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How to Navigate Rental Applications to Secure the Best Residents

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Thoroughly vetting applicants is a crucial part of running a successful rental property. Not only does it guarantee your renters are qualified, when done right, it has the power to help you secure the best-fitting residents for your property. 

But why is finding great fits so important? From more on-time rental payments and minimal property disruptions to lifestyle alignment, by finding ideal matches you set yourself up for increased retention, and ultimately, better ROI. 

So how can you better navigate rental applications to ensure optimal outcomes? Read on for our step-by-step guide.

1. Utilize a Digital Application Software

No renter wants to show up to your office with a folder of paper documents in hand – and you certainly don’t want to sort through them. The first step to navigating rental applications with ease is to employ a modern rental application software. With the right software, you and your applicants will have one digital place to submit, organize, and manage all required information throughout the application process. Not only is this step practical in saving you time and improving efficiency, it also gives a great first impression to renters by providing them a seamless leasing experience. 

2. Set Application Fees

Vetting applicants requires time and resources from your team, and it’s likely you’ll want to be compensated for that. Before you send instructions to apply, be sure to set the appropriate application fees for both applicants and guarantors. This should be a self-explanatory process with the right comprehensive software. 

In ManageGo, easily set these fees under Settings > Rental Applications > Application Fees.

If you’re unsure about whether to set fees or not, read our blog for insights on how to make the right decision for your business.

3. Collect & Verify The Renter’s Information

Now it’s time to get the application started! Collect all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision, including (but not limited to) contact information, employment verification, proof of income, past rental history and references, pet and vehicle details, and anything else you think you’ll need to know. This is the step where you’ll be glad to have a robust software system to make requesting and acquiring this information a breeze. Once received, do your due diligence to verify everything. 

4. Run a Credit & Background Check

Credit checks simply verify a renter’s ability to pay rent monthly, while background checks reveal criminal histories (or lack thereof). These are important in confirming your applicants won’t be disrupting your cashflow or cause legal problems at your property in the future. It’s most common for property managers to pay to run these checks through third parties. On the flip side, all-inclusive application softwares like ManageGo may offer this service free of charge for an extra-seamless experience. 

5. Talk To Rental References

When collecting the renter’s information in step 3, don’t forget to ask for rental references. References are instrumental in verifying an applicant’s rental history and confirming they’re a favorable choice for your property. These conversations are a great way to find out about those residents who have a history of late payments, property complaints, or even evictions. If a past reference can vouch for your prospective resident, they’ll likely be a good pick for you, too.

6. Interview The Renters

Once you’ve reviewed all of the information collected about your applicant, it’s time to interview them directly. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it’s a helpful measure that can help you confirm they’ll be a good fit for your specific property and unit. Check out our 5 Vital Questions to Ask Your Rental Applicants article if you need a jumping off point for your interviews!

7. Make Your Decision

At this point, you should have all the facts and figures needed to make an informed decision about your rental applicant. If they meet all of your rental requirements on paper, go the extra step in making sure their wants and needs align with your property’s offerings. By considering both your needs and your residents’, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success and retention.

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

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