• Patrick Rankin

How I Find Great Tenants Before They Apply

Updated: Mar 12




This post is about the small things people do and don’t do during a viewing for a rental property that, if observed, will help you build a good gut-feeling about a potential applicant.


I value a good gut-feeling just as much, if not more, then good credit checks and references - because it helps me put the “person” to the paperwork. Paperwork can be easer to manipulate then face to face question and answer sessions. Also paperwork alone misses the human factor.


During “The Gut Feeling” stage, I listen, observe and ask questions to get a good feeling about a prospective tenant before I hand them an application form to complete. This is how I find great tenants fast.


My process for developing a good gut-feeling about prospective tenants has been curated from thousands of open homes/viewings over the past 10 years, which I share with you now. The finer details about people are important. This is where the magic of our every day lives can be found.

Set up the open home so that you control where people come in, walk through the house and leave. Also make sure the house is well presented by opening curtains, blinds, turning on the lights and opening windows and doors to air the house out. Tip - To control the flow of people through a house, I open and close certain exterior doors, so there is one entry and another exit.


When people start arriving I take mental note of how each prospective tenant greats me as they arrive. Some of the things I look out for are:

1. Do they take their shoes off at the door without me asking?

2. Do they look me in the eye and smile when I great them, or is eye contact poor?

3. What are your first impressions like?

4. Who do they come with - Parents, children, their partner, the whole family?


I like to take up to three groups through the house together, usually starting in the lounge and working our way through the home until we end up in the garage and outside again.


During the walk through, I take note of the following:

1. Are the kids well behaved - which is a good sign.

2. What seems to matter most to them - good neighbours, insulation, size of bedrooms are the usual main concerns... but strange questions like security, and how close the neighbours are would raise concerns about parties and possible robberies.

3. Take a moment to gage each groups level of interest, and work on the groups that show the most interest.


By the end of the walkthrough I’ll have a good gut feeling about people which makes vetting tenants faster. I will make it as easy as possible for them to complete the application process.


You can learn a lot about someone by tuning in, asking good questions and listening. The questions I ask are strategic and the answers I get are worth a thousand answers on paper applications.

Developing a good gut feeling about a prospective tenant is a big part of the letting process, and helps me get a better idea of the person before I process their paperwork.


This is another reason why I find the best tenants, for top market rent fast! I hope this post demonstrates that I truly care about getting the best results for my clients.


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