VOLUME VIIRealtor Troubleshooting: Pitfalls to Look Out ForBy Jonathan PressmanA lot can happen between the time a rental property hits the market and the time it’s leased. In a perfect world, tenants complete their applications to rent a property and receive approval in a timely manner, without any hitches. Unfortunately, reality disagrees.

While cities like Plano, Texas (89.4%), Irving, Texas (88.8%) and Miami, Florida (86.9%) have the highest rates in apartment rental applications nationwide, according to RentCafe, it’s not always this easy. Other Texan cities like Arlington (73.2%) and Garland (75%) have the highest rejection rates nationwide. If prospective renters cannot find an apartment, they may feel like they have even less of a chance of renting single-family homes or condo unit rentals.

To help reduce the likelihood of tenants’ applications being delayed or rejected, Realtors should look out for specific pitfalls they might encounter during the listed-to-leasing process.

Keep a Checklist Of All Required DocumentationWhile a rental application can be rejected for a number of reasons that don’t violate anti-discrimination laws, one of the most avoidable rejection reasons is an incomplete application. Realtors can help prevent potential application pitfalls by making a checklist of all required documentation and reviewing it with their clients. If an application is missing information or documentation, it can delay a final decision.

Identify False Information On Rental ApplicationsIntentionally lying on a rental application can be considered lease application fraud. If Realtors learn their rental clients are providing false information, point it out. For example, renters may report a higher income than what they earn to try and qualify for a rental. As a legal workaround, Realtors can suggest options like adding a co-signer or offering a larger security deposit.

However, if clients are determined to knowingly provide false information on a rental application, Realtors may have no choice but to terminate their relationship with these clients.

Buying Leads: Does It Work?For newer Realtors who haven’t made a name for themselves, buying leads may seem like a smart investment. Depending on the company, Realtors can take advantage of third-party customer relationship management (CRM) software, video coaching and exclusive leads to avoid competing with others while building up their clientele.

However, the Balance Small Business reports that there are some common problems with Realtors paying for leads, primarily third-party companies not actively removing closed leads, not setting a specific number of lead results on a month-to-month basis, scarce customer service and varying price rates depending on the type of lead. Investing in quality branding, niche marketing and follow-up with clients may lead to a better return on investment in the long run.

Find Out Why Applications Are StalledWhen an application is pending, Realtors may be able to help move things along by inquiring about the application status before a problem presents itself. If an item is missing from the application, they can quickly gather the missing documents to avoid a delay or rejection.

Sometimes, applications are held up because of a credit reporting issue. According to a study by Consumer Reports, an estimated 34% of people have errors in their credit reports. An unresolved credit reporting error can cause a lower credit score or report outstanding balances that have been paid off. By understanding the reason behind a pending application, Realtors can speak with prospective tenants to get this obstacle clarified and fixed before it reaches the final review stage of an application.

Troubleshooting Can Help Speed Up Application DecisionsWhen applicants complete all paperwork and submit the necessary documentation, the lease application process should result in a quick turnaround. Though certain impediments like a low credit score and rental and eviction history can spoil an application approval, vigilant Realtors who take time to troubleshoot and identify problems early can help prevent holdups during the rental application process.