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Tampa Property Management Tip #3: Collect at least a $200 Security Deposit Now

This tip will help a Tampa property management company rent houses 30-50% faster.  Once you have completed the application process and approved a tenant, you now need to get the security deposit and lease signed.  This presents an opportunity if you move fast.

99% of  Tampa property management companies tell the approved tenant to come to their office and bring the full security deposit.  Or even worse, the property manager will tell the prospect to come into the office the day of move-in.  Either way is crazy and will result in at least 30% of those tenants renting another property.

You need to understand how people behave.  People love shiny, beautiful things.  Therefore, the tenants will often continue looking because they have made no financial commitment to you.  If they find something else more attractive or at a better price, they change their minds and you have lost a perfectly good tenant.  

Renting a house or condo is just like selling any other merchandise or service.  You must be constantly closing.  When a prospective tenant is approved and wants to rent your property, get up from your desk and move quickly to collect the security deposit.  Do not allow any delays.  The temptation is to have the tenant come to your office because this is convenient.  There is nothing wrong with this approach if the tenant can drive over now.  However, if they cannot make it to your office for a few days, you risk losing the tenant to a more aggressive landlord or a prettier property.

When I approve a tenant, I immediately ask if they have the security deposit to put down today.  If they say yes, I see if they are able to come to my office.  If they cannot drive over right now or shortly than I go to them.  

If the tenant does not have the whole security deposit, collect at least $200 today, tomorrow, or as soon as the tenant has the money.  By collecting the deposit right away, the tenant is making a financial commitment.  This is very important because the tenant stops looking at other rental properties.  Why do they stop?  Because the deposit is non-refundable in the event they do not move-in.

When collecting at least $200, the property manager should have the new tenant sign a receipt which clearly states the following:  “the security deposit is non-refundable in the event the tenant does not move-in by the (date).”  You must have the tenant sign the receipt because this gives you the legal right to keep the deposit if they do not move-in.  This step also sends a clear message to the tenant that they must rent your property or lose the deposit.  Very few tenants will walk away from $200-$800 security deposit.  The property management company has now protected their newly approved tenant from renting another place.

This tip appears very simple and perhaps a bit trivial.  Do not make this mistake.  Tampa property management companies who consistently execute this tip will have substantially more leases signed.

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