Showing a client’s vacant rental property to prospective tenants is one of the principal roles of a property manager.
Though emphasis is often placed on appealing to the right tenant pool, as well as the importance of proper tenant screening, the truth is that the in-person showing of the home to potential renters is just as crucial.
Staging a vacant rental property can be done easily and without a great deal of time. With a little bit of curb appeal and a nice looking interior, you will have more tenants wanting to lease your client’s rental home than you know what to do with.
But there is more to getting a tenant to sign a lease agreement than just a nice exterior and inviting interior.
Today we will look at the top tips for showing an unoccupied rental property. If you follow these simple yet effective steps, you will find great success in your showings.
6 Tips for Wowing Tenants with Your Rental Property Showing
1. Remember The Basics
Every property manager knows that there are basic staging rules for showing a potential tenant their client’s rental home. Let’s look at those basics:
- Do not underestimate the power of curb appeal. Make sure the yard is well maintained, the property is freshly painted, and the all-around feeling is inviting as a tenant pulls up.
- Clean, clean, clean. Nothing turns a potential tenant away faster than a dirty home interior. Make sure to inspect the property beforehand to make sure its cleanliness meets you and your client’s standards.
- Redecorate or upgrade. Install new carpet, paint the walls an appealing and neutral color, fix the window treatments, and make sure all appliances are updated and working.
In the end, these selling points will make a huge difference in whether a tenant is interested in leasing a property from your client.
As mentioned earlier, tenant screening plays a significant role in the leasing process.
Before you begin showing a property to interested tenants, pre-qualify them. This will save you time, energy, and money and will ensure you are only showing the property to qualified tenants.
Here are some great topics to ask about when someone calls to set up a property showing:
- Their credit score
- Reason for moving
- Estimated move-in date
- Whether they have pets
- Smoker or non-smoker
- Number of people moving in
- If they have references
- Eviction history
- Estimated income
- If they have any questions
Keep in mind that pre-qualifying tenants for a property showing cannot violate any of the Fair Housing laws that are in place to protect prospective tenants. In addition, make sure the pre-qualifying questions are the same for all prospective tenants to avoid discrimination allegations.
3. Be Safe
Before showing a rental property, put your safety first. Every year a number of realtors, property managers, and landlords are injured showing homes to prospective tenants.
If someone calls asking to see a rental home, get his or her full name and conduct a background check on your state’s public record website before agreeing to show the property.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself from potentially harmful situations while showing rental properties:
- Always show properties during the daytime, never after dark
- Call your office every hour to let them know where you are
- Introduce yourself to neighbors so they are familiar with you and your vehicle
- Have an “escape” plan in place for when something feels “off” (for instance, take an emergency phone call outside or inform the potential tenant another agent is on the way)
- Always leave all doors unlocked and stand by the doorways while showing the property
- Park on the curb rather than the driveway for a quick getaway, if necessary
Gathering information ahead of time about potential tenants and being aware of your surroundings will ensure your safety as well as a more successful property showing.
4. Make a Good First Impression
Small, seemingly insignificant (yet very effective) things you do before, during, and after a rental property showing will leave a lasting impression on potential tenants that view the home.
There are several ways to convince potential tenants that this property is perfect and that they need to sign a lease right away. For instance:
- Call and confirm scheduled showings a few hours beforehand
- Set the temperatures in the rental to be comfortable upon arrival
- Turn on all of the property’s lights
- Dress professionally and check your personal hygiene
- Smile when you greet tenants, shake their hands, and formally introduce yourself
- Show them the grounds, both on and off the property (for example the pool, gym area, laundry facility, parking structures, BBQ areas, or roof decks)
- Have general information about the property on hand so the tenant can remember you later. Include things such as pictures of the property, square footage, monthly rent and deposit amounts, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any extra amenities
- Have applications ready for tenants to fill out immediately following the showing
In short, making a tenant feel welcome, at ease, and well informed about the property can go a long way in securing a lease agreement.
5. Be Informed
In addition to knowing everything about the property you are showing, it is a good idea to be knowledgeable about the surrounding area. People often move to certain locations because they like the neighborhood or have heard it is great.
Emphasize the area’s selling points – nearby restaurants, shopping, entertainment, attractions, schools, parks, and roads for commuting.
The more information you can give potential tenants on the spot, without them having to pry, the better equipped and more trustworthy you will seem. Plus, this information will help them to make a quicker decision and possibly forgo viewing other properties.
6. Follow Up
Property managers should base their entire showing process around customer service. Doing so shows potential tenants that you are a reliable company that they can trust and easily contact to work out any issues that may arise with the property, should they decide to lease.
A day or two after showing the property, consider sending a follow-up email or making a call to the potential tenants who saw the property.
Make sure they have no further questions about the property or leasing process and wish them luck in finding their next home.
Although this seems trivial, a little kindness can go a long way when it comes to deciding which property to lease and call home.
In the end, the way you present yourself and your client’s property to potential tenants can make all the difference when it comes to getting a lease agreement signed.
By taking the proper steps before every showing, you ensure that your client will be satisfied with the amount of effort you put into filling their vacant rental.
On top of that, going above and beyond when showing rental properties can help motivate the most qualified tenants to lease your client’s property, making it a win-win situation for everyone.