Apartment showings = time

As I’ve said in previous posts, I put a lot of information online in my craig’s list ads. I also link to page that I host myself, where I list neighborhood information, TONS of photos of the apartment, and a floor plan.

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…

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One thought on “Apartment showings = time

  1. Great little blog! Very interesting reading! One additional idea… have an “open house”. One of our friends lives in a tri-plex we own. And he handles the showings for us as we are on the other side of the country. To minimize the time that he is involved we also have a lot of information on the craigslist and viewit.ca listing AND when they email or call, he has two selected times to give them when he will be showing the unit. This works out extremely well because 1) interested tenants seeing other interested tenants check out your place means they submit applications quickly 2) everyone coming through at once means less time spent in total and 3) if we have tenants in the suite currently this minimizes the disruptions and sheer pain in the butt factor of giving them notice of showings.

    Anyway – just another idea! GOOD LUCK!!!

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