Do like the Rental Agents, and other ideas - Posted by Frank Chin
Posted by Frank Chin on January 31, 2002 at 06:08:36:
Hi Madd Flipper:
I’m a landlord, so I get to see how some of the rental agents from the local RE offices operate.
Whenever I place a for rent by owner ad in the paper, quite a number of them would call me up, and ask if they could list it, or bring some clients over. They would of course ask for my name, the address of the rental, number of rooms, cost of utilities etc.
Sometimes I wonder if they’re not just making a list.
I know for a fact they maintain that information in a database somewhere. I use a telephone number that is billed as an additional line (for tenants and rentals) on my 1st number, and this number is not listed anywhere. But, I would get calls from it from time to time asking me if I have anything available for rent.
Coming to think of it, you can call ads up in your target area yourself on “houses for rent”, or even “apts for rent”, and over a short period of time, you’ll have your own list. Just make beleive you’re looking for a place for your sister or whatever, and ask for the address for a driveby to see if you like the neighborhood if you don’t care to make an appointment to see the inside on every one of them. Then, maybe you want to see the inside.
This will take a little time of course, and can be done little by little, weekly, over the telephone, so you don’t have to run down to the tax assessors office, or do a lot of analysis.
Sometimes, there are clusters of rentals. So if it looks like from making your list there’s a few on a block, you may want to check out others on the same block.
I also get calls from apartment referral services as well. What they do is call me to get the informtaion, list them, and charge renters looking for rentals a fee to have the list. The main citicism is that these lists are out of date, and the places are usually already rented by the time people get them. That’s why I tell them I’m not interested in listng with them when they call.
Now, these out of date lists may not be useful for renters, but useful for what you’re thinking about doing.
Then if you’re in a big hurry, you may have to do some analysis. I saw some posts about getting lists of properties and owners from title companies on this board not too long ago. I haven’t done it myself though. I also know there’s criss cross directories available where they list names and phone numbers of everyone by a certain street. If the name for the location in the phone directory does not match the owners name, you probably have a renter.
I also know doing work at some of my rentals that there’s voter registration information publicly available. I was standing in front of my rental when a lady running for the local council walked up to the front door, looking at a list, and asked if I’m Mr. so and so (tenant’s name). I said, no, he’ll be home later.
So, if you compare the voter registration to a property owners list, you can figure out the renters that way too.
At least, that’s a few ideas from where I am. Good luck hunting.