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Landlord Topics - Tenant Screening in Four Easy Steps!

Today's video covers a popular topic for DIY Landlords and Independent Rental Owners - Tenant Screening. We discuss how we conduct tenant screening in four easy steps, and provide suggestions on how to improve your process.  

Transcription Results:

Hello, and greetings from Colorado Springs. My name is Lance Kohler. I'm the broker-owner of the Cornerstone Real Estate team. Today, I'd like to talk about a common landlord topic and that is tenant screening and how do you conduct tenant screening. I'd like to walk you through Cornerstone's process of how we do tenant screening in four easy steps.

The first step is to pre-qualify interested prospects before you show them the property, before you move forward with any steps in the application process. We do that in a couple of different ways. One, we have a list of all our minimum criteria on our website, and we also post that on each property listing. So if we're listing your property for lease, we're also including the minimum qualification criteria for that property along with the listing. That's always found on our website. Sometimes it gets lost when it goes to the second or third tier websites, but we can always refer back to the website for anybody who's interested.

We use an online scheduling process where a prospective tenant can schedule a showing at a property without picking up the phone or without calling on the property. They're able to schedule a showing in a vacant time slot. And they also have to go through some pre-screening questions on the online scheduler so that they know what the requirements are for the property. And then thirdly, if they call us on the phone or reach out to us on email, we can also provide them the minimum leasing criteria for that property before we even set up or schedule a showing. So that's the first step.

The second step would be screening prospective applicants at the property. So if you're showing the property, if one of our leasing agents or property managers is showing the property, we can review the leasing criteria with the prospective applicant face to face. So that gives us an opportunity to again go through it. We don't want to waste their time or ours, making sure they're qualified for the property that they're looking at. The showing also gives us a time when we're face to face with that prospect to kind of go over our expectations for leasing the property, what they might be required to maintain. If it's a single family home, we can discuss lawn care. We can discuss shoveling the sidewalks. If it's a townhome, there may be different trash requirements or again, snow removal sometimes comes up so we can cover those things while we're in the property with them as well.

Thirdly is through our online applications. We do all our applications online. Those can be reached from our website. We discuss that with any tenant who is interested in the property. It's an easy link on the front page of our website. Based off the information the tenant provides and the property they're applying for, we conduct a 12 point check off of their information through the application. Obviously, we're looking at income, employment, FICO score. We screen for sexual predators. We screen for criminal background and seven other points that we take from the information they provide us. So that's leading up to the application.

If they've met the application requirements, if they’ve met the minimum leasing requirements and their application is approved, and then they move into the property, the last step we do is we go back and we survey that property 45 to 90 days after they move in. So that gives us a chance to do a couple things. One, it's an opportunity for us to answer any questions they might have about the property while we're in the property with them. Maybe they moved in August or September and now it's October and they're having problems with the thermostat, or they're not sure how to set the settings on the thermostat, or maybe they moved in in the spring and now it's summer and we want to make sure that the sprinklers are set up to run correctly.

It also gives us an opportunity to review with them how to change the furnace filter. How do you know what to do if there's a leak in the property; where the main water shutoff valve is for the property, in case they have a leak so they can minimize damage to the property. And it also gives us a chance to look at the property, look at how it's being maintained and provide recommendations back to them, if that's required, to keep the property up to the standard that we expect. So we're reviewing expectations on maintaining the unit.

Thank you for your time. Thanks for watching today. I hope this was of interest to you and of value to you. If you want to see what kind of rent your property could be bringing in, we have a free market analysis on our website. It's listed as a Free Rental Price Estimate. You can get that from our website at Feel free to reach out to us. If we can help in any way, you can reach us here at the office, you can reach us off our website, or you can check us out on our social media accounts. Thanks again. Have a great day.