Here at AbodeStory, we know that onboarding new tenants can be stressful, and hard work. AbodeStory brings you a guide and tips for each step of the onboarding process. Learn how AbodeStory can make the onboarding experience easier for property managers and make your new tenants happy!
Overview of the onboarding process:
1. Application Submission
Still using paper rental applications? AbodeStory recommends using online rental applications with our property management software. Paper applications are easy to misplace or lose, and if stolen, could be a huge hassle. With AbodeStory, the application process is complete, efficient, and immediate. Do your tenants a favor as well when you go paperless!
2. Application Review
If you have a huge a large number of applications coming through, you will need to go through them well and carefully. AbodeStory recommends first following this basic criteria for screening the applications – based on:
Credit check: Look out for previous debt and bad credit, as well as good credit scores. Good scores are in the 700 range.
Income verification: Ask for paycheck stubs and employer information. Look out for tenants who’s paychecks to rent ratio is too high. Typical rent should be 1/3 to 1/2 of a tenant’s income.
ID Check: Use a certified service to do an ID check by asking potential tenants to provide a government issued ID.
References: Make sure ask for references. Take the time to call previous landlords or property managers to inquire about the tenant payment history and other criteria you are looking at.
3. Lease signing
A lease should contain all the relevant information, void of any loopholes. At the very lease, the points addressed in a lease should be:
- Legal Names
- Dates of the lease
- Deposit and rent values
- Late fees and penalties
- Noise, parking, and cleaning acceptability levels
Meet with your tenants, go through the lease together and make sure both parties agree on all points. Sign in person OR send the lease to be signed electronically. Either way, have a copy electronically for both parties. It is worth the comfort and ease of having a eSign service, they can be as cheap as $10 a month.
4. Security Deposit & 1st Month’s Rent
Generally, the security deposit and the first month’s rent is collected together. The security deposit should cover for any possibly damages to the property caused by the tenant, and terms of that should be detailed in the lease agreement. The main obstacle managers come across here is actually receiving the payments. Make it easier for the tenants by making the transaction electronic, and send them an electronic receipt.
On AbodeStory, keep a tab on the number of keys that were given out. This will make it easier to collect back later. Additionally, try to hand out keys to tenants that are not able to be duplicated.
Before the tenant comes, do a thorough inspection of the property after you have hired a cleaning service for the property. Note the conditions, take photos and post onto your AbodeStory account in case it is necessary to reference later. Provide a “move-in inspection” form also for the tenants, and have them fill it out. Make sure if there are discrepancies between observations, it is worked out before they actually move in. (Bonus*: a great practice for many property managers is providing a small, welcoming present to the tenant. This establishes a great relationship from the get-go).
7. Following up
They key to successful property management is following up with tenants. This is done most easily through using AbodeStory’s online platform. Whether you are on your laptop or phone, stay up to date with any new happenings – whether its bathroom leaks or cosmetic damages – that the tenant might report. AbodeStory has all different features that makes managing the properties and communicating with tenants effortless!