Attracting the right tenants improves short-term cash flow. It also enhances the value of the rental property in the long term. It’s a given that a landlord wants tenants who not only pay rent, but also care for the property. The best tenants, in turn, want a property that is well-kept.
Professional property managers know that the property tour is a great opportunity to win over the best rental applicants. Follow these tips and show like a pro:
Avoid False Alarms
Don’t go through the trouble of scheduling a property showing unless the prospect has been prequalified. Find out if the applicant has verifiable income sufficient to cover the rent and is ready to move.
Don’t Go in Blind
If you haven’t been to the property in the last day or so or if the property is tenant-occupied, arrive at the showing early. Allow ample time to open the blinds, turn on the lights, and spruce up any unexpected messes.
Bring along a trash bag, cleaning wipes, and maybe a hand-held vacuum to eliminate the random dead bug or spider web.
Property managers in the know carry replacement light bulbs so prospects aren’t left in the dark.
Bring batteries for smoke detectors to eliminate chirping that signals neglect.
Take a moment to anticipate questions the prospect is likely to ask. One pro suggests calculating utilities. Bring along a measuring tape so tenants can determine if their furniture will fit. A copy of the floor plan will impress. Also, bring along a copy of the house rules, and a rental application.
DON’T bring a copy of the tenancy agreement. This prospect hasn’t been screened and handing them a lease could create the impression that it’s a done deal. Also, it will be easier to overcome the temptation to sign the lease on the spot and risk renting to a scammer.
Special Considerations for Tenant-Occupied Properties
If possible, show the property vacant. Tenant-occupied properties are difficult to show because the tenant’s furnishings may crowd the space, the unit may not be as clean as possible at that particular moment, and the tenant may not like the intrusion, which can turn off the prospect.
A planned vacancy at the end of the previous tenancy is an opportunity to spruce up the property, check for and repair any damage, perform routine updates and maintenance, and stage the property in a way that attracts the very best tenants. The short-term loss is diminished by the long-term gain in securing good tenants and avoiding property damage.
However, if the property must be shown tenant-occupied, keep this in mind:
The relationship with the previous tenant will impact the new tenant.
The current tenant is entitled to notice before a showing. Go out of the way to keep this tenant happy during the showing period.
Be picky about which prospects are allowed a showing — don’t schedule showings with questionable candidates and risk angering the existing tenant.
Stay with the prospect in each room to protect the current tenant’s privacy and personal possessions. Both the current tenant and the prospective tenant will appreciate the vigilance.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.