applicants Before Showing Property

Anybody can list on marketplace, but due to facebook guidelines you usually have to do it from your personal page.

When listing on marketplace be prudent:
  • Switch your profile so only friends can see it
  • Switch the setting for friend requests to friends of friends only
  • Switch off the can find you by email option

This is what I personally do during the time of listing a property.  After the property is filled I usually switch my setting back to their original state and have not had any problems.

The reason you want to tighten up security when listing a place for rental is due to that fact that a bunch of random people are going to hit you up about the rental.  Many of which won’t even qualify.  Do you want all these people seeing your personal stuff, pictures of your family, etc etc.

You have to approach it as a business owner and property manager.  None of your personal info has anything to do with a potential tenant wanting to rent your property.

Screen all those messengers up front

Here’s the good thing about listing on Facebook – you will get tons of inquiries.

Here’s the bad thing about listing on Facebook – you will get tons of inquiries.

Whether you are doing an open house or scheduled showings you want to screen people up front.  The most common message you will get is “is this still available, when can I come see it?”

Slow down there dear inquirer

Rather than answer their question you should have a standard response set up you can copy paste so you are not typing the same answer 40 times.

It can read however you like, but should let them know the rental requirements, such as income being atleast three times rent and whatever other criteria you have.

All of which should be kosher with HUD guidelines and your state laws.

Just by doing that you will weed out a lot of tire kickers that have no shot at qualifying.  This will save you from spending time scheduling and holding showings that have no shot at going anywhere.

Be sure you know your market and laws

Though there are general HUD guidelines be sure you understand you state laws when screening tenants.  I can promise you they vary state to state.  I know from experience, for example filling a property in FL compared to MA is a very different process.

If you need help on how to screen tenants and/or vet out property management there is a whole section on it in the ScaredyCatGuide Investing in Rental properties video series or book.


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