Tenant screening and prospecting is a big part of Philadelphia property management. A lot of people have commented that this is where you make or break your investment. There’s a bit of truth to that, and today we’re talking about how you find and screen the best tenants.
Online Advertising and Management
Tenants today are very savvy. They have access to the same information that you do as an investor. They understand what’s available throughout the city, and not only in your specific neighborhood. So, you’re competing with a lot more properties. You need to be online, and you need to be able to do things quickly. It’s important to always be in 24/7 mode. We use online schedulers so prospective tenants have access 24 hours a day to the properties that are available. They can easily schedule an appointment from their mobile phones at any time of day or night.
Screening Applications Consistently
All applications are run through an online system. We require every applicant to fill out the same form and provide the same information. Then, we review the results. Even before we review the application, we require information, such as proof of income. We ask for pay stubs, bank statements, or proof of SSI income so we know the applicant can afford the unit. We have a standard that tenants earn at least three times the monthly rent.
Everyone is screened the same way. It’s important to be fair and consistent to avoid violating fair housing laws. Our process allows us to give applicants an answer within 48 to 56 hours. We try to be responsive, and we never want to leave things hanging.
The tenant screening process is not over when a tenant is approved and ready to move in. We require a deposit, and the property is considered open until that deposit is received.
We encourage you to follow this same process when you’re screening tenants. If you have any questions, please contact us at McSherry Property Management.