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How to track your Tenant Applications in Notion

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In the previous lessons, we learned how to create a property portfolio and transaction database. These two databases are essential for managing our properties, but they don't do us any good if we don't have tenants to fill our units. That's why in this lesson, we will learn how to create a tenant application system that will help us streamline the process of vetting and approving new tenants. Let's first identify our problem, find a solution for it, and set goals we want this tool to achieve.
 
There are a few common problems when it comes to vetting tenants and approving them for rentals:
  • There is no streamlined way to collect all the information you need from potential tenants.
  • It's hard to keep track of which applications are complete and which ones are missing information.
  • There is no easy way to compare different applications side by side.
 
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The goal of this tenant application system is to provide a streamlined way to collect all the information you need from potential tenants and compare different applications side by side. This will help you make better decisions when it comes to approving tenants for your rentals. Let's set up the following goals:
  • Create a new Database for tenant applications.
  • Add different views to this database that lets you see all the applications in one place, filter by the property, and sort by status (e.g., complete, missing information).
  • Create templates for different types of applications so you can quickly add new ones without having to start from scratch each time.
  • Add a way to approve or reject applications. This could be as simple as adding a Yes/No field to each application or using a Workflow to automate the approval process.
 
Let’s create a simple tenant application database. Here is how to do it:

Create a new inline/page database.

Start by creating a simple inline database. You can do it by typing “/database” anywhere in your workspace. Select a Database – Inline object and give it a name (for example My Tenant Applicants).
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Create the following columns for your database

You want to create as many columns as you find useful. Here are some ideas of the columns and types you can add:
  • Name (Text) e.g. John Smith
  • Email (Text) e.g. johnsmith@gmail.com
  • Phone (Text) e.g. 555-555-1234
  • Property (Relation) e.g. 1092 Preston Street
  • Status (Dropdown) e.g. “Applied”
  • Date of Birth (Date & time) e.g 5/1/1975
  • Social Security Number (Text) XXX-XX-1234
  • Start Date (Date) e.g. May 1, 2023
  • Pets (Checkbox) e.g. No
  • Number of People (Number) e.g. 2
  • Additional Occupant (Text) e.g. Jake Smith, Jane Smith
  • Credit Score (Number) e.g. 735
  • Current Landlord (Text) e.g. Mark Jacobs
  • Monthly Income (Number - US Dollar) e.g. $6400
  • Notes (Text) e.g. Nice family
  • Showing Date (Date) e.g. April 19, 2023
  • Term (Date) e.g. Year-to-Year
 
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Fill out the data

After you’ve created your new database, you can import all of your applicant data. Use corresponding tags and types. Feel free to add and modify anything in this process. This will help make it easier for you to find what you're looking for when browsing through the dataset later on.
A good way to get started is by including:
  • The name of the applicant (e.g John Smith)
  • Phone number(s)
  • Income
  • Pets/no pets
  • and other...
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Create Templates

Once you have imported your data, next comes creating templates! To do this click “New Template” on a blue button which should pre-select default values. Give it a proper name, and that’s it! Duplicate this template for all applicant types you might have grouped or filtered by:
  • Property type
  • With Pets
  • Rent amount
  • Employment status
  • Rent term
  • … and so on
 
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Create Database Views

Finally, you can create database views to make things easier. To do this, click “Add View” on a blue button which should already have been given the name of your view by default. Follow these same steps as before and add all necessary filters/sort however needed!
Examples of views you might create for your tenant applicants database:
  • All Tenants
  • Grouped by income
  • Calendar view
  • ...anything else that’s applicable to the data set.
 
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And that’s it! Now you know how to create a Tenant Application database in Notion.

Want to get more lessons? Follow me on Twitter (@IanDikhtiar)