Tips for Showing Your Rental Property
When you’re looking to fill your unoccupied rental property, there’s more to it than posting a listing, replying to interested potential renters and signing the lease. Perhaps the most crucial step is the showing — the time when you will introduce the interested party to the space, convey its benefits and try your best to help them envision the space as their home for the next year or more.
So how do you show your property without going over the top and trying to give the renter everything they need? Or conversely, how do you give them the space they need to make a decision without being pressured? Easy — take these tips into consideration and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Prepare Your Property for the Showing
Most of the time, the property you’re showing will be empty — but that’s not always the case. If you’re the landlord of a property near a college campus, you might only have a couple days in between new leases. Regardless of its occupancy status, prepare it for the showing with these tips in mind:
Clean it up. Giving your rental a thorough cleaning before a potential renter steps in it is a necessity. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to save yourself some elbow grease and make certain the unit is as clean as can be.
If you’re showing the property while it’s still occupied, call and make sure your current tenants will clean the space prior to your visit. Give as much notice to your tenants as possible to protect their privacy and allow them plenty of time to clean.
Stage it. Some renters might appreciate seeing a rental space without any furniture and totally empty, but adding some furniture and flair to the space might help them envision how they’ll decorate and personalize the space. Want to take it a step further? Consider furnishing your apartment and renting it as is — some tenants will gladly pay more in rent to avoid having to find their own furniture and lug it into their new home.
Make repairs and replace broken items. Even if your previous tenants were nearly perfect renters, they still probably left some dings and dents that need to be fixed up. Replace any lightbulbs that have burnt out, tighten door and cabinet handles and touch up any chipped paint on the walls.
Have applications ready. You’ll want to have something to give your renters after you’ve shown them the space, so print off applications and hand them over. If they’re really interested, they may fill out the application on the spot!
Spruce up the exterior. Even if you’re renting out an apartment unit in a big complex rather than a home complete with a front yard, taking care of the area outside of your property is a must. At the very least, sweep up and clean the area by the front door, shake off the welcome mat and remove any clutter.
Ask current tenants to vacate during the showing. Showing an apartment while your current tenants are cooking, lounging on the couch or sleeping can be incredibly awkward for everyone involved. Ask if they’d mind leaving the space while you show the interested renters around. Make sure you’re giving appropriate notice to enter the apartment, too — certain localities will have different laws regarding how much notice is required.
Showing Your Rental Property
Once you’ve prepared your rental property to impress potential renters, it’s time to nail down some basics for the actual showing. Take these tips into consideration:
Be friendly. Every interaction your potential tenant has while they’re looking at your rental can influence their decision to apply and rent or to look elsewhere for a place to live. Be friendly and keep the showing causal.
Prepare for questions. You probably know your property like the back of your hand — but still, having the exact square footage, price per month, deposit and other details a renter might ask about on hand can be very helpful. Don’t be vague in your answers — answer their questions thoroughly.
Let them explore. When you enter your rental space, give your guests the basics — bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, etc. But don’t follow them around the entire place and hound them. Let them navigate the property on their own and encourage them to come to you with any questions. They’ll appreciate the space and trust you’ve given them, and they’ll likely be more comfortable renting from you.
Be safe. Let a friend or family member know your showing schedule, where you’ll be and when. It might seem like a silly step, but you are meeting people you don’t know — and you can never be too careful.
You work hard to keep your rental property in good shape — so why not add an extra element of protection with landlord insurance? Ask your American Family Insurance agent how you can set up your rental property to withstand the unexpected.