Facilitating property tours for prospective tenants is an essential part of being a landlord. In fact, this step in the process is just as crucial as marketing to and screening potential renters. Most landlords realize that showing their property in the best possible light is crucial. Sometimes a deep clean, staging furniture, or boosting curb appeal is necessary before offering rental property tours. However, getting a tenant to sign a lease agreement than just a nice exterior and inviting interior. So, with that in mind, check out our top tips for showing an unoccupied rental property below.
6 Tips for Wowing Tenants with Your Rental Property Showing
Creating an attractive rental ad with quality photos is only half the battle when appealing to new tenants. These ads grab their attention, but in-person rental property tours can make or break your chances of signing a lease. Therefore, both you and the property must be ready. To get you on track, check out these tips
- Don’t Overlook the Basics
- Pre-Screen Interested Applicants
- Take Precautions to Protect Yourself
- First Impressions are Lasting Impressions
- Come Informed and Prepared
Don’t Overlook the Basics
No matter what type of property you have, there are some universal steps to making it ready for rental property tours.
- First Impressions – Do not underestimate the power of curb appeal! The property should be inviting and present as well-maintained to prospective renters upon arrival. So, make sure the yard is well maintained, any debris or trash is removed from the yard, and the exterior is cleaned. If necessary, consider a power wash to remove built-up dirt on siding, foundation, or walkways.
- Clean, Clean, Clean – Nothing turns a potential tenant away faster than a dirty home interior. Therefore, be sure to inspect the property beforehand and make sure it is clean. Remove any lingering dust and freshen with room air refreshers if needed. Overall, cleaning a rental property before listing is a critical point in the turnover process as this too creates a lasting first impression.
- Redecorate or Upgrade – Sometimes, cleaning just will not do, and some upgrades are a must. One of the most common upgrades landlords encounter is replacing the carpet or repainting. In addition, however, your property may benefit from updated lighting fixtures, new window treatments, or even new appliances. In the end, these selling points will make a huge difference in whether a tenant is interested in leasing a property.
Pre-Screen Interested Applicants
Thorough tenant screening is a landlord’s best defense against a troublesome tenant. However, screening can begin well before the application process. So, before you begin showing a property to interested tenants, take time to pre-qualify them. This will save time, energy, and money while ensuring landlords only show the property to qualified tenants.
However, keep in mind that pre-qualifying tenants for a property cannot violate any Fair Housing Laws. These regulations are in place to protect tenants from housing discrimination based on several protected classes. Therefore, make sure the pre-qualifying questions are the same for all prospective tenants to avoid discrimination allegations. So, in addition to reviewing your standard set of qualifications, consider asking some of the questions below –
- We require three times the monthly rent in income to qualify. Do you meet this?
- Have you ever been evicted or broken a rental agreement?
- How long have you been in your current home?
- Why are you looking to move?
- What is your projected move-in date?
- How many occupants will be living in the unit?
- Do you have pets?
- The property is non-smoking; are you able to comply?
- Are there any issues I should know about before I run a background screening for all the adults in the household?
- What are you looking for in your next home?
Take Precautions to Protect Yourself
Before showing a rental property, put your safety first. Sadly, several realtors, property managers, and landlords are injured each year, showing homes to prospective tenants. Thus, if someone calls asking to see a rental home, record their full name and conduct a background check on your state’s public record website before agreeing to show the property. In addition, here are some ways you can protect yourself from potentially harmful situations while conducting rental property tours –
- Always show properties during the daytime, never after dark
- Ensure a family member or colleague knows who you are with and where you will be
- Check-in with your office or contact frequently 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 is critical. Always be aware of your surroundings, as ensuring your safety will result in more successful property showings.
First Impressions are Lasting Impressions
When conducting rental property tours, the property is not the only thing being judged. Keep in mind that prospects are also making assumptions about the landlord, their communication promptness, how they conduct business, and how well they maintain the property.
Small, seemingly insignificant (yet very effective) things you do before, during, and after rental property tours will leave a lasting impression on potential tenants that view the home. With that in mind, check out these tips for showcasing both the property and you as a landlord below –
- 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
- Keep hand sanitizer conveniently placed near the entry
- Open all room doors to limit contact
- 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)
- Create a property reference sheet the prospect can take with them to remember your unit. This should include general information about the property, pictures, square footage, monthly rent and deposit amounts, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, extra amenities, and standard qualifications.
- 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.
Come Informed and Prepared
Successful landlords must be knowledgeable on both the property and the perks of the surrounding area. Typically, people choose certain locations because they like the neighborhood or have heard it is great for one reason or another. So, emphasize the area’s selling points such as –
- Nearby restaurants
- Local attractions
- Parks or community outdoor spaces
- Proximity to commuter routes or public transit
The more information you can give potential tenants on the spot, the better equipped and more trustworthy you will seem. Plus, this information could sway them to make a quicker decision and possibly forgo viewing other properties.
Follow-Up After the Showing
Customer service is a major factor involved in rental property tours and marketing. Part of great customer service is diligent follow-up. That said, consider reaching back out to prospects the next day after their tour to see if they have any questions you can help with. Ask if there is anything you can do to help them complete an application or if they indicate they are no longer interested, be sure to wish them well.
Although this seems trivial, a little kindness can go a long way in deciding which property to call home. In the end, the way you present yourself as a landlord to potential tenants can make all the difference. So, taking the proper steps before every showing, going above and beyond when showing, and promptly following up makes it a win-win situation for everyone.
Stress-free Rental Property Tours with Professional Management
Every day a rental property sits vacant is a missed opportunity for landlords. After all, if it is not making you money, it costs you money. Therefore, an efficient marketing process, effective rental property tours, and thorough screening are vital to reaching your profit potential. While landlords can do this alone, why not rely on the experience of trusted industry professionals?
Bay Property Management Group is the area’s go-to source for dedicated property managers that guide owners through every step of the rental process. Whether you need help managing an occupied unit or need help finding your next great tenant, BMG can help. So give us a call today to learn more about how our targeted marking and full-service rental management approach can benefit you.