Article of the Month for November 2014

How To Make a Landlord Want To Rent To You

(Treat your initial visit as if it was a job interview or a business call)
by Ward Hanigan
  1. While you’re house hunting, temporarily change your outgoing voicemail message to a neutral, music-free, professional, adult greeting.
  2. Arrive on time…or preferably, a few minutes early.
  3. Drive up in a clean, modern car (rent one if necessary) with the radio or CD music systems turned off.
  4. Have a clean, neat personal appearance. Wear pants and a collared Polo or buttoned shirt with no graphics, and closed-toe shoes. Don’t chew gum or smoke or wear nose rings or ear plugs.
  5. Be upbeat, cheerful (and remember your manners). Don't swear.
  6. Don’t take your youngsters, friends or pets when first viewing a rental property.
  7. Bring your ID, your checkbook, a pen, some paper, and a few business cards. In addition, bring a legible, pre-completed rental application with your business card stapled to the front of it. [At you can design an attractive personal business card (using their template) and get 500 cards for $10.00.]
  8. Introduce yourself and hand your greeter your personal business card while saying “Hi, I’m Tom Jones and I have a 10:15 appointment with Mr. Phillips”.
  9. Don’t mention how badly you need to move or how long you’ve been looking for a new place.
  10. Don’t criticize the rental unit during your initial viewing.
  11. And, at this time, don’t mention any changes that will have to be made to the unit to suit you.
  12. Give the owner your filled-in rental application and ask what fee he wants to check out your credit. Ask him how soon he is prepared to make his decision about you. Then give him your check and leave.
  13. Now, at your subsequent “rent up” meeting, go through your 2-part “carbon paper” list of all the items you want fixed, and the agreed completion date for each one. When you’ve reached agreement, have the owner sign your list. Then you sign it and separate the copies. You keep the original copy and give the landlord the carbon copy.

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