Why Not Host a Rental Open House?

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on September 2, 2010 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenantscreeningblog.comRealtors know that holding an open house is a great way to get lots of exposure for a property. They also use open houses to find potential new clients, often to the homeowner’s chagrin. But there are plenty of success stories of homes selling because of a well-run open house.

So why don’t more landlords adopt this idea? It’s certainly worth considering if you have a rental vacancy.

There are pros and cons to hosting a rental open house:

  • You save time by showing the rental to multiple people at once;
  • But you might not be able to spend quality time with each potential tenant;
  • An open house can cause a sense of urgency, when a potential tenant sees others interested in the property;
  • Spending too much time with Potential Tenant A could mean missing out on selling the rental to Potential Tenant B;
  • You could waste time with nothing but “tire-kickers.”

Qualify Potential Tenants Prior to Holding the Open House.
Pre-screen over the phone. Ask callers responding to your for rent ad where they presently live and work. Tell them the rent, the security deposit, and any other important lease-qualifying information. Let them know you will be conducting a thorough tenant screening on all applicants. Then, if they’re still interested, let them know you’ll be holding an open house and they’re welcome to view and apply to lease the property then.

Repeat this process for the next several interested callers. You may have a dozen people show up for your open house; you may have two. No matter—you’ll still save time showing it to multiple people at once.

Getting Ready for a Rental Open House
Make sure the property is at its best. Thoroughly clean the walls, floors and ceilings. Pay close attention to the bathrooms and kitchen. Make sure the tile gleams and the floors are spotless. Put a plant on the counter.
Inspect the property from the outside. Pick up trash. Trim low-hanging tree limbs. Cut the grass, and plant some flowers outside to add to the curb appeal.
If you have some extra furniture, place a chair and table in the living room and a bed in the bedroom, so potential tenants can envision their belongings in the space. Wash the windows and turn on all the lights.

Print up flyers and leave them where visitors can find them. Include photos and a list of the basic information as well as amenities offered with the property. Don’t forget to tell potential tenants what’s nearby that they might enjoy: parks, coffee shops, grocery stores, or bike trails.

Allow open house visitors to wander through the space. Don’t crowd them, but let them know you’ll be close by if they have any questions.

Be sure you have lease applications on hand—and don’t let any qualified potential tenants leave without filling one out! If anyone is super interested, offer to collect a security deposit and first month’s rent to hold the property, and inform them it will be refunded if they do not pass your tenant screening.

People might be more receptive to viewing your property through a friendly open house than in a one-on-one showing, so why not consider hosting one?

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