Too specific screening criteria in the ad

Many investors thinks it saves time when they extensively list their screening criteria in the ad.  Some ads will include specifics about credit score, income requirements, job stability, background check, eviction or foreclosure history, etc.  Here’s an ad I just pulled off an ad on Craigslist out west:

“ You must meet the following: credit score above 650, income must be 3xs the monthly rent, must be in current position at company at least 2 years, no felons or misdemeanors, no evictions, no foreclosures within last 5 years…”

The problem with this ad is it actually discourages people from being interested.  The rental investor looks demanding and difficult to please, not qualities a tenant wants in a landlord. The rental investor is better off trimming the ad for the necessities of qualification and leaving the rest for when the tenant has seen the property.  If the tenant views the property and falls in love with it, they might not be as turned off by the requirements (and by how the investor comes across in person versus on paper).

What are the necessities to have in your ad?  You still want to include things like no pets, no cats, etc.  If you feel you want to include some screening criteria steer clear of income requirements or credit score.  List 2 qualifications from criminal background, foreclosures, or evictions. Whatever you view is highest in priorities.  

Out of Date Pictures

The only thing worse than no pictures is out of date pictures. If your pictures show incorrect flooring, countertops or vanities you’re misleading the prospect about the unit. When the prospect arrives and the flooring  or other items are different your showing may have already ended before it started. Your pictures should be redone every 3-4 years depending on the work you do in between vacancies. If you change out any of the above new pictures are best.  

No electronic forms of contact

In today’s society it is increasingly important to have electronic means of communicating with your prospects. No one sits down at a table after eating dinner scouring listings to make a call list for the next day anymore.  If they can’t send you a message the moment they view the ad, they move on and forget about you. You can go the “low-tech” way and allow responses via email. Or you can go more high tech and list the vacancy on websites like Zillow or Trulia that have features where prospects can ask for more info or request a viewing.  


Categories: Long Term Rentals