Landlords: How/where do you advertize your openings?
The one time I used an agent was the one time I ended up in an eviction situation!
FYI: 7556 Arbor Hill Drive Fort Worth 76120 is available (on Zillow)!
I use Zillow and typically get a fairly good response. I like the Zillow application. It gives you credit and background. It also provides employment but ALWAYS verify it. I have had some creative applicants :-)
I wouldn't trust Zillow for my applications nor applicant verification. I do my own rigorous process.
It is, however, helpful to see what some applicants have filled out in their Zillow profiles that they don't realize is being sent to a property they inquire about! Sometimes I get that info; sometimes I don't. I'm sure it has to do with whether the response comes from Zillow, HotPads, or Trulia.
But I wonder what are you doing Phillip that I'm not? Would you do me a favor and check out my listing to see whether you have any suggestions?
I'm a Real Estate Broker with 58 rentals in the area. I don't have any properties in the area of your current vacancy. 56 of mine are in the N. Fort Worth/Keller area and 76244 zip. All of those are Keller ISD.
I have access to the MLS so I use that AND I use Zillow. I get better prepared and qualified applicants from the MLS and I don't mind paying a commission to an agent that brings me a qualified tenant. I receive lots of contacts from Zillow but only a small portion of those do I ever have any substantive conversation with. Most Zillow leads are from the default inquiry that Zillow offers. I respond to all Zillow leads with a note asking them to call me for a quick pre-screening conversation. Most don't bother to call and that helps weed out unqualified and tire kicking looky loos. Those that do call many times turn out to be tenants. My new tenants are a 50/50 mix of Zillow leads and Agents showing my properties from the MLS listing
Your Zillow listing looked good, the photos were clear and the property looked well prepared. Not accepting pets is probably hurting the number of inquiries. I will not do anything less than a 24 month initial lease and I'm sure it diminishes my inquiries as well. But it's a business decision that has increased my ROI.
I have noticed that since the summer rush has passed that activity has slowed and qualified tenants are getting hard to find. During summer when children are out of school I usually have 3 application in the first 2 days of the listing going live. since August of this year my properties have been slower to lease. I'm still getting showings from Realtors and Zillow leads but prospective tenants have more credit issues, are having a harder time netting 3x the monthly rent, and paying the upfront cost of Security Deposits, Pet Deposits, and Pet Fees. Inflation of the cost of goods and services and rent increases (I'm thankful for) are squeezing possible tenants.
My properties all have granite countertops in the kitchen and all baths, with undermount sinks and widespread faucets. We remove all fiberglass tubs and showers in the primary bedroom and replace them with tiled showers and frameless glass. We make all of those upgrades when we acquire a property if vacant or at the first vacancy. At the same time we update all light fixtures and ceiling fans and add 5-1/2" crown molding in every room including the utility room and baths. My experience has been that tenants who care about and notice those things are better tenants. They have higher incomes, pay on time, and take better care of my property.
Hope this helps!
If you are setup to receive Zillow applications they will provide you with the applicants credit report and background (evection / criminal). Then you do your own verification of other information provided.
I looked at your listing and did not see that you are accepting Zillow applications.
When necessary I also run credit and background checks through Mr. Landlord.
The listing looks good but I would recommend better pictures. Using the wide angle camera on phone should be adequate.
Thanks Howard and Phillip for your input.
Yeah, I need to update the photos. Some of them are no longer accurate to what is there (carpet changed to vinyl for example). I was in a rush to get it out there, because I've had a three-month delay with water damage from a busted toilet supply line. I kinda don't like the wide-angle views because they are deceptive... but if it will bring someone in ...
I got you one beat Howard in terms of the screening process. I don't give out my phone number (I actually just canceled that dedicated line), and I don't call people who inquire. I send people to a prescreener form to fill in a high-level assessment of whether they qualify before I will spend any time on them. I have a day job; don't have time for phone calls that have very little, if any ROI.
I do my application the same way--I use a Smartsheet form for them to fill in and submit online. A generic Zillow application will not suit my very specific purposes. My app is honed over years of experience and there's always something I need to update/add because of events that proved not to be explicitly covered... or is that my lease I'm thinking of?!
MLS exposure would be good, but like I said, I've not had good results with an agent. I know someone else I might contact though.
Thanks again for your responses.
And by the way, the last tenants snuck in a cat, which reinforced my decision not to allow pets.
The cat scratched/gouged the door trim in numerous places which I had to repair.
Thank goodness there was no more carpet in the house, or I might have had to deal with the smell. No pets for me! People do enough damage...
Manhattan Plaza6850 Manhattan Blvd, Suite 205Fort Worth, TX 76120