Schedule a time for the tenant to meet with you at the property. Don’t sign at a coffee shop or via the mail/fax, but actually meet at the property on the day they will be moving in. I find it helpful to go through the lease ahead of time and mark all the signature or initial areas with post-it notes or a highlighter so nothing will be forgotten or missed.
When you meet with the tenant, walk them through each provision in the lease – step by step – and sign (with a blue pen) as you go. This may be time-consuming but will help protect you when the tenant says, “Well, I didn’t know that” months down the road. You may consider having the tenant initial next to important items as well, such as a “no pet” policy. It’s easy for a tenant to later forget details, so having an initial is helpful in jogging their memory later on.