First of all the face to face meeting should only happen if the telephone interview went well. What you don’t want to do is drive to your property, make sure the house looks its best, wait for the potential tenant to arrive only to find that they are the exact opposite of your ideal tenant. If you’d done the telephone interview as I suggested in Tip #4, by the time you actually meet you’ll already be pretty sure they’d make a good tenant.
I know some landlords that accept deposits for rooms and houses without bothering to meet the potential tenant first. They base their decision on the suitability of the tenant purely on emails and/or phone conversations. This is even more risky than not bothering with a telephone interview because there is still much to discover at the meeting stage.
The face to face meeting is your best opportunity to discover:
- Are they presentable?
- Are they smelly?? (You can’t check that on the phone!)
- Are they friendly?
- Will they fit in well with the other tenants?
- Were they on time? If not did they let you know they’d be late? (You don’t want tenants who don’t value your time)
- Could you get on with them?
- Will they get on with the neighbours? (You may think this is unimportant, and it may be for many, but in some cases I have found that a clash of personalities with close neighbours can cause lots of problems)
Thank them for being on time and ask a few questions: Where are they from? Where do they work? How was their journey? Did they find the property OK? Ask other questions based on what they tell you and try to get to know them a little. You’re not going to become best buddies in a couple of minutes but after a little practice you will be able to get a good feel for how they could be as a tenant.
If you don’t like them make your excuses and say no (I discuss how you say no on my CD – see below).
Now, I’ve talked about this before but it is so important it is worth going over again: if you are renting rooms in a shared house YOU MUST MAKE SURE the potential tenant is likely to get on well with your other tenants. So think about their:
- Age. Don’t put a 50 year old into a house of 25 year olds or vice versa. There’s nothing wrong with 50 year old tenants that’s for sure but it is very likely that they will not be able to feel fully comfortable in such a house. So try to put people into houses where the tenants are of a similar age.
- Personality. Don’t put a bubbly person into a house of quiet, studious types or vice versa. Someone who likes to work at home would really not like to be disturbed by noisy housemates. Similarly a bubbly outgoing type would soon get bored with housemates who never go out.
- Gender. Personally I prefer to keep houses as a mix because they work well but there’s an added issue if you have a single sex, multi-let house. If a room becomes available it’s often really difficult to then fill it with someone of the opposite sex and so you’re halving your possible market.
It is far better to have an empty room than to fill it with the wrong person. Otherwise you risk mass departure of your current tenants. So be picky!
In fact you can even use the fact that you are picky as a selling point. I always do. I tell potential tenants as I show them around a multi-let property that we only like to accept people who I think will fit in with those already there. At least the potential tenant then knows that we won’t ruin a nice house with someone they won’t get on with.
Choose the right people and your tenants will be happier, stay longer and cause you far fewer hassles. I know some landlords who are not so picky and they wonder why they have so many empty rooms. They fill rooms with whoever they can and don’t do the checks I’ve suggested, instead relying on great references, and then wonder why everyone else leaves. Don’t do the same!
Have a wonderful week!
P.S. If you’d like to order my CD ‘How To Find, Attract and Retain The Best Tenants‘ containing the entire system I’ve developed to make sure you only ever get the best tenants, they stay a long time and recommend you to other potential tenants, you can do so here: http://www.tenantscreeningtips.com/cd. For a limited time it’s only £27.97 with FREE delivery!
The CD includes all 14 top tips which together make the perfect system for finding, attracting and retaining only the best tenants for your properties, including:
Professional versus Student Tenants – Both have their advantages. I’ll help you decide which way to go
Online Advertising – Where to advertise to make sure you don’t get left with empty properties for long
Pricing – How to get your pricing right so you get the tenants you want. Also what you should include in the rent and what you should charge for
The Advert – What to say in your advertising so you get loads of enquiries from the types of tenant you want
References and Credit Checks – Not as simple as it seems! Rely solely on great references and you’re asking for trouble!
Telephone Interviewing – Save yourself hours of time with this simple tip
Face To Face Meetings – Why these are so important and what to look for when you first meet a potential tenant
Saying ‘NO’ After a Viewing – How to say ‘No’ to someone you don’t like after a viewing
Dealing With ‘No Shows’ – What you should do if someone fails to turn up to a viewing
Rent and Deposit Negotiations – How to confidently deal with potential tenants who want to negotiate the price
Securing ‘Gem’ Tenants – How to attract and keep tenants that suit your property perfectly
Recommendations – How to encourage tenants to recommend you
Recommend Other Landlords – Why this is a very good idea!
Waiting Lists – Why you should keep them
Think those tips could help? Can you afford not to make the most of my experience for the sake of £27.97? Order here: http://www.tenantscreeningtips.com/cd