I just heard from a potential client that was against working with an agent again because of past rental experience. You see he has credit challenges and has tried sending in a few applications and paid application fee after application fee only to be turned down. He was now trying to work through the process by himself by using Craigslist. Now while I LOVE Craigslist we all know the horror stories of folks losing their money when renting a foreclosed property. OR being told to mail checks to foreign countries.
I managed to rise above his complaints when I informed him that I take a different route than just having my clients (especially those with credit issues) fill out and submit an application. I usually have these clients:
- write a letter of explanation of their credit issues and what they are actively doing to address and work out these issues/blemishes.
- include a written positive reference from client's current landlord or property management co.
- include a letter from employer confirming yearly salary and time on their job.
I also talk with the listing agent and let them know that my client has credit issues and what they are. When the listing agent knows up front that there are credit issues they will look at the application and let me know up front if they think this candidate would be accepted by the owner. If they don't think it will be a positive outcome they will return the application fee to my client.
I also tend to have my credit challenged clients look at homes that have been on the market for over 30 days. And if needed suggest that the client be ready to put up an additional month's rent for the landlord's piece of mind. I usually have had positive results when I take this approach
Does anyone have an other ideas that could be used? Because I wish I could do more. Being a single mother of 4 children I know how hard it can be. In this economic climate many good folks are experiencing a dip in their credit score and most still manage to pay to keep a roof over their family's head. How can we as Real Estate agents work to help them out?