Screening Search Tips
By Scott Bilker
You’ve done all the hard work. Found the great rental. Negotiated a good price. Fixed it up. Did the market rental price research to get the best rent price point. Invested in marketing. Put out the for-rent signs. And now you’re getting results. People are interested.
What’s the only thing that can really destroy you now?
What do I mean by BAD? People that don’t pay on time. People that damage the property. People that need to be evicted.
That’s the majority of your risk.
You’re probably on fairly thin margins already between all your expenses, mortgage, the holding costs, etc. You cannot afford to not get those rent payments or you might as well have purchased dividend stocks or lottery tickets.
That’s why it’s your #1 priority to find GOOD PEOPLE! Great tenants! They’re out there. You just have to know it when you meet them.
TIP #1: Require Tour Form
The first step is going to be getting some pre-screening information. That’s easy to do if you require everyone to complete a short questionnaire BEFORE you even show them the property. You can use that information to start looking into their basic background and determine if you should even show them the property or if they won’t be a good fit.
You can see a great example of our recommended pre-screening tour form, and the email that it sends to you, by clicking here.
TIP #2: Review for Pre-Screening
Use the information you received from the tour form to start hunting down their background. The key is to see if they told you any lies or conflicting information. For example, if you ask if they have any felonies and they “no” but you found out otherwise then you should certainly look into this. I’m not saying to not give people a second chance. I’m saying that my policy is zero lies. Everything has to add up.
TIP #3: Search Google
Sounds simple right? Just type the name “John Smith” into Google and see what comes up. That’s not going to work. Why? Because there may be many people by that name. In other words, you need to be specific. Here are some things to try searching:
- John Smith heroin
- John Smith arrested
- John Smith heroin Jackson, NJ
TIP #4: Advanced Search
Refine your search by forcing Google to include specific phrases with quotation marks as well as using the + to make sure a word or phrase is included in the results.
For example, searching for: “John Smith” +arrested
This means that the entire name must be together and the word “arrested” has to be in the results.
Also you can use Google Advanced Search Form that will give you even more parameters to hunt down the information you need to get an idea of the people that are interested in your property
Be sure to read more about screening social media and court records.