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Finding a good leasing agent to fill your vacant property isn’t as easy as it may seem. If you don’t know the qualities of a good leasing agent, it can be easy to fall into the trap of the smooth-talking consultant who ends up dropping the ball down the line.
If this sounds like your story, you’re probably wondering why bother hiring a leasing agent at all?
But even if you’ve been left with a bad taste in your mouth, leasing consultants - good ones - can mean the difference between a stable source of income and sudden vacancies or rental arrears. Good leasing consultants know what it takes to vet prospective tenants so you end up signing on someone reliable and long-term.
At :Different we know how important it is to find the right tenant for your property. What owner wants to deal with unreliable, risky tenants who could very well pack on unexpected costs?
Instead of making promises about how great we are, we decided we would show you our process of how we ensure only high-quality tenants make their way into your rental property.
Making sure only high-quality tenants make the cut
When it comes to screening tenant applicants, we leave no stone unturned. We use every tool at our disposal to go through an applicant’s finances and rental history with a fine-tooth comb. This way, we know only high-quality applicants will make the cut.
Some of the things we look into when leasing property are:
- Identification: Making sure the applicant’s ID is consistent between documents.
- Income: Checking the applicant’s employment status, and looking at their cash flow. We use the holy rule, that the monthly rent should not be more than 30% of the tenant's income.
- Credit Score: A tried and true way of gauging an applicant’s financial history and how stable and trustworthy they’ve been in the past.
- Rental History: Getting in touch with previous landlords who can shed some light on how the applicant conducted themselves during prior rentals.
Going the full length to check up on these things is just one of the many qualities of a good leasing agent.
It greatly reduces the chance that you'll be left stranded with a tenant who keeps ending up in rental arrears or suddenly wants to break their lease agreement.
Of course, we also take into account the impression the tenant gives us from our conversations with them. We understand that unfortunate things happen to unfortunate people, so if a tenant catches our eye we go the distance to hear them out.
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Finding the most suitable long-term tenant for your rental
Once we’ve done our detective work, we then see how the applicant’s results stack up against our tenant selection criteria. This way, we can quickly identify potential tenants who are a good fit for your property, and those who aren’t.
You can imagine this like a checklist. At least that's what we do. Some boxes we want to tick are:
- Is the applicant’s weekly salary at least 30% greater than the rent?
- In talking to previous landlords, did they have positive things to say about the applicant?
- Does the applicant have a good credit score – somewhere around the 600 mark?
- Was the applicant easy and nice to talk to during viewings and in correspondence?
- Is it the ideal type of tenant for your specific rental? We put a lot of thought into making sure an applicant fits the target demographic for the neighbourhood and your property.
If you’re leasing a property in an upmarket, tranquil suburban locale, exuberant university students aren't likely the best fit. That's why we put a lot of emphasis on the target demographic of your rental.
One of the major upshots of using these criteria is that it allows us to stay objective and judge every applicant equally.
But again, we live in the real world, and it doesn’t always happen that we’ll get an applicant who ticks all the boxes. In that case, we do what we can to make sure we choose the tenant who ticks as many boxes as possible.
By being thorough and using all the resources and checks available to us, we increase your chances of only getting high-quality tenants living in your rental property. That way, you decrease your vacancy rates, improve your rental yield and become more financially secure.
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