The key to profitable rentals is attracting the best tenants, and having a successful property showing is instrumental to achieving that goal.
The ideal tenant is someone who will care for the property. That means landlords need to find applicants who are picky about where they want to live. These tenants want a rental home that is well-kept.
Prospective tenants must like the property, but that’s not all. They also must feel confident that the landlord is a professional.
The secret to success, once you’ve found the right applicants, is presenting the right image.
On the day of the scheduled showing, plan to arrive a few minutes early to check the property before the rental applicant arrives.
Assemble a few necessary tools to take along with you, or store at the property:
1. One trick that experienced property managers have learned is that if the unit smells clean, it will look cleaner. Unfortunately, rental units can develop stale odours in between showings. Avoid this problem by carrying an air freshener. Sprays are easy, but the candle variety can add ambiance to the room.
Another option is to bring along a scented multipurpose cleaner, or diluted vinegar in a spray bottle. Wipe it over dusty counters or randomly throughout the unit to spread the “clean” fragrance and add some shine.
The third option is to store a coffee maker and brew a pot just before the applicants arrive. This creates a pleasant, “homey” feeling.
2. Carry a portable vacuum to clean up dust or tiny objects — like dead spiders — that could upset a finicky prospect.
3. A microfiber cloth is handy to use on dust or to polish away finger prints.
4. Keep a spare light bulb or two on hand in case one has burned out. This is particularly important for outdoor lighting, because good applicants highly value security.
5. Spare batteries for smoke detectors. The last thing a landlord wants during a tour is the annoying chirping sound from a neglected smoke detector.
6. Have a small trash bag to pick up items like overlooked coffee cups from the last showing, or debris left behind by contractors.
7. Often tenants ask, “Will my furniture fit here?” Carry a measuring tape to calm any concerns.
8. Don’t forget to bring along the rental application. Bring one for each adult occupant.
9. Carry a copy of the leasing rules, or a copy of the lease agreement for the tenant to review.
NOTE: Don’t allow the applicant to sign the lease agreement on the spot, before you have a chance to run tenant screening reports. You may later regret your choice of tenants.
10. Maintain a list of the answers to the most commonly-asked questions from prospects. This could include a floor plan with room measurements, or information about the nearest public transportation. This list likely will expand as new prospects raise questions.
BONUS TIP: Don’t assume that tenants can find your contact information again. Invest in some business cards to hand out to prospects, or to distribute at open houses.
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 in 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.