Getting Your Home Ready for Showings When Owner Occupied

Real Estate Agent Showing A Couple A House

Below are a few answers to questions we regularly receive when the showing process begins for your property.  Other questions may come up, and your property manager will be an excellent resource for you for questions specific to your property.

Can I restrict my availability of showing the property to a few days a week?

We can accommodate these scheduling restrictions, but strongly recommend to have as much availability as possible.  Many potential renters are used to booking a showing and even being able to see the property the same day, and restricting your showing days can harm your rental price achieved and the timeframe it takes to find a qualified applicant.  In most cases, showings seem to naturally cluster to 2-3 days a week in most cases vs. every day. Each property appears to have its own days that this occurs, so the more availability of days the better. If you have particular circumstances like an infant in the home, we can gladly work around you (or your little ones) schedule.  If showings must be restricted, please allow for at least one weekend day, as weekends are flurries of activity for renters.

At Top Properties, our showing department works seven days a week to make sure we have availability to show the home anytime.  The more open you are as well, the better chance we all have to get your home rented for the highest amount and in the best timeframe for you.

Should I be home to answer questions about the property?

A personal touch such as this can seem like a nice gesture, but prospective tenants actually appreciate the exact opposite.  Prospective tenants are looking for a place they can call home and enjoy having the opportunity to collect their thoughts without anyone besides their showing agent at the property to show them around.  More people present during the showing can cause the prospective tenants not to have open conversations between themselves. Our showing agents walk prospects through homes every day and are incredible at converting showings to applications.  They may not know your property as well as the owner of the home, but they are used to the types of questions and have great answers and replies to any objections.

Do I need to excessively clean for every showing, make every bed, etc.?

This is a very common question for us, and there are different degrees to which this can be answered.  The better the property looks, the more likely it will convert prospects into applicants. Tidiness is appropriate, but you do not need to go entirely out of your way for all of your showings.  The less clutter is present, the better. Rental prospects are trying to picture their furnishings and belongings in the property, so the easier it is to walk through unobstructed, the better the showing goes.

We like to start showings early enough in the process to potentially have your property rented before you start packing up everything, but if you want to start packing, do not let the showing process stop you.  Remember, potential renters are in the same boat, and they are getting ready to move also and will give you some leeway in the process as they know how stressful it is.

A fresh scent is also essential.  If needed, a few air fresheners around the home in areas of concern can be a nice touch.  Don’t go overboard though, just enough to give a light fragrance.

How long do showings take?

You will receive notices for your showings in 15 to 30-minute increments.  A good rule of thumb is: if you will be at the property before and after the showing, then vacate at least 15 minutes ahead of time and plan on being back 30 minutes after the end of the showing.  So basically a one-hour showing block for the showing. This allows time in case the prospective renter is early or late for the showing. For multiple showings on the same day, we group them at the property in set intervals.  You will receive notices for each showing, so apply the same rule: use the first showing to establish when to vacate 15 minutes prior, and for the last showing add 30 minutes to the end to establish the return time.

What do I do with my pets?

It is best to have dogs and cats out of the home if possible.  If it is not possible to have animals out of the property, make sure to discuss showing rules with your property manager.  Other accommodations can be made for pets that must stay. Solutions such as pets being restricted to one bedroom (with a note on the door), pets left in the backyard (in appropriate weather), and kennel restriction (for our furry friends that do not mind).  Pets can distract from showings, and for prospects that have allergies it can be a turn-off, so keep that in mind and work closely with your property manager to establish a solution.

Renting a home for potential renters can be as emotional of a process as it is a financial decision.  Making your home feel like it can be a great place for them can help you rent your property to the right tenants at the right price.  Want to write a few short notes on the counter to say “Hi, please rent our property”… go for it. Successful landlords build relationships with their tenants.  Happy tenants will take better care of your property and may stay in your home for many years. Going as far as to leave them a little gift when they move in can have a big impact on how they feel about the home, and can help to get through future situations.  If you are looking for some ideas for tenant welcome gifts you can give, your property manager is a great resource.

What’s next?

Welcome to the Top Properties family! Whenever in doubt, remember your property manager has done this many times and is an excellent resource on how to be a successful landlord.