3 phone calls you need to have with your prospective renters

Nashville has approximately 100 people moving into our city limits a day. It seems like more and more out of state area codes ring our phones each day looking for rental property.  Because of the syndication of our MLS system and other subscribed rental advertising platforms, most people can understand the details of a property before they call. I like to think that if they have decided to pick up the phone and call me, they must be somewhat interested before they call.  I have found that asking a few questions at that first phone call will save everyone a lot of time.  I would like to share three phone conversations you can have right now with a prospective tenant to save you time and money!

  1. Ask ALL the questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Asking a prospective tenant, and essentially a complete stranger, if they make 3 times the amount of the monthly rent within the first 2 minutes of picking up the phone may seem like you are coming on a little strong, but this information is one of the largest predictors as to whether they can afford this rent. Your goal is to rent the property to the most qualified person, not win an etiquette.  award. This can be done kindly, and with respect to the potential renter’s sensitive information.
  2. Tell them your rental requirements before you schedule a showing.  Send them your rental requirements.  I think that qualified people, people that are financially ready to take on the apartment, responsible with their work history, and understanding of the process, would welcome you to text or email them the rental requirements. I often ask them permission to just text them right there on the phone so they can have them while we talk. This saves you time and energy, making sure we are able to rule out mis-matched move in time lines or the fact that they have a dog for a property that doesn’t allow pets.
  3. Ask them if they know the area.  Ask them to drive by the property first! As I mentioned, there are a lot of new Nashvillians who are scouring the rental market looking for the right price range, or the right number of bedrooms and baths, but they don’t know the neighborhoods.  It’s always the way I end the conversation asking people to “drive by and take a look” and then call me back to schedule a showing.  Often once they get there, they see it’s too far from their work, too far from the amenities they were hoping for, or just not what they were looking for.  Asking for a drive by preview is a good way to rule out those unexpected deal killers before you drop what you’re doing and meet them out there.