Pre-Qualify Applicants With 12 Simple Questions


One of the biggest time wasters for property owners in Indianapolis is trying to lease their properties. It should not be that way. The reason the process is so painful is that we are naturally predisposed to not play detective. To stop the time suck though we need to play detective and pre-qualify applicants before we go show one of our homes.

Wouldn’t it be great to just show property to ready, willing, and qualified people? Let me share with you twelve easy questions to pre-qualify applicant when your next inquiry occurs. If you can place these in an ad, with an email response requested, better yet! If you don’t like the answers, then say whatever you need to end the call. Or don’t respond to the email.

These are simple questions and you need to keep them with you to decide if any inquiry is worth taking your time to show a property.

1. Name?

Obvious, yes? How about the correct spelling also?

2. Phone Number?

Remember the last time you got stood up and you had no way to call the people to see if they were going to show up?

3. Reason For Moving?

Does their answer sound normal or do you not really get an answer?

4. How Many People Will Live With the Caller and Their Relationships?

If there are four other occupants and the caller can’t describe their relationship wouldn’t it be better to decide how that makes you feel on the phone than in person?

5. Intended Rental Term?

Ever show a home and have the prospect say they really just need to rent for six months as they are relocating and would you consider six months? Good stuff to cover in a phone call!

6. Occupancy Date?

It is January 8. My lease is up February 28. I am trying to lock down a place now. Will you hold your home for me?

7. Pets?

How do you feel about a German Shepherd and chickens? How about snakes? Do you have a system to collect the pet information?

8. Smoking

Really? Need I say more?

9. How Is Your Credit?

Listen to the answer. Most people know if they have a judgement that may result in wage garnishment. They just think it won’t happen now. Strangely, renters credit is not usually the most important thing you want to know about. But it can give you some clarity on priorities and how a person thinks.

10. Landlord References

The answer should always be yes, no problem. Maybe check how and when they get out of their current lease.

11. Occupation

Are you employed? How will you pay the rent? Is your income verifiable?

12. Ever Owned A Home?

I could speculate why but previous homeowners seem to make better tenants. Just good to know.

Simple questions to pre-qualify applicants that should take three to five minutes and save so many more. Don’t waste time, save it! This is an important first step to avoid renting to the wrong people.

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