Once a tenant shows interest in a property, they’ll usually want to view the property before applying to rent it. You want a system at this stage so that you can track how many people are viewing the property and so that you can manage your time.
This system begins with great photos and videos of the unit. You’ll be surprised that some tenants will rent a property without visiting in person if you provide a great online tour. This is especially true if the tenant is moving from out of town.
But when people do want to view the unit, you have a few choices for showings:
- Drive across town on-demand to show the unit (not recommended)
- Schedule open houses 1-2 times per week
- Put a lockbox on the property and give pre-qualified prospects the code to let themselves in (my favorite)
I prefer #2 and #3. If the house is occupied, someone will likely need to meet the tenant to let them in. In this case, it’s best to schedule 1-2 open houses per week. Don’t be afraid to keep these windows of time relatively short, like 30 minutes or an hour. If prospects see other prospects viewing the unit, that will only incentivize them to move fast!
For 12+ years we have used lockboxes to show our vacant rental units. After a phone call to prescreen them a little bit we give them the lockbox code. On the initial phone call we ask general questions like why they’re moving, when they want to move-in, whether they have pets, where they work, etc. Then we write down what time they are going, and we ask them to lock the door behind them and text or call us when they’re done. We used to leave flyers and applications on the kitchen counter, but today all of our applications are done on our website.
Chad Carson is a member of Metrolina REIA (metrolinareia.org), which provides education, networking, and networking for real estate investing in the Charlotte region. Chad also writes about real estate, money, and life at coachcarson.com.