Showing a rental property to potential tenants can be stressful. If you do own a complex or have several identical units, you may be able to keep one pristine “showroom.” This allows you around-the-clock access to a furnished example of a current dwelling, without having to worry about displacing a current tenant or wondering about the condition of the inhabited apartment.
If you do not have this option, here are some other steps to effectively showcase your property and attract quality renters.
1. Do not underestimate “curb appeal.” If the exterior of your dwelling looks dilapidated, the chances of getting new tenants are pretty low. Make sure that your property is well painted and inviting. Even if the dwelling is small and modest, it should still give a good first impression.
2. Fix up the interior. If the property is unoccupied, make sure that any problems have been fixed. If your property is not vacant, stop by alone first to avoid any embarrassing situations.
3. Get it clean. Really clean. There is not much worse than a filthy house or apartment. Make sure an unoccupied dwelling is sparkling and check on occupied properties ahead of time to make sure that they meet your approval.
4. Know your selling points. What features does your dwelling have? Keep these in mind while showing your property. For example, if the appliances are new or if the view is spectacular, point it out.
5. Make sure the carpet is clean. In rented dwellings, the carpet is usually the first thing to suffer. If the carpet has not been professionally cleaned, have this done in advance, allowing enough time for it to dry before showing it to anyone. If the carpet is in bad shape, you may need to replace it before you show it.
6. Show it furnished or unfurnished depending on the circumstances. Some people prefer a blank slate so that they can envision their own furniture inside a property. However, if you have problems renting a vacant property, try adding some furniture. It may be such a blank slate that no one can imagine anything about it. If your dwelling has some downsides, such as small rooms, you can fix this by strategically placing furniture.
7. Set the temperature. If it is abnormally hot or cold before an appointment, go into the dwelling ahead of time to make sure it is comfortable. People will not want to stay in a place that is too hot on a summer day, and they may miss the good points of your property. The same problem is true if the property is freezing cold. If it is uncomfortable, chances are your potential renters will not stick around.
8. Turn on the lights. If your property has had the electrical service turned off, have it turned on again before showing the property. No one can see much in the dark, and your potential tenants may think you are trying to hide something. Although you may end up paying a few more dollars to have the service turned on in advance, it’s generally a good investment.
9. Show the grounds. If your property has a pool, a roof deck, or an interesting feature outside, show it to your potential tenants. Take them on a tour of the grounds so that they can get an idea of what it would be like to live there.
10. Be prepared. Be prepared to hand over your form of lease and rental application. Make sure you have decided what security deposit, key deposit, or pet deposit you will impose.