With the rental market remaining competitive for tenants, a lot of owners are getting a bit lazy with their marketing and showing practices.
Don’t let this happen to you. Attracting quality tenants is an important part of your strategy for earning as much rental income as you can and increasing your return on investment (ROI). You want well-qualified renters in your Santa Rosa rental property because they are likely to rent on time, take care of your investment, and follow all the terms of your lease agreement.
With strategic marketing and responsive home showings, you can ensure you’re identifying, attracting, and eventually placing the best possible residents for your home.
You need to grab the attention of your best tenants with a great listing. You need to inspire an eagerness to see your home in person. Give your prospective residents a good reason to rent your property instead of all the other properties they’re seeing.
Once you’ve impressed them with your listing, it’s time to impress them even further with a showing. Most of the tenants who schedule showings have already seen your listing, and they’ve likely seen it online. So, they already understand the relative size and the number of bathrooms and bedrooms. When they arrive for an in-person showing, they want to imagine themselves moving right in.
Here are some home showing tips that will help you get your property quickly rented to excellent residents.
Preview the Showing with High Quality Photos and a Video Tour
The showing should impress your prospective tenants, not disappoint them.
Your listing has to be accurate and informative. It needs to include a lot of high-quality photos so tenants know what to expect when they arrive.
There’s one more element that can really help: video.
Consider including a video tour with your online listing. Anyone who sees your photos and reads your listing will then have the opportunity to have a mini-showing before they commit to an in-person tour of the home. This will save everyone time; they’ll know based on the video tour if it’s a home they really want to see. And, you won’t have to worry about showing your property to people who thought they were seeing something different.
Santa Rosa Tenants Appreciate Self-Showings
Here’s an important tip that will help you attract tenants with showings: leave them alone to see the property on their own.
Self-showings are more popular than ever, and for good reasons.
As property managers in Santa Rosa, we have noticed that self-showings:
- Increase the amount of interest we generate in vacant properties
- Reduce vacancy rates
- Attract a larger pool of tenants
- Inspire tenants to request an application
By offering self-showings, we’re able to eliminate the delays that can occur as schedules are juggled to accommodate in-person showings with leasing agents and tenants.
Almost everything is on-demand these days, and self-showing technology helps us meet that need. With a smart lock or a keypad installed at the home, we can also provide digital access for prospective tenants who want to see the property on their own time. The technology is efficient, convenient, safe, and it increases the number of tenants we have viewing our properties. It gets your home rented faster, and it keeps marketing costs lower.
Effective Showings Require Welcoming Curb Appeal
Your rental home’s curb appeal is its first impression.
Among our most important home showing tips are the tips surrounding making your property look welcoming and inviting. Here’s how you can get the right kind of attention for your curb appeal when you’re showing your property:
- Check Your Paint
Exterior paint needs to be bright and in good condition. Paint remains one of the most valuable and cost-effective investments you can make in your rental property, whether it’s interior or exterior paint. Fresh paint is a great way to increase your curb appeal as well as your rental value. If it’s faded, chipped, or somehow unattractive, – schedule painters to give your exterior paint a modern, clean update.
- Invest in Good Lighting
Good lighting outside your rental property can make the home look bright, interesting, and pretty. Casting a glow on the front porch can provide some great aesthetics, so choose your lighting wisely. Good lights are more than just curb appeal. They are also a security issue. You want your tenants and their guests to feel safe coming and going. Make sure there’s good lighting at the front door, on the side of the house, and in the back. Motion lights can be a good idea, too.
- Landscaping Impacts Curb Appeal
Showings will be much improved when you have a well-landscaped home. Keeping up with your lawn care is an excellent way to earn the highest possible rent and attract qualified tenants. You want it to look clean and pretty, but also low-maintenance.
Make the Entire Home Available During Showings
Nothing should be off limits when prospective tenants come to see your property. Don’t leave any doors locked; it will raise some questions and more than a few concerns.
It’s also important to have the utilities on. It’s weird to schedule showings knowing that there are no lights and water.
Tenants will want to know exactly how things work at your property before they agree to rent it. They’ll need to turn on lights and run faucets.
Focus on setting a perfect scene. Incorporate natural lighting, soothing smells, and a generally comfortable feel. When you can offer a clean, empty property that’s open and spacious, you’ll find you have successful showings.
If you’re committed to staging the home, do it with minimalism in mind. A few pieces of well-placed furniture can look good, but you don’t want a property that’s full of personal items or furnishings. Tenants will want to imagine how the property will look with their own things inside of it.
Offer a Clean and Functional Home During Showings
Potential residents will schedule showings because they liked what they saw when they viewed your listing. You’ll want the property to reflect the pictures you took and the description you wrote. It’s important that everything is working. If a prospective tenant turns on a sink and the water that sputters out is brown, you won’t make a great impression. They won’t be likely to rent a property that has broken screens, a foul odor in the refrigerator, or paint that’s chipping.
Take care of all maintenance issues and repair needs – no matter how minor – before you begin showing the home.
You also want the property to be extremely clean. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook smaller cleaning tasks like dusting or vacuuming. Hire professionals who will be extremely detail-oriented, and make sure that the home looks as good as possible.
Prepare Your Qualifying Rental Criteria
Part of marketing and showing your home is ensuring your prospective tenants have all the information they need to make a decision about applying.
Before you agree to a showing, ask a few pre-screening questions. You might discuss income, when they’re planning to move, and why they’re leaving their current home.
When your prospective tenants come to see the property, provide them with your full rental criteria so they know exactly what is necessary in order to be approved for the place.
Rental criteria typically includes:
- Income standards
- Credit requirements
- Acceptable criminal and eviction histories
- Positive rental history
By providing your rental criteria at or before the showing, you’re keeping your screening process consistent and discouraging anyone who won’t qualify from applying. It saves everyone time and it protects you from making unintentional fair housing mistakes.
Post-Showing: Follow Up With Prospective Santa Rosa Tenants
The rental market moves quickly in Santa Rosa, and by now tenants likely know that they have to apply quickly if they want to secure a property that has caught their eye.
You don’t want good tenants to miss out on the opportunity to rent your property. If you’re there in person showing the property, provide all the information that they need and answer any questions. Invite them to complete an application and give them instructions on how to do so. Ask them for feedback. Knowing what they think of the home and how it compares to the listing can help you manage future showings.
If you’re allowing self-showings, send a text or make a call right after they see it to find out if they have any questions. You can also ask if they plan to apply for the home. You might be able to elicit feedback about what they liked or didn’t like. You can use this information to market your property better.
As a Santa Rosa property management company, we have a lot of experience showing rental properties. These tips that we’ve provided are a general approach to effectively marketing and showing your rental home. We would be happy to provide a more customized plan for showing your property as well. If you have any questions about this, please contact us at Redwood Residential Property Management.