From my 30 years in real estate, I often have people ask me questions like, “Hey! Can you write a lease for me? How do I prorate rent? Can you help me with showings?” Alright, let’s take a step back and look at this. The rental cycle is broken up into 3 main parts: the showings phase, the rented phase, and the turnover phase. Let’s take a look at the showings phase.


During this phase, you’ll need to have a rental application, a lease agreement, and a move-in/move-out form. If you want to lease out your property quickly, then you better save every prospective tenant’s contact information that you can. You’ll also need to make sure everyone over the age of 18, who intends to live in the property, applies for the property through the application. Be sure to collect all applicants’ government-issued IDs and run a credit and background check on everyone who applies. I see countless self-property managers complete these steps but still forget the most important rule in real estate investment which is you can’t discriminate! There are federal, state, and local laws that protect most renters from all forms of discrimination. Courts almost always side with the tenant in today’s world, so a mistake could end up costing thousands of dollars.

A good rule of thumb is to rent to the first set of people who completes their rental application.

At the end of the day, you’re going to find qualified renters if you complete a thorough background and credit check. If these precautionary steps might seem a little daunting at first, you might want to hire a property manager to handle all the legal forms are processed for you. Now you’re probably wondering how you can get your hands on some forms. The best thing is, we’ve actually made those available to you through a download at our DocBox. You can find a rental application, a fair housing booklet, and even a sample lease you can use for free!

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