In regards to Guest Cards… What is the policy on keeping guest cards of prospects that do not sign a lease with you? For example we require a hand written guest card on any piece of traffic (internet lead, phone call, walk-in). If the prospect signs a lease their guest card goes with their lease paperwork, if they don't sign a lease are we required to keep that guest card for a certain period of time? Keep in mind we also input each prospect into our property management software!
You have asked what policy there may be as involves keeping guest cards, and the brief, non-legal-advice answer is that the policy is whatever you want it to be. But Fair Housing Lady is rarely brief (just ask her husband) so I am going to expand on my answer. There is not (at least to my knowledge) any law that dictates what your guest card policy must be. So if your policy is that (1) every “piece of traffic” is a lead and is handwritten on a guest card; (2) lead-to-lease conversions result in your retaining the handwritten guest card with the resident file; and (3) all other lead data (i.e. guest card input not resulting in a lease) is transferred to a software program – then that should be fine. But as I always harp on (don’t ask my husband about my harping), once you have a policy (as you have here) – write it down and follow it! The one other question which you did not ask, but that I will ask on your behalf, is how long should you be keeping guest cards and other lead data? On good authority I have been told that unless your State or local laws require otherwise, three years is a good practice. Most fair housing complaints and lawsuits must be filed within a one-to-two year window (depending on the route taken by the person bringing the action), and a three-year retention means you will always have the information that may be asked of you.
Category: Property Managers & Owners