A Successful Rental Open Home vs a Failure

So you have your rental property ready to go and now you need to show it. You’ve advertised that it is open for viewing on a certain day and time and now you need tenants. What can you do to make sure it’s a success and not a failure?

Preparation
Just like a good Boy Scout (or Girl Guide), you need to be prepared. Make sure you are confident with your property and the open home will go a lot smoother.

  • Are you on time? (That means being there at least 30 mins before the scheduled open time). You can guarantee that people will show up early if the property is in the right location and ticks lots of boxes. So be there before everyone else. Maybe even get there an hour before, just to be safe. 
  • Do you have all the forms you need? Telling prospective tenants to ‘go online and download the forms’ may put off that perfect tenant. Have multiple application forms on hand, and more than you think you may need. Bringing one set is not going to cut it.
  • Lets step back a bit and look around the property. Have you prepared it properly? Are you sure it’s ‘move-in’ ready? You will put off a lot of potentials if the carpet is rolled up along the wall and paint cans lying around. It doesn’t matter if you say “I promise that the carpet will be in and the place repainted before you move in.” Tenants will not be able to see past that. 
  • Is the outside looking good, garden tidy and the lawns mowed?
  • Is everything working inside? Light switches all functioning, no missing lightbulbs? No leaking taps or broken tiles? Smoke alarms are working with new batteries.
  • You want to avoid receiving 15 phone calls straight after the tenants have moved in asking to come and look at this and take. It will save you time and money in long run by making sure everything is in working order.
  • Can you answer all the questions?: How much is rent? When is rent due? What is the length of the lease? What is the neighbourhood like? What is the crime rate in the area? What additional expenses are there? What is the policy on pets? When is rubbish collected? What is your decorating policy? Why did the last tenant move out? What ongoing issues are there with the property?
See, all it takes is knowing your property inside and out, getting it to a ‘move-in’ ready state and being prepared with paperwork and answers and you will have a great showing. Alternatively of course, you can employ a property manager to take care of all these things for you. But it is still wise to be involved in this process. Remember that investing in property doesn’t mean that you set it and walk away. 
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