How To Reply To Rental Requests

Updated December 2021

Many landlords think a lot about on-the-ground lead generation and how to ensure that more potential tenants see their apartment listings. Once those individuals start sending in rental reply requests, however, not all landlords know how to take appropriate action so they can lease out their property quickly.

The way you funnel those leads will determine how much time you spend screening the right or wrong applicants, and it will also affect whether or not you can turn over a rental unit in short order.

Knowing how to reply to rental requests from your listings will save you time and future headaches. Even better is to understand how to automate these email replies.

In this post, you’ll learn what to write by using our sample email response to an apartment inquiry. Once you’ve published your rental listing, you’re going to get a good number of people reaching out, so you want to be ready to go.

A Table Of Contents About Rental Requests

Rental requests for more information about your available units are a key part of your business funnel. How do you manage these messages? Today, learn more about how to refine and improve your process long-term.

Why Replying To Rental Requests Matters

Why Replying To Rental Requests Matters

Landlords should take time to ensure they are following up on email inquiries and rental requests received about their units. Why is this so important?

Essentially, all emails that you receive about your rental units are leads. An individual would like to know more about your rental property, and you have a chance to show them what it has to offer.

Following up on these leads gives you a better shot of renting out the unit promptly. By letting them slip by, you might be letting profit slip away, too.

Plus, you’ll be able to use the process of receiving and replying to rental requests as a way to improve your overall rental business.

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from replying to all rental requests.

Introduce Expectations

One of the best things about using our sample email response to apartment listing inquiries is that you can let the prospective tenant know your expectations in a polite but straightforward way. Clear expectations are the route to every good tenant-landlord relationship, so you want to work on cultivating this from day one.

Outlining what qualifications must be met to rent the apartment and other major rules, such as if pets are allowed, in your response email is a good idea. You can begin to establish necessary landlord-tenant responsibilities, which will help if they become your tenant down the line.

Gauge Interest

Another benefit of making sure you reply to inquiry emails is that you will better gauge interest in your unit. If 10 people send rental requests, but only three submit applications after your response, you can deduce the other seven may not have met the qualifications.

Reviewing what kind of inquiries are coming in and the results of those inquiries can help you improve on where you are advertising, what you are saying in your listings, and other aspects of your marketing. This is key for improving your business.

Know How To Answer Rental Application Questions

Finally, you are opening a line of communication with a potential tenant by promptly replying to their inquiry email. This will allow them to ask questions about the rental application or property without feeling there’s a communication barrier.

As you see what kind of questions prospective tenants have about the unit or application, you can refine both your listings and your application form to prevent confusion. Answering tenant questions is a great way to learn about what is lacking in your email response, apartment listing, tour language, and many other aspects of your business.

Pay attention, and consider taking notes on what is asked even if the individual doesn’t become one of your tenants. You’ll be able to use this data to your advantage, and that will be a boon to your business.

Rental Inquiry Email Example Response

What exactly should you include in a response to a rental inquiry? We’ve covered some of those details above, but it can be helpful to see a template email to make creating your own response easier.

You can use the following as a template to create your reply for interested renters. Be sure to adjust it based on your screening criteria and preferences for communication.

Apartment Email Response Template

Thank you for reaching out about property ABC.

It is still available for rent, and we do have a set standard of criteria we require to be eligible for consideration.

If interested, you must have the following in place:

  • Your monthly net/gross salary should be three times the rent.
  • We run a full background and credit check on each person over the age of 18. This is to be paid for by the applicant.
  • We also do not allow smoking or pets at this residence.

If you’re comfortable with ALL of the terms above, I’d be happy to answer any other questions that you may have about the rental.

Please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX between the hours of _________ to discuss further.

I look forward to chatting with you.

For more information on how to use this sample email, check out this simple tutorial.

Specifics Of Your Email Response To An Apartment Inquiry

Rental Inquiry Email Example Response

Why did we include those specifics in the template? Understanding this is important in order to adjust these items to better match what you want tenants to know.

The bullet points outline the qualifications that all applicants will be expected to meet. By outlining these clearly for prospective tenants from your first email response, you are making it easy for each person to determine if they should move forward with an application.

By leading with qualifications expected to rent the property, you can save both you and the inquirer time and money. This is essential for good, efficient business, and we highly recommend following this example.

How To Automatically Reply To Rental Leads Using Gmail

If you’re funneling rental leads to your email, you might be able to improve your process. In Gmail,  there’s an easy way to create “canned responses” to specific types of filtered emails.

This little tip will help you to automatically reply to these leads and let the interested party know the next steps in the process.

This may take a few minutes to learn and set up, but it can save you plenty of time. Additionally, here is the link to that was mentioned at the end of the video.

Other Reply Methods

Even if you don’t use Gmail or don’t want to set up an auto-reply, you should still consider using your email features to your advantage, to make responding easier.

Here are a few simple tips that can help in creating organized and prompt responses to all incoming rental inquiries:

  1. Set up subfolders for specific listings. If possible, configure your email to auto-sort emails into these folders based on included text (i.e., the exact property address).
  2. Keep a copy of your response in a draft email. This will make it easier to copy and paste without needing to open multiple programs or files.
  3. Add all prospective tenant email addresses to your address book, and use a “category” feature to mark these emails as important so you don’t miss any updates.
  4. Check your email regularly when marketing properties.

Regardless of the method you determine works best for your business when you start replying to rental requests, what you do next is also very important. Tenant screening is essential for a successful rental business, and you need to have the right tools on your side.

In addition to having robust screening criteria as you determine the best fit for your rental property, you may want to use a high-quality tenant screening service. This service will help ensure the information used to make your decision is accurate and reliable.

For high-quality tenant screening in no time, check out RentPrep’s tenant screening services today.

FAQs: How To Respond To A Rental Inquiry

What is a rental request?

A rental request is a request for more information about a rental unit, typically sent from a prospective tenant to a landlord. This inquiry expresses interest in the unit or property and requests information about the unit, the application process, and other vital parts of renting.

Rental requests are commonly sent by email, but they can also be sent via third-party messaging services such as a rental website or even left as a voicemail. Regardless of how they are received, it is important to respond to all rental requests quickly, to avoid missing out on potential business.

How do you respond to a rental request?

Responding to a rental request can be done in several ways, but the best way to respond ultimately depends on your business style and needs.

For example, a landlord who manages and rents out only one unit will likely contact each individual who submits a rental request. This is manageable due to the limited nature of their rental business at this time.

However, for property managers and landlords with many units, this would not be an efficient way to keep up with their business. Instead, they may have an automated email that goes out in response to rental requests. This response includes essential information about the property as well as the requirements expected of any tenants.

Finally, it gives prospective tenants information on contacting the landlord and submitting a rental application.

Automating this process is essential for landlords with packed schedules as it makes the overall rental process smoother while still providing the necessary information. Finding the best way to do this for your team may take time, but it is worth the time investment to get it right.

What do you say to a prospective tenant?

Over time, you’ll find that you want to be very straightforward about your expectations when talking to prospective tenants. You want to show them the unit’s potential, but you also don’t want to give prospective tenants the wrong idea about the unit, your lease expectations, or other requirements of renting the property.

Make sure you tell potential tenants all of the following, preferably before they submit a rental application:

  • Expected minimum credit score, if applicable
  • Expected minimum income, if applicable
  • “Big” rules for the property, such as no pets or no smoking
  • Occupancy limits
  • Earliest available move-in date
  • Monthly rent
  • Whether or not utilities are included in the cost

By providing as much information as possible to prospective tenants before they submit a rental application, you can both save time if they do not meet the necessary qualifications. It does you no favors to receive applications from tenants who simply cannot afford your unit, and it doesn’t help them either.

Save everyone trouble by being direct about the legal minimums you expect in terms of credit score and income so that you are not left to repeatedly screen tenants who are not a good fit for your unit.

What do landlords look for when choosing a tenant?

Every landlord has their own set of specifications for choosing the right tenant for their units. Do you have your list? If not, it’s time to think about what you will focus on when choosing a tenant.

After all, choosing a tenant is one of the most important things you will do as a landlord. If you pick tenants who cannot afford the rent, for example, you’ll spend the entire lease period tracking down the money, which can be a big problem for your business.

Consider the following as concrete things to look at when reviewing tenant applications:

  1. Verifiable employment and income
  2. Verifiable credit score and history
  3. Address and renting history
  4. Eviction, criminal, and bankruptcy history (where permitted)
  5. Reliable and accurate information for everything on the application

Then, consider what you will talk about with the tenant when you speak to them directly. By having a short conversation with potential tenants, you will be able to determine if they are a good fit for your property. The following questions can be helpful to ask:

  • Why are you moving?
  • Do you have any questions?
  • Have you ever had problems with a previous property or landlord?
  • Was there anything your previous landlord did that you would not want to deal with again?
  • How long do you expect to be at the rental property?

Finally, remember that you are obligated to follow any legal restrictions on what can and cannot be used when screening tenants. A tenant’s religion, for example, is not a valid reason to deny their application. Income that cannot support the monthly rent, however, is a valid reason.

You can read more about the Fair Housing Act on HUD’s website for more information about these restrictions.

How do tenants get selected?

To select a tenant, landlords take all applications received for the rental property and review them. Applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis, or you could wait and review many at one time.

Most landlords will filter out applications that do not meet the base requirements, such as a self-reported credit score that is too low or an application that isn’t completed properly, and deny those applicants right away.

From there, landlords will typically begin to verify the information given in each application through background checks and manual phone calls.

Once they have narrowed down their options to the tenants that meet necessary qualifications and passed the background check, the landlord can use their own discretion to determine which tenant will be the best fit.

How To Respond To Potential Renters: Set Up Your System Today

If you haven’t yet put a system in place to review and reply to prospective tenants’ inquiries, you could be losing business. Emails that go without replies are missed applications, and you might lose the opportunity to rent to a very reliable tenant. Find a reliable tenant with RentPrep’s screening services here.

Take time to understand where these messages usually come in and figure out how to reply to rental requests promptly. Once you start filtering these leads more effectively, you’ll see that you have a broader pool of tenants to choose from. More tenant options mean more potential for a great fit.  Don’t limit your business by ignoring inquiry emails.