As a landlord, the longer you are in the business of managing properties, the more tenant types you are sure to encounter. From the responsible tenant who always pays you on time to the more colorful characters who walk through your rental’s doors, there are an array of “types” you might encounter during the rental process.
Do you know who your renters are? Check out this quick view of the personas of renters and read on below to learn how to best handle each type.
Rushed Randy will be eager to hand over applications, fees, and rent money ASAP. He might say things such as, “I really need to move in tonight, my housing situation just fell through.” Perhaps he will follow it up with a sob story about previous landlords, roommates, parents, or an ex-girlfriend, but the bottom line is, Rushed Randy will want to move in as quickly as possible.
While being handed cash up front and finding a tenant quickly may sound appealing, don’t let Rushed Randy rush you right into a tenant nightmare. Take time to figure out why this applicant is in such a hurry. It might be because they just got evicted from their last landlord.
Bottom line: Don’t lower your screening standards. Follow your same process for tenant screening including credit checks, background checks, and an eviction history report. Perhaps Rushed Randy really has fallen into a unique situation requiring housing fast, but it is worth doing your due diligence to make sure this rushed applicant isn’t trying to rush you right past unsavory details.
Wary Walter is uncertain about you as a landlord. He might have been burned in the past by a bad landlord or even an outright scam. This has led him to be wary of you and the entire rental application process. This distrusting applicant has a general “landlords are out to screw me” mentality. Wary Walter might be extra cautious about handing out his personal information, particularly items that could be linked to identity theft.
Although Wary Walter may be skeptical of you at first, he can actually make for a responsible tenant if the right relationship is established.
Bottom line: Treat Wary Walter fairly and use a secure application process to help instill trust.
From the moment you meet Boasting Betsy, she will spend every moment declaring how perfect of a tenant she will be. “I’m the best tenant you will ever have!”, she might exclaim upon viewing the property.
These applicants love to tell you about how they will always pay rent on time, they will never throw a loud party, they are exceptionally talented at yard work, and every neighbor they have met adores them.
While a Boasting Betsy may simply be a self-conceited tenant, you should also be careful. The best tenants usually don’t have to boast because they know their background checks, credit reports, and landlord references will speak on their behalf.
Bottom line: Make sure you don’t take an applicant’s word for how responsible they are. Do your part in screening them and calling their references to make sure their story matches up. Boasting Betsy might be trying to compensate for a history of bad tenancy.
Millennial Mary is a tech-savvy renter and will invest time shopping around for her next rental property on her mobile device. She owns a dog, so finding pet-friendly housing is critical to her. She is most concerned with the location of the rental property and wants to be able to walk or bike to the local nightlife. If you ask her to mail you paperwork, consider the rental application lost. Millennial Mary doesn’t own a checkbook and believes in paperless payments.
Tenants like Millennial Mary may be lower maintenance in regards to home upgrades but often come with lower income and a slew of other debts. Running a credit report on an applicant like this will be critical in weeding out which Millennial Mary has learned responsibility, and which ones still need some more time for growing up.
Bottom line: Millennial Mary will likely be more accepting of fewer upgrades in exchange for lower rent prices and the convenience of online rent payments. Try to take any process paperless or expect long delays
The most important thing you can do, no matter what tenant type you are dealing with, is to properly screen applicants. Whether someone is in a rush to move in, promises to be the best tenant you have ever met, or seems wary of the entire process, tenant screening is an absolute must. Run background checks, credit reports, and an eviction history to set yourself up for the best chance at finding a responsible tenant. Amongst each of the above tenant types, you can find excellent renters, it is just a matter of doing your due diligence.