Many employers today turn to Facebook, Instagram. LinkedIn, and Twitter to get the “inside scoop” on applicants. Those social media sites provide a broader view of a person than the bare facts of job history/performance.
Property managers also go to those sites to learn more about potential renters. Facebook, for example, can verify some of the info contained on the rental application. These sites also can provide insight into they type of renter the applicant might be: are there pets not reported on the application? Is the person into throwing wild parties? Are there other lifestyle concerns?
It’s important to know that if you choose to use these sites to help you in your tenant selection, you must use them equally with all applicants, so that you’re not in violation of Fair Housing laws. And another thought — can you be fair about your opinions after you’ve checked out someone on FB or Instagram? It’s very possible their taste/opinions/political or religious beliefs may be drastically different than yours. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be fantastic tenants. You have to remain neutral if you decide to use these extra means of screening. If you can’t, maybe just stick with the written application!
I’m pretty open-minded, so I’m going to start using social media as an additional screening tool, if the applicants’ accounts are public. Better screening can help me find better tenants, and I’m all for that!
Onward and upward … 😌