When it comes to renting out a vacant property we need to be doing it right the first time – and avoid the mistakes and problems that can come along with it.
We asked our Facebook audience this question ‘What’s the biggest mistake you see property managers and leasing managers making at open inspections and private viewings’. We thank everyone that participated with ideas.
#1- Don’t park in the driveway!
Aside from possibly infringing on someone else’s personal space by parking in their driveway should the property be occupied, this can also be a safety risk as you could get ‘parked-in’ disallowing a speedy driveway exit should you need it!
#2- Not using an Online Booking System.
Let’s face it, online booking systems have revolutionised the way tenants can now attend open inspections without having to personally contact the office and property manager/leasing manager first.
It will make your life a whole lot easier by reducing the number of phone calls and emails you get, plus give you instant details of the person attending for peace of mind.
Needing an online booking system? check out Inspectrealestate– they’ve got a ton of raving fans!!
#3- Not arriving on time.
When running anything successfully you must be well prepared. Arriving at the property early before the showing time means you can check through the property first, open the curtains, turn on the lights and get it ready for showtime. Getting there right on the advertised viewing time or after must be considered ‘late’.
#4- Not controlling the exits.
Make sure you have access to all exits and do not leave the back door open, as you don’t want anyone coming in without your knowledge. Control all your exits and have them locked or open on need.
#5- Not doing the ‘little things’.
Making sure you ask tenants to wipe their feet or remove their shoes if it’s been raining, or that the property has nice new carpet, and ensure that the mailbox has been emptied if it’s currently vacant.
You don’t want to showcase the property has been vacant for a while!
#6- Not asking the right questions with the applicant.
Take notice, communicate and get the applicant talking! Ask the right questions and suddenly they are revealing to you more than what they intended, giving away a poor tenancy history they wanted to keep hidden!
The opposite is true too and a good conversation can give you all the information you need to confirm they are in fact a good applicant to work with.
#7- Showcasing dirty and unkempt properties.
Yes, you don’t always have control over this one but do your best to bring the current tenant onside if you’re showing an occupied property.
But if the property is vacant, showing a dirty and unkept property isn’t helping your brand and image at all. Let the owner know if they need to spend money and always let them know what needs to be done to ensure you’re attracting good applicants that won’t be put off by the properties appearance. Especially if vacancy rates are higher than usual.
#8- Not promoting other rental listings.
Just because the applicant may not like the current property, perhaps you’ve got other listings they could be interested in? Be sure to have copies of your vacancies on hand to give out to prospective tenants before they leave the viewing.
#9- Not having the right keys or alarm code.
Make sure you’re aware (or the person doing the viewing) that an alarm is present and also have the alarm code stored somewhere safe and private, so it’s easily accessed at the property. Also, make sure you have the keys with you.
#10- Not being aware of special conditions.
Does the property have a garage, not for tenant use or some other special condition unique to that property? When the person conducting the viewing is NOT aware and also NOT advising all applicants this can really cause all sorts of problems when the applicant is approved and is then informed afterward. Total transparency upfront is required otherwise it will cause complications should the matter make it to tribunal/court later on.
#11- Allowing in too many people at one time.
When you’re showing an occupied property, allowing more people in than what can be monitored and observed is a risk. Allowing one group through at a time allows you to showcase the property, discuss its features and conditions plus also ensures people are not light-fingered and take tenant belongings like jewellery, brand items, and other expensive belongings etc.
#12- Not engaging with people attending.
When the person conducting the viewing knows nothing about the property, the area or the complex and simply opens the door to allow people in and nothing more, this is unprofessional and a disservice to the owner who wants the property let quickly to the right applicants. Even with high demand this still shouldn’t negate giving good customer service and when you do this you’re just reinforcing the culture still in property management that the tenant can be treated second best.
#13- Getting off your phone.
When you are showing the property turn off your phone or switch it to silent and don’t answer it unless it’s an emergency or a call relevant to the inspection. Talking on the phone while showing it and not engaging with attendees can be considered rude, and is just bad manners.
#14- Not taking names and contact details.
Unless you have already got their details, make sure you take the names and contact numbers of everyone coming through. You might need the details later should you have other properties that become available.
#15- Not leaving it as you found it.
If the property is occupied when showing it, then if the screen door was locked, to begin with, leave it locked when you go. Be sure not to let their pets out of the yard and ensure they are secured for viewing.