How often do you think about interviewing your landlord during your rental process? Probably not very often, right? Its almost like you’re at the mercy of whoever owns the home or apartment with very little say and to an extent, you’d be correct. However, there are very easy ways to finding out if your landlord is quality or just out to get some quick cash.
Quality of Photos and Advertising
Yes, this really does matter! It’s the first and most direct representation of the interest your landlord or property manager (PM) has in their available rental home. Were the pictures taken hastily from a cell phone or was a professional photographer brought out? Are the photos over-edited to hide blemishes you’d otherwise notice? Does the description of the home and its amenities pull you in or push you away? Based on your answers, you can tell a lot about this home’s landlord or property manager. Uninterested, hasty, and lack of real care are direct signs that you too will most likely be treated just like the advertisement.
So what should you be looking out for when searching for your new home? Crisp and clear photos for starters. At Victory, we pride ourselves in the state-of-the-art technology that we utilize for every homes pictures and advertising; Matterport. With the ability to create stunning, one-of-a-kind 3D virtual tours of all of our marketable homes, we’re able to get clear and precise images, set visual room measurements, and create an immersive experience for future tenants right from their own couch. As for our property descriptions, well, they come from town locals that know their cities better than anyone. Highly personalized and detailed property descriptions paired with our Matterport home scans, we see homes fly off the market almost 25% faster than other companies. So next time, when looking for your next home, move quickly to contact the representative of the property!
Friendliness and Fast Response Times
Once you’ve contacted the landlord or PM about your next dream property, keep track of the time it takes to hear back from them. Usually, and respectfully, it can take anywhere between 24-48
hours for a representative to get back in touch with you. Any longer than that and it’s apparent that this property is ‘on the back burner’- another obvious sign indicating how your entire lease would most likely transpire. As a landlord or PM’s, time is money, period. The longer a home sits on the market the more money’s lost and typically, you’ll start to see any ads they’ve posted quickly drop down to the bottom of Zillow’s rental list.
While a quick response is ideal and assuming you did get it within a reasonable amount of time, was the rep friendly or take any interest in you? If no, then you should probably run! Landlords and PM’s should ALWAYS be friendly (naturally) but it’s important for them to conduct (Fair Housing Legal) mini-interviews. At Victory, we truly do want to ensure that every tenant and rental home is an ideal match! Simple questions about preferred locations for a prospects favorite store or proximity to a dog park can absolutely create a lasting bond between parties while also helping both parties decide if the particular home is a match.
No Hidden Fees
As a renter, one of your first questions should always be “What are your move-in fees?”. Many companies try to charge Application Fees, Administration Fees, Lease Signing Fees, Move-In Fees and believe it or not, many other hidden fees. In past experience, we’ve seen some fees stretch well into the hundreds before you even get your keys. More typical in larger corporations, these companies usually see you as a tenant number and work mechanically with little give or take. At Victory, however, we go to great lengths to keep fees low or non-existent. With a comparatively cheap application fee (our only move-in fee), we make it easy and affordable for our future tenants to apply and move. We understand that living expenses have increased and we want to create long-lasting tenant relationships that don’t always revolve around money. Note though, that because of our low application fee, many of our homes see multiple applicants and can rent pretty quickly.
Was everything made clear between both parties; Rent, move-in dates, deposit, and repair expectations? Were you able to do most of the process comfortably online? These are all pretty basic questions that everyone usually looks out for however, there are an unbelievably high number of landlords out there that are just looking for fast cash and quick move-ins. Ask questions and always get answers in writing–more than just your lease. It’s a great idea to bring up any current maintenance issues and work out a plan of action PRIOR to signing your lease and exchanging money. Keep in mind though, there are times that certain requests by a prospective tenant just can’t be met and the same goes for a landlord or PM.
Finding your next home is tough, we completely understand. Sometimes, its easier to just sign the paperwork so you can get in and finally get unpacked but, the relationship you have with your landlord or PM will be critical to your comfort over your lease term. You want to make sure the property is being well taken care of and that your Landlord is fast-acting and thorough when completing work orders, collecting rent, and addressing property related issues.
If you have any questions or need assistance with finding a new home or have questions about renting, please feel free to contact us! We’re happy to guide our community in the right direction completely free!