Learn the steps and protocols of how a rental lead is handled or not handled to how a tenant moves in:
High Touch Leasing Process
20+ Questions to ask a Property Management Company
How does your company respond to rental inquires?
When we advertise a property for rent we receive about 5 to 15 inquires per day. Now multiply that by 10 active rentals and we can be receiving 150 inquires a day. It is impossible to play phone tag with so many inquires. So we have automated our email system to instantly respond and follow up with each lead to direct them to our online booking system.
The benefit to the property owner is we are converting more rental leads into property showings, thus increasing Exposure.
How does your company schedule appointments both during business hours and after business hours?
We offer three methods of scheduling; Renters who inquire by email or automated hotline (951-338-9292) will be directed to our online booking system. Renters can schedule to see a property usually same day and have the ability to see vacant rentals 7 days a week. During business hours renters can bypass the hotline to speak with a live representative and schedule over the phone.
The benefit to the property owner is increased market exposure and a larger pool of potential applicants to select a tenant from.
How does the company show the prospective renter the home?
Each prospective renter is screened with questions to determine if they meet the minimum requirements to show them the property. Owner or Tenant Occupied Rentals are handled differently the Vacant Rentals
Occupied Rentals (limited exposure):
Occupied rentals will be shown by a company representative and are limited showings because of scheduling conflicts between the occupant of the home, staff availability and the renter availability.
Vacant Rentals (maximum exposure): Prospective renters who schedule to see vacant homes are screened and their identity matched through the use of their credit card. Each renter is given a unique code the is available for 1 time use during that hour. We have a bird’s eye view of the activity to each home and after each showing we confirm the property was secured. Notices are posted to remind visitors to secure the doors and turn off lights before they return the key to the lockbox. With thousands of showings using this method we have had no incidents as each person is accountable for their visit.
What procedures are in place to ensure the property is secure when vacant?
Squatters will break into vacant homes and take possession. The high traffic activity at which our rentals are shown have proven to be the best way to ensure no suspicious activity is taking place at the property. Attempts by squatters to occupy a property can be addressed usually same day.
A secured vacant property is just as vulnerable as an unsecured property. The most frequently stolen property of a vacant home is the AC Condensor. Your insurance should cover this as well as any potential damage to your home. DEVINE carries an additional $1,000,000 general liability policy specific for our property management services and real estate services.
Each visitors identity is verified through their credit card and address information. They receive a unique code that is only provided when the visitor confirms the appointment. The code is one time use and is limited to that showing time. After each showing the visitor must confirm the property was secured and placed into the lockbox. We are notified immediately if they do not confirm. Signage is used throughout the property to remind the visitor to lock all doors and report any suspicious activity. That same flyer provides instructions on how to apply online and to contact us incase of emergency or suspicious activity.
We introduce ourselves to the surrounding neighbors and leave our business card with them to report suspicious activity.
What happens if my vacant rental is broken into?
If the property has been broken into we will meet with the police department at the property to inspect. We notify the owner of the incident, take photos of any damage for insurance purposes and secure the property with a locksmith or contractor.
What happens if Squatters move into my vacant rental?
The moment activity like this is reported we act quickly. Squatters will attempt to use fraudulent leases to attempt to remain in the property and claim they paid someone a cash deposit and rent to move into the home. And sadly some people will actually have fraud committed by renting a home from someone advertising rentals on Craigslist or even Zillow.
Does the company have experience with these types of incidents?
We are very experienced and have dealt with these types of issues with many our vacant bank foreclosures. Fortunately with the protocols we have implemented we have had no security or damage to our vacant rentals to date.
How does a prospective tenant apply for the home?
We provide flyers at each of our listings with instructions of the screening cost, documentation required and where to apply online. This streamlines our leasing process so that we can quickly determine the applicant’s qualifications. If all the required documentation is provided and applicant references are prompt we can make a determination in 1 to 2 business days.
Home much do you charge a tenant for the screening fee?
Why is this important? Potentially good renters will pass on your home if they have to pay $45 per adult application. So be sure to find out because this can limit the pool of potential applicants. We charge $30 to cover our cost with our screening.
How does Devine determine income qualifications?
Most companies use the gross income of 3 times the monthly rent and don’t factor in other monthly debt obligations. We use a housing ratio method and factor in the take home income to the rent and monthly debt obligation. Medical bills are not factored in this process.
Do you get an eviction screening report?
Yes, Our application screening include a national screening report.
Do you search for criminal background in your screening?
Yes, Our applications screening includes a national criminal background report.
Do you screen the national sex offender registry?
Yes, Our applications screening includes a national sex offender report.
Do you screen for IRS/Treasury Liens?
Yes, Our applications screening includes a treasury lien report.
Do you verify the accuracy of the contact information for previous landlords?
If an applicant is currently being processed on an eviction the court doesn’t record that information publicly. Applicants will use a friend or family member to act as their current landlord. We use several methods to screen and verify who that reference is to assure a through screening.
Do you rent to Section 8?
Yes, we accept section 8 as income to the potential candidate
Once tenants are approved do you review the leasing contract in detail?
With the signing of each lease agreement we review in detail what the terms of the contract are and stress the importance they they follow those terms. Setting expectations in advance help us avoid misunderstandings in the future.
Does your company keep the security deposits?
We collect a minimum of a 1 month security deposit up to 2 months depending on the applicant qualifications. We hold the security deposits in a 0 interest trust account. Landlords have 21 days to return a security deposit with itemized cost of damage with receipts. When property owners keep the deposit this creates delays in our process and puts both DEVINE and the owner at risk of a lawsuit with penalties of up to 2 times the deposit amount.
Do you conduct a Move-In/Move-Out Inspection Report?
Yes. To eliminate or mitigate potential disputes over security deposits we take 200 to 400 photos to document each area of the home. This process can takes 2 to 4 hours to complete a report and is included in our placement fee. We believe this encourages tenants to take greater care of the property and protects owners from potential disputes over the tenant improvements.
Does your move-in or move-out report contain Photos in a PDF Format (Portable Document Format)?
How soon can I expect to receive my rental payment?
We offer online payments to our tenants up to the 3rd day of each month. After that they must bring a cashiers check or money order. Online payments are received immediately, but if the tenant has insufficient funds the payment (credit) can be debited back within 8 business days. Some companies promise 5 days to process and the consequence of this scenario creates mishandling of trust funds. We begin processing rents by the 8th day. Depending on when rent is received, owners can expect rent between the 10th day to the 15th. Owners can elect to have rents paid by business check or by direct deposit.