Brevity is the soul of a successful tenant
When owners post a unit for rent, they don’t have time to answer a constant stream of queries following the initial “I’m interested” missive—nor do they really want to. “Don’t pester me with repeated phone calls,” says David Olsen (not his real name), who manages five rental units in the West End of Portland, Maine. “Prospective tenants should follow up with a single email, and that’s it.” Here are the things a real estate agent won’t tell you.
Credit is the best credential
Your credit history is a big reveal that can usually seal the deal. Here’s a quick number crunch.
- Excellent credit — 750 and above
- Good credit — 700 to 749
- Fair credit — 650 to 699
- Poor credit — 600 to 649
- Bad credit — anything below 600
- You-might-be-dead credit — somewhere around -75 (Okay, we made this one up)
If yours is lower than you’d like, try these 11 ways to improve your credit score.
Be awesome online
According to Olsen, references are less important than one might think. For the most part, landlords are looking to fill vacancies as quickly as possible rather than spend hours making phone calls and sending out emails. “The one reference we always check is Facebook and Google,” he adds. “References from your most recent landlords are rarely considered. If you’re a bad tenant, your old landlord would say anything to get you out.”