Tenant Selection

The process of tenant selection begins as soon as we acquire a cash flow house.

It all begins with a marketing plan to make the phone ring to review as many prospects as possible and then select the best applicant.

Curb appeal and the quality of the rehab is important to attract good prospects and that is why we are selective of the type of properties we will manage for owners. We don’t take every applicant for rent nor do we take every owner that wants us to manage their properties. We are committed to managing premium houses for owners that understand that their property must be in excellent condition in a good neighborhood before we agree to manage it. We will never handle low-income houses, known bad neighborhoods or handle tenants with any kind of subsidized rents.

Our marketing is different and much more aggressive than most other companies. We understand that it is a competitive market right now for good tenants as well as good properties, thus we do the following:

1. Take completed pictures and videos or all of our marketing venues
2. Send an email out to our current prospects
3. Advertise on over 200 websites
4. List the property in the multiple listing service (MLS)
5. Place bandit signs throughout the area of the house location
6. List the properties with other property managers
7. Radio ads at specific times of the year
8. Offer incentives for new tenants such as free 42” flat screen TV
9. Offer referral fees to neighbors of the houses.
10. Google ad words which translates to pay per click.

We constantly modify our approach to determine what works best at different times of the year. The Holiday Season tends to be slower for rentals as people prefer to take time off and be with their families. Thus, we offer flat screen TVs and paid over $20,000 just for radio advertising during the month of November. We placed over 6,000 bandit signs this year at intersections near the houses and heavy traffic intersection advertising your rentals. We sent thousands of post cards to neighbors for tenant referrals.

Our highest priority is to select a tenant that hopes to buy, that will take care of the property and will pay on time.

We could rent every available house within five minutes, but that would not be in your vest interest or ours. This is not the time to make snappy decisions because an anxious landlord wants the house rented. The longer it takes, the more work it is for us, but that is nothing compared to the cost and time of selecting the wrong tenants that we pay for in time and you pay for with lower profits.

Once we have applications, the tenant screening process begins. Besides the initial interview, we direct them to our “tenant website” at www.GotOurHome.com. Here they fill out a form and our Application Assurance Department begins the task of verifying their information. This process includes:
• Verifying rental history (ideally current and previous landlord)
• Proof of income via pay stubs and verification of current employment
• Pull credit history, background checks and eviction reports.
• Review payment history and current debts

We want to make sure that they can afford the home after all of their monthly expenses. In essence, we basically do a financial cash flow projection based on all their income and debt. We qualify them just like a bank would qualify them for a loan with one exception: We actually go to their current residence and see how they take care of the place and validate any pets, cars, and people that live with them.

This process takes time and it is worth it because people can fool you during an interview. Even with all these safeguards in place, people still lose jobs and have other challenges in their lives that disrupts their ability to pay on time.

The management site for tenants has videos on the lease, the expectations of their responsibilities and more. Once they have been selected and watch our pre-lease video, we then schedule a time to do the lease-up in person. Expectations must be negotiated up front and be clearly understood by the prospective tenant. We are always in a hurry to rent your house, but never at the expense of rushing the process that safeguards your income.

www.GotOurHome.com is the website for tenants. They can see multiple pictures of houses, including special features, with complete descriptions and videos inside and out. Our videos have all been optimized for search engine optimization (SEO), which continually keeps us on page one of Google for houses to rent in the metro Atlanta area.

Every one of our tenants’ rent is due on or before the first day of each month. Historically, this will break down with over 50% of the tenants. This is what we call the thrill of property management, as it’s never fun to start the emails, texts, phone calls, and in some cases it’s the beginning of the eviction process. Most of the tenants will call to let us know if they have an issue, but it is the others that don’t that create a lot of work for us.

We start by calling them and if no answer, we call the neighbors. You see, when we manage a house, we have someone go and meet the neighbors to exchange contact information so we can call them or they can call us in the event that the tenant is not taking care of the place or isn’t a good fit for the neighborhood.

If we cannot reach the tenant, we send out an eviction notice on the third day of each month and we file the eviction on the eighth day if an agreeable payment arrangement has not been made. The filing of the eviction takes time and is paid by us. This filing usually gets resolved, but we must do it in case the tenant does not contact us or does contact us but doesn’t pay as agreed.

There is zero expense on your part as this is part of the LLPP. All the filing fees, court costs and the time required is paid by NES.

We always handle these situations delicately and use common sense to work with a late paying tenant. There are many good reasons for someone to be late paying and as long as they have not compromised their ability to pay (like loss of job), we try to work it out. However, now we review the inspection reports from the LLPP and we respond according to their ability to pay as well as the way they are taking care of your property.

If we have a challenging situation, we contact you and make you aware of it and we can have a discussion about it. We are never going to bother you for situations that are very clear to us, unless these situations are going to cost you more than $500. Your prompt response is always anticipated as you would expect from us.

The same goes for repairs and maintenance. The quick response service we give you is the same quick response service we provide for the tenant/occupant. Our leases to the tenant/occupant provide for them to maintain the property and take care of it. This is the concept behind the 3-year lease and the Option to Buy they receive.

There are instances where something happens to the home and the burden of repair is placed on the investor. Examples could be hail damage, wind damage, a tree falling on the house, the AC breaks, a plumbing line leaks. Regardless, we have a 24-hour repair hotline and the tenants are invited to call early mornings or if ever there is an emergency. We typically don’t fix things the tenants break. They pay, or we repair it and charge them.

The point is, there will come a time where you will have repairs other than your fixed expenses of real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, homeowners association dues (HOA) or the LLPP. The LLPP is taken out in January each year and the real estate taxes and HOAs are paid when due. The homeowner’s insurance is taken out in July.

Unlike other property management companies, we do not hold any of your funds on reserve for unexpected expenses. This is one of the reasons why we distribute all income quarterly. We pay your fixed expenses and repairs out of your rent prior to distribution. In the event you have an expensive repair exceeding $500, we will contact you in advance, unless it is an emergency. It is important that you understand that emergencies cannot wait for a response from you and we will act on your property and make decisions based on exactly what we would do if the property was ours.