Why the information overload? To cut down on the number of showings. A lot of people will oversell, or be purposely vague in an ad, in hopes of getting as many showings as possible. The idea being “once you get them in the door, you’re halfway to a sale!”
I tried this strategy the first year I was renting out the apartment, and found it to be a colossal waste of time. Of everyone’s time — my time, the prospective renters’ time, the current tenants’ time… I don’t do property management full-time, and can’t wait around on the front stoop all day for two weeks out of the year.
Thus, the information overload online. I’ve found that by giving people answers to pretty much every question they could possibly have, I get fewer calls and fewer showings. But, the people that I do get in the door are already really very interested. Last time I used this strategy I only had to do a few showings before I got a couple who applied on the spot.
Also, in the interest of saving time (i.e. giving showings to qualified applicants only), I pre-screen everyone on the phone. I make sure they’re looking for the right month, ask how many people they have, and whether they have any pets. (I have a no dog policy, and a limit of three people for my apartment — due to it being a 2.5 / 3 bedroom, I get calls from a lot of people with 4-6 people.)
Let’s hope that it works this year, because my day job is keeping me crazy busy…
- My tenants are moving out. Things are about to get interesting again.
- Including neighborhood information in rental ads.
- Apartment showings--six in one day!
- Advertisting (and the traffic counter miracle of 2006)
- My ad is up, I'm getting inquiries. I never realized that there were so many, er, interesting people in the world.