2 sided
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2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Dec 19, 2017 7:52 AM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 19, 2017 8:07 AM
       2 sided (by Nicole [PA]) Dec 19, 2017 8:10 AM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 19, 2017 8:13 AM
       2 sided (by S i d [MO]) Dec 19, 2017 8:37 AM
       2 sided (by plenty [MO]) Dec 19, 2017 8:46 AM
       2 sided (by Kyle [IN]) Dec 19, 2017 9:05 AM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 19, 2017 9:25 AM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 19, 2017 9:34 AM
       2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Dec 19, 2017 10:17 AM
       2 sided (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Dec 19, 2017 11:07 AM
       2 sided (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Dec 19, 2017 11:14 AM
       2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Dec 19, 2017 12:06 PM
       2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Dec 19, 2017 1:40 PM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 19, 2017 1:50 PM
       2 sided (by Frank [NJ]) Dec 19, 2017 2:43 PM
       2 sided (by Pmh [TX]) Dec 19, 2017 2:49 PM
       2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Dec 19, 2017 2:58 PM
       2 sided (by CJ [MO]) Dec 19, 2017 5:48 PM
       2 sided (by Jo [CT]) Dec 19, 2017 6:01 PM
       2 sided (by cjo'h [CT]) Dec 19, 2017 10:48 PM
       2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Dec 20, 2017 4:39 AM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 20, 2017 5:59 AM
       2 sided (by wmH [NC]) Dec 20, 2017 6:49 AM
       2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Dec 20, 2017 7:15 AM
       2 sided (by RentsDue [MA]) Dec 20, 2017 7:23 AM
       2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Dec 20, 2017 7:57 AM
       2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Dec 20, 2017 9:19 AM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 20, 2017 9:38 AM
       2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Dec 20, 2017 10:03 AM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 20, 2017 10:25 AM
       2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Dec 20, 2017 11:31 AM
       2 sided (by NE [PA]) Dec 20, 2017 11:43 AM
       2 sided (by Kyle [IN]) Dec 20, 2017 7:31 PM
       2 sided (by Lana [IN]) Dec 21, 2017 4:53 PM
       2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Dec 22, 2017 6:45 AM
       2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Dec 22, 2017 7:47 AM
       2 sided (by mike [CA]) Dec 23, 2017 1:15 PM

2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 7:52 AM

OK - so I know some of you love to screen the calls when prospective tenants reach out to you on a vacancy (and by "screening" I mean you let it go to voicemail because you don't want to speak with them). Do you call them back? What is the reason(s) that you don't? What is it that makes you call them (if you don't call everyone back)?

I'm not really sure of the "purpose" of not answering a call and wanting it to go to voicemail. How do you screen a voicemail?

Let's say the person calling is just responding to an advertisement (however and wherever) and the person calling gets your voicemail. Leaves a message (a normal one such as "Hi, this is CJL and I'm calling about the apartment you have listed on xxx. Please return my call at 123.456.7890 ... thank you".


2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 8:07 AM

I respond via text with this:

Hello, thank you for contacting us regarding places for rent. We have many different places in different areas. Please answer the following questions so we can better assist you in your search.

What area are you looking to live in?

How many bedrooms do you need?

What types of pets will you have in the home with you?

What price range are you looking to rent in?

How soon do you need to move?

What is your reason for moving?

Are you looking for a 1 year lease or month to month?

Do you have 1st months rent and security deposit available needed to move in?

What is your contact phone number?

Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. In order for us to help you quickly, please answer all questions provided. Incomplete questionnaires will not be accepted.

Thank you, NE-PA Office --174.204.x.xxx

2 sided (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 8:10 AM

I run them through the civil and criminal searches before deciding if I want to speak with them ... I get their names via e-mail not voice mail. through voice mail, if they say "hit me up",I hit delete... although that phrase is probably passť' as I don't hear it so often the past few vacancies. --72.95.xx.xxx

2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 8:13 AM

Sometimes I call, sometimes I text. I usually don't listen to the voicemails anymore. I can read them on google voice.

When I used to listen. I wouldn't return calls if they sounded like a total deadbeat.

Deadbeat has a particular sound, learn to identify it. --174.204.x.xxx

2 sided (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 8:37 AM

CJL, this is a great question because it makes me go back and rethink my process. Why don't I return a call?

My voice mail message is clear: "Thank you for calling!

If you are interested in viewing a property or would like more information, please visit abcrentals website. All the information you'll need about rent, deposit, pet policy, application, and guidelines for approval can be found there. Again, that site is abcrentals. There is a place on our site to schedule a tour and to ask any questions not covered in our online ad. Again, that website is abcrentals for all your questions or to schedule a viewing. Thank you."

This message asking them to take a simple step is a test to see if they can follow instructions. This same message is in all our online ads: "For more information or to schedule a viewing, please visit abcrentals". So they both SEE it and HEAR it multiple times.

People who ignore my message aren't interested in following my rules or procedures. These are the same people who will move in animals and ex-con boyfriends because "the rules don't apply to me." In short, they are not cooperative. I establish up front who is making the rules. This process helps. I will call/text them AFTER they fill out our online form.

This step is crucial because we do other things like non-emergency maintenance requests online. I don't want to have to train someone who can't follow a simple procedure.

I asked myself this question: Do I want someone who is not cooperative and who fails to follow basic instructions renting from me?


2 sided (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 8:46 AM

This time of year... I answer! Get my questions and keep moving. --99.203.x.xxx

2 sided (by Kyle [IN]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 9:05 AM

I don't call back. I might send a text. Most don't even know what house they were calling about, they are just gathering information, which they could do much more effectively on my website. Every ad I have points them to the website, all the information is there. Occasionally, I get a real question from someone that isn't answered on the website and I will answer that for them.

When I used to answer calls, I had too much time taken up with people who weren't really interested and/or wouldn't qualify. Now, I let them screen themselves out first. No more lengthy stories about the landlord won't fix anything or "I need to move because my kids were in a shootout and the police asked us to get out of town". --73.102.xxx.xx

2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 9:25 AM

Exactly Kyle, they don't know what house they were calling about.

My first question on my list helps me cut out so many bunk inquiries.

When they answer back and list a town a ways away from me. I'll simply tell them we dont have anything in that area.

Over and done with.

SO MANY people call or text or email me about places that aren't even remotely close to where they are looking to live.

I ask them the same thing on the phone in pretty much the same order from memory. Cuts down on wasted time. --174.204.x.xxx

2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 9:34 AM

Actually, I can say that I wander back and forth between calling and texting/email.

I'll email and text for a while and if I feel like I'm losing people due to that approach, then I'll call for a while. When I get sick of listening to the sob stories from the dregs of society, then I'll go back to texting for a bit.

The same questions get asked regardless. --97.34.xxx.xxx

2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 10:17 AM

My target market doesn't use phones. Well of course they do but they text or email on the phone, they don't talk. I found that the only people calling me were the ones with stories.


So I switched to an online questionnaire and still have had 493 fill this out since we started using it - I know because they are all automatically saved to a spreadsheet. That was for 9 units overall spread throughout the year. Of those 493 inquiries, about 70 qualified to even see the places (that number might actually be high.)

Of those 70, more than 75% didn't follow up or cancelled before seeing the places, maybe more.

That is 493 phone calls, at a minimum, that I did not have to take. Assuming 10 minutes each (and if they all had a story, it's more like 20 minutes of yammering...) that's a minimum of 82 hours of phone time saved. Did I do that math right? --173.22.xx.xx

2 sided (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 11:07 AM

I don't return the voice mail if the caller is stoned or drunk. I don't return the call if children are screaming out of control in the background, being ignored by the caller.

I don't return the call if a dog is barking out of control in the background.

I don't return a call if the caller has called at an outlandish time. --174.216.xx.xxx

2 sided (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 11:14 AM

I also don't return calls from people who ask if I take Section 8, or say they need a house tomorrow, or people that are asking for "me and my three roommates."

There is screening that can be done over the phone that can't be done by text.

Note, local Section 8 has trained their clients to go in person, pretend they can afford, fill out an application, and only then ask if the landlord will take Section 8, only they are told to call it something else. It's very annoying. --174.216.xx.xxx

2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 12:06 PM

So wow - a few comments/questions - NE - I've seen you post your response to inquiries before and I've got to say that if I ever contacted you about a property and received a text back asking me all of those questions - I would NEVER respond to you.

I totally understand that if the information is on your advertisement it is annoying to "repeat" it ... but here's the thing: you don't know where they are getting your information necessarily and what THAT ad may have on it from your original ad. Case in point - I use to get all "huffy" as well until I looked up my rental once just to see what other sites had them. Guess what? It gave very limited information and just had my phone number to contact me on (or email, etc). That totally amazed me! Now, when they reply to an ad and the ad that they are replying to is ON the email and has the information they are asking IN the email - I sometimes will be a bit "snotty" but in the long run - where is that getting us?

Have you ever thought of putting yourself on the other end of the apartment? Now you NEED an apartment and you contact yourself? This is the response you get (whatever you reply, if anything) as the manager/owner? What would you think of that person/company? Do you even want to continue the "relationship" or pursue renting from them if they are going to act that way with a phone call?

Also - if you use Zillow, HotPads, etc - I suggest that you reply to that too. What is very interesting is that you get INUNDATED with so many more emails from these companies with "hey, did you see this apartment? or this one?" multiple times a day. It's very frustrating for the prospective tenant too (so frustrating). I honestly don't know why anyone would even use those sites (to look)!

Anyway - the post is named 2 sided for a reason - I'm not trying to get you to change anything I'm trying to find out why you don't respond to people when they call you. I'll tell you the "other side" soon enough - I'd like to hear more about why you don't return calls (for those who don't). --69.201.xx.xxx

2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 1:40 PM

If a good prospect jumps ship because I ask too many questions before letting them see or rent my $$$$ property, oh well so be it. That's one that got away. There will be others.

But for every ONE good prospect who jumps ship, I avoid 20 bad ones. --173.22.xx.xx

2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 1:50 PM

Cjl, I get a ton of people who actually do respond to those questions both in text and emails.

They will also respond over the phone or I will end the conversation.

Those questions needs answered before I waste anymore of my time.

The questions, be it text, email, or phone combined with a good application provides me with very good tenants.

My existing tenants are great.

I want xerox copies of most of them for every vacancy I have.

My list of questions and process has been a long

time in the making and is constantly refined every time I hear or see something that turns a light on in my mind.

They are my systems.

Like Jeffrey Taylor said, "I want people who are going to ROLL with my programs."

If they don't roll with it by not responding to it like all of my good tenants who have, then I'll send them your way!! :) --174.204.xx.xxx

2 sided (by Frank [NJ]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 2:43 PM

at our last turn [half of June all of July & Aug. + first week of Sept.] I too got twisted about the inability of 90% of inquiries being unable to "get with the program.

From this site I followed the advice: used the internet & a video instead of too many phone calls, pre-screen interview questions, shaved them down a bit, fixed the fotos of the place.

Still little worked.

Even as it got to the end of August when we had some stronger bites most STILL could not comply with a completed app, whined about the price, the deposit, why we needed them to prove their income etc., etc.

then one fine Sept. day THE YARD SIGN did its job [again!] and one of the most pleasant/compliant inquiries ever. They had NO issues with ANYTHING; screened A+ from the start and had a 9+ year last tenancy [where older owner sold it].

I get where NE is coming from. I almost always responded when asked about "doing better" by raising the price by 200.00. Smelling the car got kept 2 suspects out of the house even with a confirmed viewing.

We are truly truly thankful for our wonderful tenants and they have shown their care and appreciation every day.

This site has helped us greatly over the past few years in avoiding unnecessary stress --173.63.xx.xx

2 sided (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 2:49 PM

with so many enquires WMH I think your rents are too low... --104.218.xxx.xx

2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 2:58 PM

No, PMH, I live at the beach...it's a different world. --173.22.xx.xx

2 sided (by CJ [MO]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 5:48 PM

I do not answer prospect phone call because that will wast most of my time and interrupt anything I do. Also I will not remember who said what. They will upset when I can not remember them next call.

Text histories remind me everything they text me. No confusion.

Like WMH said, it is worth to miss one good prospect if we can avoid 50 bad phone calls. --97.91.xxx.xxx

2 sided (by Jo [CT]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 6:01 PM

I find more and more the calls that do not leave a voicemail are computerized calls from places like..."you are the winner of a cruise"!

If it's one of them, I scroll down to their number and hit "block call". It has helped cut down on the number of these types of calls.

Sometimes if there is no voicemail, I will call a number back and usually...hate to say it...but the person on the other end can't speak English.

I feel that if someone is serious about the rental, they will leave a voicemail. --32.215.xxx.xxx

2 sided (by cjo'h [CT]) Posted on: Dec 19, 2017 10:48 PM

If I feel like answering,I do it in French, cuts out a lot of the Riff-Raff,even though I'd be lost in the French countryside.charlie.............................................................. --174.199.xx.xx

2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 4:39 AM

And remember, of all those inquiries, barely anyone really qualified. I know I can't raise my rents much more or NO ONE will qualify! --173.22.xx.xx

2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 5:59 AM

That is correct WMH, of all the inquiries, almost none qualify. --174.201.x.xxx

2 sided (by wmH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 6:49 AM

Good Lawd. *Just* answered my phone because I am involved with a GAL case and was hoping it was foster family calling me back. No, it was a would-be renter. No, I take that back it was the SISTER IN LAW of a would-be renter. She had filled out my screening questions and the income she claimed for HIM didn't qualify. My telephone number was in my reply (shoot! forgot to delete it from signature!) and she was calling...for him...with a story.

GF moving here, SIL doesn't know her last name or income. He doesn't have ANY access to the internet, neither does the GF...blah blah blah!

She said "Well can I have him call you?" And I said, "No thank you. Please get with him and have HIM answer the questions and then we'll see."

So that's 9 minutes and 4 seconds I'll never get back. --173.22.xx.xx

2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 7:15 AM

Ok - so this got a bit off track. I do have questions of my own that I ask as a pre-qual for would be tenants too. I was only stating to NE that I can't believe that HUGE list is texted back (and they answer it).

I'm not disputing doing the list and asking questions as I do it too. I also understand and agree that I get calls, emails, texts from people looking for rentals that are not even CLOSE to what I have (they are in say Brooklyn and I'm about 4 - 5 hours away). They state they want to get away from the "rat race". What's funny about that is that they work in NYC and think they will commute. NOPE -

So this wasn't about those who RESPOND with a text, email or whatever - it's about those who DO NOT RESPOND.

I don't get the point of that. No response to an inquiry? Where does that get you?


2 sided (by RentsDue [MA]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 7:23 AM

I also send out the pre screening questions. It has saved me an unbelievable amount of time . People are predictable.....If you don't pre screen they will assume they are an exception to your rules. --66.189.xx.xxx

2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 7:57 AM

As to your very first post, if someone left me a voice mail saying, "Hi, this is CJL and I'm calling about the apartment you have listed on xxx. Please return my call at 123.456.7890 ... thank you."

I would TEXT them to go to our website, as instructed in the ad, and fill out the preview questions. If they email me, ditto.

I would respond. I just wouldn't CALL them as a response. --173.22.xx.xx

2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 9:19 AM

Thank you WMH - ok - I'm looking for the ones that just don't respond one way or the other I guess. No call back, no text, no email NOTHING. What's the point? --209.217.xxx.xx

2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 9:38 AM

Cjl, I don't think that anyone that frequents this site would simply not respond.

At least not for no reason at all. It doesn't make business sense. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen with normal landlords out there, but I highly doubt that it happens very often with most of the folks on here --174.201.x.xxx

2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 10:03 AM

UNLESS the prospective tenant disqualified themselves via voicemail. It happens. --173.22.xx.xx

2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 10:25 AM

OK CJL, I have one for you that I won't call back. It just happened to me again a few minutes ago and it reminded me of your post.

I won't call back what I referred to as "repeat offenders".

These are folks who have called me about an apartment and I have disqualified them for whatever reason and they continuously call back. Or I will list another unit in a week and they will call and call and call about that one. I won't call those folks back.

Also, if someone calls and is a total deadbeat like I said in my earlier responses, I will program their name in my phone under don't answer or no or whatever name I come up with at the time. If those phone numbers come up on my caller ID and they leave a message, I will not call those people back.

So there are special circumstances when I won't return a phone call. --174.201.x.xxx

2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 11:31 AM

NE, I have a few of those as well (that I won't answer or call back/respond to). The "offenders" as you say. I also will put their name and phone number in my phone as "Nancy NO SHOW" ... so when they call me I see "NO SHOW" and I ignore. These are the people that "confirmed" that they will be at an appointment and don't show up. Typically they don't call me again but some do.

I guess this is a lost cause since the majority that did respond ended up answering how they respond but may not call (which I get as well at times - but there IS a response just the same).

The point of the post (that I see now that I never gave "the other side" of) was that my daughter has moved to Florida for work and her job is "putting her up" for about a month to locate a place to live. What's killing me is that she as well as a Realtor that we know there are not having ANY luck getting anyone (well, VERY FEW) to respond back. Now, some of these are actually LISTED in the MLS for rent (still no call backs) or are listed on Zillow, trulia, etc ... NO RESPONSES at all. It's mind boggling to me.

I was hoping there was someone on here that "does this" (no response) and see what she may be doing "wrong" to not get calls returned (or a text or anything). Oh well ... thanks for the input all ... --69.201.xx.xxx

2 sided (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 11:43 AM

Cjl, my guess is that no landlord wants to call back a realtor looking to help a resident find housing.

I'll add that to my list of no call backs: realtors.

You seem to have a unique situation.

If you and the realtor are doing most of the searching for your daughter (I'm assuming that from the way you posted), then people are seeing that as a red flag.

I know I would.

Have your daughter look on her own.

Plus, I'm guessing that most people don't want a 1 month tenant. --174.201.xx.xxx

2 sided (by Kyle [IN]) Posted on: Dec 20, 2017 7:31 PM

Here is a transcription from GV of a voicemail I got earlier today "Hello, this is speaking at this your face auto, Dustin malone. f****** dirt f****** on young books is over with" I won't be calling them back. I don't think they even realized they were leaving a message.

If I do get a message asking about a home, I text them back a standard response. There are only a few messages I don't respond to, like the one above.

For your situation, if I got a message from someone claiming to be a realtor for a tenant, I would probably text back, but I would be cautious. Tenants here don't use realtors. Is the number the realtor is calling from a cell that they can receive a text back on? Do the ads say to email or text rather than call? --73.102.xxx.xx

2 sided (by Lana [IN]) Posted on: Dec 21, 2017 4:53 PM

I screen by voice too a lot. Some names I recognize as calling every time I have a vacancy and I have already run online checks before. I do not like the super sweet voice inquiring for a child or brother or parent....run, run, run.

I don't call back for kids screaming or dogs barking in background. I don't call back for the husky voice of a heavy smoker or people who tell me to have a blessed day.

I just seem to hear things in voices that either make me think it's a loser or maybe even someone who has it on the ball. The harder issue with me since I do not use a website is to call back those who call but don't leave a message. --216.23.xxx.xx

2 sided (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 22, 2017 6:45 AM

Using a Realtor to find a rental? Who is going to pay that Realtor? I'm not! And a Realtor calling another Realtor (MLS) means they have to split the fee - and they don't make much on rentals.

Your daughter might be better served to search on her own?

I'm finding that housing groups on Facebook are very active - however, very few qualified renters on them! --173.22.xx.xx

2 sided (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Dec 22, 2017 7:47 AM

No, she is looking as well as the Realtor. The ones that the Realtor is calling are actually listed - just for some reason no one calling them back.

I'm not making phone calls or reaching out at all. I was just wondering what the point of having a property for rent was if you never respond. --209.217.xxx.xx

2 sided (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Dec 23, 2017 1:15 PM

clearly by the responses here, the screening takes many forms...the various communications are the tenants auditions.

realtors...if they fill a vacancy, pay 'em. cheap is a character flaw. let's all admit, we are only in it for the gold.

don't like section 8? just let them know you only do month to month. last i checked they demand 6 months at least.

and i surely agree with NE [PA]..."Deadbeat has a particular sound, learn to identify it." the problem with texts and emails is that there's no context or nuance. i have a well honed BS detector and find that sometimes just 2-3 minutes is all i need to weed out a roach...they have a style --76.176.xxx.xxx

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