I've lost it....
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I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 6, 2018 8:19 PM
       I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 6, 2018 8:21 PM
       I've lost it.... (by JB [OR]) Jun 6, 2018 8:27 PM
       I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 6, 2018 8:31 PM
       I've lost it.... (by Robert J [CA]) Jun 6, 2018 8:43 PM
       I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 6, 2018 8:50 PM
       I've lost it.... (by Still Learning [NH]) Jun 6, 2018 9:30 PM
       I've lost it.... (by JB [OR]) Jun 6, 2018 9:41 PM
       I've lost it.... (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jun 6, 2018 10:00 PM
       I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 6, 2018 10:13 PM
       I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 6, 2018 10:15 PM
       I've lost it.... (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Jun 6, 2018 10:20 PM
       I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 6, 2018 10:20 PM
       I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 6, 2018 10:24 PM
       I've lost it.... (by #22 [MO]) Jun 6, 2018 10:34 PM
       I've lost it.... (by Robert J [CA]) Jun 6, 2018 11:20 PM
       I've lost it.... (by Ken [NY]) Jun 7, 2018 4:39 AM
       I've lost it.... (by plenty [MO]) Jun 7, 2018 4:45 AM
       I've lost it.... (by Sisco [MO]) Jun 7, 2018 4:49 AM
       I've lost it.... (by myob [GA]) Jun 7, 2018 4:54 AM
       I've lost it.... (by Vee [OH]) Jun 7, 2018 5:12 AM
       I've lost it.... (by WMH [NC]) Jun 7, 2018 5:36 AM
       I've lost it.... (by Andrew, Canada [ON]) Jun 7, 2018 5:42 AM
       I've lost it.... (by Andrew, Canada [ON]) Jun 7, 2018 5:43 AM
       I've lost it.... (by S i d [MO]) Jun 7, 2018 7:41 AM
       I've lost it.... (by Busy [WI]) Jun 7, 2018 7:50 AM
       I've lost it.... (by AllyM [NJ]) Jun 7, 2018 8:01 AM
       I've lost it.... (by David [NC]) Jun 7, 2018 9:27 AM
       I've lost it.... (by Mike45 [NV]) Jun 7, 2018 11:25 AM
       I've lost it.... (by Jeff [OH]) Jun 7, 2018 1:39 PM
       I've lost it.... (by Jason [VA]) Jun 7, 2018 1:56 PM
       I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Jun 7, 2018 3:09 PM
       I've lost it.... (by melanie [MD]) Jun 21, 2018 7:16 AM
       I've lost it.... (by mi [CA]) Jun 21, 2018 8:13 AM
       I've lost it.... (by Turbo [IL]) Jun 21, 2018 2:43 PM
       I've lost it.... (by Sheri [MO]) Jun 22, 2018 10:20 AM

I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 8:19 PM

Yup...After, almost twenty years in this business, I've come to realize that I may have lost the "salesman's edge" and given in to my perception of what i believe to be the reality that is today's society.....Or is it me?

"Crazy making" time....

Somewhere in the past, someone posted on this forum...."My husband has gotten so good w his gut feeling...He rejects everyone." Man, I wish I could give credit to whoever said that. I am living it.

I've had one of my very favorite homes on the market for way longer than it should've been.... I show it to multiple people, every evening. I've rejected numerous applications....(just ask. I'll tell ya about the "red flags")...

I guess I'm reminded of the quote..."Look to the left and there are ducks....Look to the right and there are ducks...You may be a duck."

Someone inspire me. (Or just tell remind me to lighten up. lol)

These decisions came much easier when my mortgages weren't payed of.

Gurus....inspire me. ;)


I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 8:21 PM

Please.... ;) --74.124.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 8:27 PM

Sometimes prayer can help. We are just the pawns.


I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 8:31 PM

Thanks JB.

I'm not much of a "prayer", but I would never discourage someone from putting in a good word for me. :)

Thank you. --74.124.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 8:43 PM

Don't lose it, not yet at least! We are here in Los Angeles California where it takes between 2 to 5 months to evict someone for non-payment of rent! So we have to be extra careful selecting applicants.

Not to discriminate, the City has crews trying to trip up landlords on a daily basis, we ask all viewers of a rental if they want an "application"!

Once turned back in, we personally witness the applicant signing and dating the forms. We make copies of their drivers licenses, pay stubs and bank statements.

We run two Credit Reports with FICO scores. A national eviction report, Sex offender, most wanted, criminal search and more. We also check references, previous landlords and employers.

With all of that, a "bad tenant" will come into the light. Often the person who is the best talker is the worst tenant. The quit applicant often turns out to have an advanced college degree and the best paying job.

You never know the whole story until you check someone out. On several of my prize buildings, I hand pick the tenant. Often I'll have a 2 month vacancy until I find the best fit! A vacancy is a lot cheaper then to evict someone and fix the damages.....A $1000 lost rent is cheaper than a $1200 layer, $3000 in lost rent and $5,000 in repairs. --47.156.xx.xx

I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 8:50 PM

Thank you Robert J. That was just what I needed to hear....just when I needed to hear it.

Is it wrong to have a favorite house?


I've lost it.... (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 9:30 PM

It only takes 1 is my motto, but sometimes it takes a whole lot of showings and a few rejections until that 1 appears. In a similar boat with wondering where the decent hard working applicants have been until the phone call last night. Already approved and hopefully a showing/lease signing tomorrow. A really good day would then be one of my 4 showings at another building submits and application and passes screening. Hang in there! --24.61.xxx.xx

I've lost it.... (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 9:41 PM

I can certainly feel your frustration. The last several pre-screeners we received on a 2 BR for $1000:

*Multiple felonies

*Single mom of 3, new job, making $2k/mo

*3 Adult middle aged men, new job, $2k/mo (WTH)

*Section 8 mom, 2 kids, smoker, no income, no job

*Someone wanting 4 months stay

*Sleeping on friend's couch, no job but looking...

*etc, etc, etc.

Sometimes your the chicken, sometimes the egg. --50.45.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 10:00 PM


Hang in there. While hanging check around. What and who is the competition? The good people are going somewhere else.

Ask some happy, wealthy LLs to review your ads and app process. I see LLs who are their own bottleneck and should get out of the way.

If this helps, we approve 1.5 out of 10 apps.

I KNOW our economy and culture has changed. Less than (50%) of Americans have $1000 in the bank while the average new car sold is $27,400. Americans recovered from the Great Recession y learning how to get by, not how to get ahead or to save money.

Got a website we can review?

BTW the best apps come online.

BRAD --68.50.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 10:13 PM

Brad 20K..."I see LLs who are their own bottleneck and should get out of the way". I think you may have articulately summarized my internal concerns. :/

Who knows, though. My current pool of tenants appears to be a "Cess".

Something needs to change. Either I or them.

Thanks again. :)


I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 10:15 PM


We could swap "those kinda stories", all day. Ugh. --74.124.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 10:20 PM

My son accuses me of hoping for even the smallest reason to reject.

I'm screening the same as I've always screened but the quality of applicants is way down. No more proud working poor. Welfare is now clever instead of being embarrassing. There is greatly reduced willingness to take responsibility for anything.

Fewer people feel honor bound to pay debts or be true to their word. There is so much more entitlement and anger.

I usually have pretty good tenants, but it takes a lot of sifting --174.216.xx.xx

I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 10:20 PM

Still learning..."It only takes one." Inspiring. Thank you. :)


I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 10:24 PM

Oregon, smeller of burning wood. I couldn't agree more.

I can't help but wonder...Do I...or do "they", reduce the standards? ugh. --74.124.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by #22 [MO]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 10:34 PM

Here you go:: use a leasing agent, pay them half to 75% of the 1st months rent, whatever is customary in your market.

Here's why: a rental of mine came empty. I sent it to the leasing co and said, what should we rent it for? Their answer 50% higher than what I was renting it for (trust me, my rent was good and consistent with the area).

They leased it in 2 weeks to a solid app.

And I've never had to do a showing in 5 years.

I challenge you to find a good leasing co (many property management companies provide leasing only services).

Good luck!!! --174.234.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2018 11:20 PM

It is not wrong to have a favorite property/rental. I fixed up an apartment for one of siblings to live in at a discounted rent. The place was awesome. Even though the apartment house had a laundry room, I installed a stack washer/dryer in this unit, installed an 18" under the counter dishwasher and all other new appliances. Granite counter, stainless steel sink, pull out faucet and many extras.

When my sibling moved out of state, I had a dozen applicants fighting for this unit.

I also have a house that's my favorite that rents overnight... --47.156.xx.xx

I've lost it.... (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 4:39 AM

Maybe it is time to sell it,the market is strong for sales --72.231.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 4:45 AM

It's ok to have a favor house/property. Raise the rent, do a move in special, and then instead of disqualifying everyone change your mind set to "how can i qualify this applicate" work to qualify them. You will feel better about the process if you change your perspective. It wont be about you any more... Ta da! --99.203.xx.xx

I've lost it.... (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 4:49 AM

1GR81, something has changed. I now receive hundreds of inquiries, get dozens of people tell me that they will come look at my offerings, then get 4-5 applications, of which 3-4 are so bad that I cannot see any evidence that the applicant has ever kept any agreement they made.

It used to be hard to get prospects to call, but when they did, my batting average was high.

You need to change your tactics and spend any more time with prospects. Spend time only on those with approved applications. In other words, automate your process. --72.172.xxx.xx

I've lost it.... (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 4:54 AM

OKso here's a new one for you 1Gr.

STOP your crying!! thats right pull up the big girl socks. Your favorite home on the market to long-- yea blame the hubby, blame the "it's my favorite house" blame blame blame-- it goes with YADA YADA YADA! Get back in there-- get backin the fight and stop your wineing for gees sake.

U are not a duck-- wellnot yet anyway.

Second-- get the gut feeling out of the picture. Gut feeling - no -- we look at everyone with open eyes and let the credit report do the gut check.

You need a good kick in the b***.

It's all about me-- ME ME ME ME! --99.103.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 5:12 AM

When I read -favorite house- I knew the remainder, time to sell that place, get it shiny nice, throw away all the paint cans from the basement and walk away, never get a favorite piece of cement in a highway - the seams all go thump the same way. --76.188.xxx.xx

I've lost it.... (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 5:36 AM

90% of our pre-screeners simply can't afford our places, full stop. And not by a little. They make less than half the rent...

Luckily the places are not empty yet! --50.82.xxx.xx

I've lost it.... (by Andrew, Canada [ON]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 5:42 AM

You arent the bottleneck.....you are the gatekeeper.

If evictions, collections, fair treatment of landlords are biased in your state, then you must be extra cautious. You know that.

If you think you are having a tough time now, 1 minute after you have disckdisco that you let a bad tenant slip by, you will WISH you could go back in time to have even the feelings you are currently experiencing.

Perhaps have a serious talk with yourself and focus on what your goals are and why you became a landlord. Maybe you have reached you goals and it is time to move on. Or maybe you just need to focus on the goal and not the "ccess" around you.

Ive been were you are. (Lately it seems more often than not.) --65.94.xxx.xx

I've lost it.... (by Andrew, Canada [ON]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 5:43 AM

"DISCOVERED you have let in a bad tenant".......@#$% autocorrect --65.94.xxx.xx

I've lost it.... (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 7:41 AM

Did you make it to the Convention this year? If not....you missed a TON of helpful information on this very topic!

Brad talks about us being our own bottleneck. Truer words have never been spoken. I typically get 100-150 "very interested" responses per vacancy.

Back in the old day, I'd answer every phone call and return every message left. That's when we only had 12 units. It was nuts, but manageable. I only sacrificed my lunch hour and sanity for a few weeks solid. (wink)

Today we have many more units, and I do not have the desire, time, mental capacity, or emotions strength to wade thru 150 tire kicker, deadbeat, delusional folks for every vacancy.

So I HAD to change my process, especially when I had FIVE vacancies hit all at once this past winter. (For those who can do math, that's 500 - 750 "very interested" people). Here's how I took back my life and my freedom and have become more profitable than ever.


Step 2: Voicemail tells them what to do**: "Thank you for calling ABC Properties. If you'd like to see one of our available homes, go to our website (fill in web site) to submit a viewing request. All tours must be arranged on our website. Again, that website is (fill in web site)."

Step 3: They either cooperate (in which case we pre-screen) or they don't (in which case they pre-screened themselves). I only want COOPERATIVE residents.

Step 4: If they pass pre-screening, I text and email**: "Good news! The property at 123 Anywhere Ave is available to view. There is a lock box with a key in it hanging on the front door. The combination for today is (fill in combo). You may tour at any time. I'll let our maintenance man know you will be stopping by as he will be in and out today. If interested, apply at (fill in website). Cost is $19.95 per adult."

Step 5: They tour or they don't. I don't care. Other land lords worry about if someone will "no show." I don't. Other LLs worry about damages or squatters. I don't.

Been doing this 4 years. Worst thing that has happened is someone pooped in a toilet that had the water turned off. A flush and a cap full of bleach fixed that. I've told them my maintenance man will be in and out today, and he might be. This is incentive to behave themselves. Also, the code is "today's code"...so I have implied they need to hurry today because they cannot come back tomorrow. Other LLs worry about wasting gas and time showing 10-30 tire kickers per vacancy. I don't. The tire kickers are free to look or not; my presence is not required.

Step 6: If they like it, they apply on our 3rd party website that processes the app and runs their credit. They pay the website: I get the app in PDF format along with their pay stubs and photo ID, which are all required to submit an application. I get no more applications with missing info or unreadable handwriting or missing documents because the website FORCES them to enter the data and upload the files (pictures from cell phone usually). Everything securely encrypted via ht tps protocol.

Step 7: This is the FIRST stage I have any interaction other than the quick pre-screening. We process the app. If they fail... I send the quick text/email "Unfortunately, we are not able to approve you app at this time. If you'd like more information, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to (address). We're done. No arguing, no fussing, no sob stories. If they pass...

Step 8: Pre-approval and the in home visit. I text/email "Good news! Your application is almost done and everything looks great so far. I need to swing by and take pictures of your animals for insurance purposes and to get your signature on our Holding Agreement. How about today at (fill in time convenient for me)?"

Step 9: The in-home visit. I require this. I meet the applicant and talk to them. Some folks on here are paranoid about talking to folks. So am I, but here's the critical difference between the stressed land lord with vacancies and me... I only talk to ONE person out of 100-150 and by this time they have done nothing but impress me. So now I go look at and smell their house. If it's subpar, I let them look at the holding agreement, ask if it's acceptable, but don't get signatures. If their home is acceptable, we sign the holding agreement and collect the deposit in certified funds. Done.

My average vacancy is about 7 days...up a little from the past due to those pesky 5 vacancies I had last winter. In the coming months I expect it will drop down to 1-3 days. I just put all of this into a checklist that anyone can follow.

My next step is to train someone else to do it for me for a small fee that will be mostly covered by their application fee. Please give this serious consideration. There are folks who will say it can't work. I'm proof that it can. You may believe whomever you choose, but I think you'll do better if you believe in a process that works.

** All this text is saved in a document that I copy and paste. Takes 2-3 seconds per "very interested" applicant. --173.19.x.xxx

I've lost it.... (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 7:50 AM

The phrase, ' it only takes one,' which I learned from this forum, keeps my spirits afloat when screening. Every screening I've done where the applicants didn't come from tenant/neighbor referral, but instead from the advertising methods have yielded almost all cess. But, there was that ONE. The one who looked so good on paper that I was suspicious.

The first time that happened, I seriously had to quell worries that there was something I wasn't seeing. Nope, really good tenants are out there. I haven't placed a new tenant this year, but, I doubt it has changed that much.

Having blathered on with all of that, I do have one inherited tenant whom would not have met my screening criteria. But she was already in the house, I gauged how well we could communicate, and was she open to training. At first the relationship was a bit of a minefield. But, I am stubborn like crazy, and a lifelong learner/teacher, and so is she. Through communication and training (took it slow, used patience,) couple of years later, she is now great tenant. And, she's already paid in rent what I paid for the house and repairs. --172.58.xxx.xx

I've lost it.... (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 8:01 AM

We are juggling a lot of oranges. We want to get the rent. We don't want to repaint, clean, replace carpet on that one again. You may just be tired of cleaning and fixing that one after Miss Piggy has left. Maybe you should sell it now since it is in tip top condition. I got the two four plexes in tip top condition and realized that made it time to sell. Plus I was getting psychic nudges that I was about to "hurt myself" and I did hurt myself and then found out about the cancer, also from spirit.

So perhaps that is the message you are getting which is to sell it now. Maybe that's why you are not willing to risk renting it to some slob.


I've lost it.... (by David [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 9:27 AM

Hey SID (OH),

Above you posted your applicant process (love it by way). What is the web site service that you use that “they apply on our 3rd party website that processes the app and runs their credit”


I've lost it.... (by Mike45 [NV]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 11:25 AM

The applicant pool has become a cesspool, but there are still hardworking families out there who need good clean homes. It is just harder to find them amongst all the turds. It used to be that one out of 4 or 5 applicants would be good; now, one out of 10, maybe?

Screen well. If the place is empty for a while, that's OK. "It takes only one" works both ways -- it takes only one mistake to destroy a house! So don't panic and don't take a bad one out of desperation!

Good luck. Keep on fighting the good fight!


I've lost it.... (by Jeff [OH]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 1:39 PM

Just rented a 2/1 to a family. My Zillow acct showed 96 people and I finally found one. Can take a long time, and get discouraging. I too have no debt and have been doing this for decades. Probably between the experience that we have, the negative that we have seen, and the tenant pool...keeps us from renting quickly. Keep your head up. --107.10.x.xxx

I've lost it.... (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 1:56 PM

My first response would be why are you showing the house every night to multiple people? Your time is more valuable than that. Pre-screen everybody and only show the house to the VERY FEW that pass the pre-screening. There's no way I would waste my time showing properties to deadbeats or tire kickers. Your time and sanity is more valuable. --170.224.xx.x

I've lost it.... (by 1Gr81 [NC]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2018 3:09 PM

Lot's of great advice and support here. I enjoyed it all. I even enjoyed a much needed kick in the A##. lol. Myob I can't say that I currently wear any panties, but who knows. It's a different day out there. ;) Thank you one and all!

I would like to give a special thank you to SID (Mo), for sharing your comprehensive system. You are my newest hero. Thank you.

Also, yes it has become clear to me that I need to vastly improve my pre-screening. Thank you for the many ideas of how to do just that.

I typically phone screen, but because so many of my initial contacts are now online, I have fallen into a pattern of a open house mentality. My "system" definitely needs some updating.

I show the home in the evenings while simultaneously finishing up a few, purposefully unfinished, small projects.

My impression of this current pool of tenants is pretty abysmal. The rental market is pretty strong here and the prices reflect it. I guess because of that this is the first time I have been approached by so many roommate situations. Except they are mature adults trying to cram into a very small home. That and many more bizarre, new to me, situations. I could and should, start a thread w the situations that I have encountered on this one home. Yesterday was especially bizarre w back to back "unique" applicants.

Thanks again. You guys are the best. :)


I've lost it.... (by melanie [MD]) Posted on: Jun 21, 2018 7:16 AM


I've lost it.... (by mi [CA]) Posted on: Jun 21, 2018 8:13 AM

solid advice top to bottom! i call the screening process the "Audition". They are judged on ability to read and follow instructions, provide complete and legible applications and pay for their screening fee.

my system is far less well developed than sids but only because i have fewer units and turnovers are rare. once i get them past step two i have a great sense of the BS artists that reveal themselves on the step three phone call --76.176.xxx.xxx

I've lost it.... (by Turbo [IL]) Posted on: Jun 21, 2018 2:43 PM

Sid, who did you go to to set up an on line system like you have?


I've lost it.... (by Sheri [MO]) Posted on: Jun 22, 2018 10:20 AM

Hi, this question is for SID. You talk about a 3r party website? I was at the Landlord retreat in St Louis this year, is this something offered through Mr Landlord? Please share what website you use to handle the application and credit check process. --162.253.xx.xxx

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