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Why Use a Telephone Script?

There are lots of telephone scripts like this one. Try several before you decide on the one that is right for you.  But use a script!  See Avoid Fair Housing Complaints for one very good reason.

 
The Purpose of a Script
  • To stay in control of the conversation.  This is a business call.  Treat it that way.
  • To make sure everything you say is accurate with no hint of any kind of discrimination.
  • To do a little preliminary tenant screening and to send a strong signal that you are a good manager and that you will conduct a through background check before renting.
  • To keep the conversation brief but thorough presenting a professional demeanor.
Remember:  Callers with a track record of broken leases, evictions, criminal history, etc. carefully listen to every word.  They are less likely to call you back if they learn you are a good manager and that you will do a through background check including credit history, rental history, criminal history and demand proof of sufficient income.
 
Also remember:  The best tenants are just as fearful they will end up with a bad landlord as you are of a bad tenant.  Good tenants like to hear your professional, through, business like tone.  They want to hear you say you will conduct a background check.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why Use a Telephone Script

The Purpose of a Script

  • To stay in control of the conversation.  This is a business call.  Treat it that way.
  • To make sure everything you say is accurate with no hint of any kind of discrimination.
  • To do a little preliminary tenant screening and to send a strong signal that you are a good manager and that you will conduct a thorough background check before renting.
  • To keep the conversation brief but thorough presenting a professional demeanor.

Remember:  Callers with a track record of broken leases, evictions, criminal history, etc. carefully listen to every word.  They are less likely to call you back if they learn you are a good manager and that you will do a thorough background check including credit history, rental history, criminal history and demand proof of sufficient income.
 
Also remember:  The best tenants are just as fearful they will end up with a bad landlord as you are of a bad tenant.  Good tenants like to hear your professional, through, business like tone.  They want to hear you say you will conduct a background check.

 
Answer the phone using your business name:
 
John Doe Properties, this is John
I'm calling about the home you have for rent.
 
Yes mam
Quiet!  Listen but don't comment on what they say next. Then begin your questions:
 
Yes, mam, is this for yourself?
Meaning, are you calling for yourself or on behalf of someone else?  In other words, am I speaking with the decision maker?  If she says yes move to the next question.  If she says no, find out who will she's calling for.  Don't make a judgment or even respond just remember the information.
 
When do you plan to move?
She may say something like "at the end of the month" or "as soon as possible. So respond with the following:
 
Is that when you lease is up where you live now?
Make a mental note the answer but don't respond.
 
How many people will be living there?
She will probably respond with a number like 2 or 6.  This may disqualify the caller.  For example, if you are renting a 3 bedroom home and your company policy permits up to 6 persons -- but you learn there are 10 persons in this family, you should let the person know and bring the call to a courteous end.  Otherwise respond with:
 
And, finally, do you have any pets?
If yes, What Kind?  Here you should refer exactly to your company policy regarding pets.
 
If she says "A dog"
Ask:  What Kind?
 
If she says "Just a mut" or "a Mix", say:
 
Yes mam.  What are the breads?
This could be a deal killer so you can save both of you a lot of time by finding out the type of animal.  If your company policy forbids that type there is no reason to continue the phone conversation.
 
Next, give an abbreviated description of the property and transition in to a subtle outline of your requirements.
This is a very nice 3 bedroom home located in Historic Riverside.  It rents for $750.00 and the Security Deposit usually starts at $1,100.00.  That's if you have a good credit history, good rental history, no serious criminal history and sufficient income.  Do you expect a problem in any of these areas?
 
Pause.  Silence.  Receive any answers without judgment.

If there are any yes answers:
Do you mind telling me more about that?
Make a mental note of the answers.
 
OK.  Now, where do you work?
Answer

How often do you get paid?
Answer

And how much is your check each (week, month, etc.)
If the total net monthly income is less than 3 times the amount of the rent ask:
Do you have any income beside this?
If no, say
Ok, the minimum net income required to qualify for this home is $3,300.00 per month.  Will  you please call us back when your income changes?  Thank you.  Done!

If no yes answers to the questions and there is sufficient income:

Great!  Could I give you the address and directions?
 
Now, don't laugh.  This next question can save lots of time.  You'll be amazed.


Do you have a pen?
It's amazing home many callers are not prepared to write.
 
The address is 1234 Riverside Ave.  To get there take xxx to xxx, etc.
If you prefer to arrange a meeting, change the text accordingly.

 
Complete the call with a much more detailed description of the property with heavy emphasis on features and benefits.  Write this out -- at least 4 or 5 sentences -- come on!  Sell this beautiful home you have for rent!
 
End with:
Please go by and look at it and then a call me back so we can get started. Okay!?
 
The entire conversation should take around 2 minutes and you say essentially the same thing to everyone who calls.  That's critical in this new era of increased education and interest in Fair Housing violations.  Remember under Fair Housing laws you do not have to have the "intent to discriminate" to be guilty of housing discrimination and that can be a very, very expensive mistake.

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