This article was contributed from TurboTenant
Filling a rental vacancy can be a time consuming process. From the initial marketing of the property to the final tenant screening process, there are many steps to be taken. One important part of filling a vacancy is conducting a rental showing. Usually, the showing will take place after a potential tenant has perused your listing online and wishes to see the property in person. Check out these quick tips for making your property showing the most effective and efficient process possible.
Tip #1: Conduct A Quick Phone Interview
Showing your property can take up a lot of your time. This is particularly true in markets with high demand. One way to cut down on the time you spend showing your property, while making the showings you do conduct more effective, is to pre-screen interested parties over the phone. You can ask some quick questions to help weed out those who will not be a good fit for your property. Criteria you might ask about include:
- Do you make the required income?
- Is the move-in date what you are looking for?
- Are you looking at the property for yourself or someone else?
- How many people are you planning on living with?
- Are you willing to submit to a background and credit check?
Simple questions such as these can help save you time. It is pointless to show the property to someone who won’t even meet your basic criteria.
Tip #2: Decide On Private Showings Or Open House Showings
There are two different ways you can approach the showing process. You can either schedule individual, private showings with each interested party, or you can schedule an open house showing. If you are operating in a market with low demand, private showings will give you the chance to connect with potential renters to a greater extent. However, if you have a rental property in a high-demand market, one-on-one showings may eat up more time than they are worth. If you opt for an open house style showing, simply choose two time windows (usually on the weekends), and notify interested parties of the open houses. This allows you to show the property to a greater number of people with less of a time investment on your part.
Tip #3: Prep The Property
Before you show your property, you should take the time to prepare it for the showing. Make sure that things are tidy and clean. Even a simple dusting can go a long way in making the property more appealing. If the property has been sitting vacant for a time, it might be worth heading over early to air out the home or plug in an air freshener. Take time to make sure the property looks good from the moment interested parties show up. Mow the yard, pull weeds in the walkway, and tidy up the exterior. Open up doors, closets, and cabinets inside so people can get a feel for the space. Make sure you highlight the best features during the showing. If you are doing a one-on-one guided tour, point out the amenities offered such as a dishwashers, laundry facilities, etc. It can be helpful to print off marketing flyers to hand out to people at the showing. This will give them a physical reminder of your property and the specifics about it.
Tip #4: Be Friendly And Professional
Remember, people are not just interested in what the rental unit itself will be like, they are also interested in what you, their potential landlord, will be like. Make sure you are friendly and professional during the open house. Start the tenant-landlord relationship off right by being courteous and helpful. Make sure you planned enough time to answer questions thoroughly, without giving off an impression that you are rushed or annoyed. Take the time during the showing to get to know them a little more. Not only will this put a good foot forward, it will also help you pre-screen applicants.
Tip #5: Provide Easy Instructions
For those who are interested in applying to your property, be sure you provide them with easy instructions on the next step they should take. If you are using an online rental application, send them a text or email with the link to the property. The easier it is to apply to your property, the better chance you have of garnering the interest of many.
Tip #6: Follow Up In A Timely Manner
If you are waiting to screen tenants until you have finished with a few showings, be sure you follow-up with interested parties as quickly as possible. You can lose interested applicants if you do not touch base soon enough. Keep in mind that most interested parties are probably looking at multiple properties.
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