Showings are a must for securing great tenants for your properties. They are your opportunity to walk prospective renters through a unit, answer questions, and gauge their interest in your property.
There are two types of showings: individual showings and open houses.
Individual showings are more common for rental properties and are usually better for convincing prospects to submit applications. They allow you to devote your full attention to particular prospects who might be great tenants.
Showings are highly intuitive, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t pitfalls to avoid. You don’t want to give any wrong impressions or hinder relationships before they begin.
Here are seven tips for successful rental property showings.
Never be late to your showing. Being late sends the message that you don’t value the prospect’s time or believe them to be important.
Instead, arrive early to demonstrate your professionalism and eagerness to show the unit. It will also give you time to make last-minute preparations and touchups, or verify that the current tenant is ready for you if the unit is occupied.
Personalize the Tour
Personalized tours make prospects feel welcomed. There are many ways to personalize a showing.
Be sure to use the person’s first name and ask general personal questions to learn a little about who the prospect is. Small talk is important for establishing the foundation of a future tenant-landlord relationship.
You can also personalize the tour by highlighting what the prospective tenant wants to see. If they’re particularly interested in the bedrooms, spend more time on them. If they seem disinterested in the community areas, don’t bother lingering.
Bring Handouts and Applications
Before a showing, have something prepared with property details listed for prospects to take home.
For instance, include the current rates for the unit, the square footage, number and size of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, and utilities included or not included in rent.
Prospects can also use the handout to take any notes throughout the showing.
Even if you have an online rental application, it’s good practice to bring a paper copy in case they have any immediate questions.
Be an Expert
Potential tenants expect you to be an expert on the property. This means you should have all the important details memorized about the unit: its size, rent rate, amenities, age of the building, and highlights of the unit’s maintenance history.
Know about any other available openings in case a prospect likes your business but needs different bedrooms or amenities.
Finally, welcome them to the area by sharing your knowledge about the neighborhood, location, and nearby stores and restaurants.
Engage in Pre-Screening
While your prospects are learning about you at the showing, you should also learn about them. Showings are your opportunity to do some basic pre-screening. Are they a good fit?
By neglecting tenant pre-screening, you may miss crucial disqualifiers.
Let’s say the tour goes very well, and the prospect seems like an excellent candidate for your property. However, if you don’t take the time to ask about any potentially disqualifying factors (for instance, they’re a pet owner and you don’t allow them), the showing and application will be a waste of everyone’s time.
Discuss Next Steps
Always leave potential renters with a clear idea of what to do next after a showing. Make sure they know how and where to apply, the approximate timeframe of the application/deposit process, and any other next steps.
Ask Prospects How They Found You
Finally, ask potential renters how they found out about your properties. While this information isn’t directly relevant to the showing, it will help you assess whether your marketing efforts engage the kind of renters you want.
Asking prospects how they found you can also tell you whether the listing sites you use are the right ones for your business. For example, if all your prospects report learning about you through Zillow, you might decide to invest more time on online listing sites rather than social media. Try using the listing syndication feature on your property management software to post listings on dozens of sites simultaneously.
Generating Qualified Leads from Your Showings
Showings aren’t as complex as acquiring a new building or filing your rental property taxes. Good manners and common sense are often all you need to establish strong relationships with your tenants from the start. By being courteous, curious, and professional at your showings, you are sure to generate qualified leads for your rentals.