Early impressions can be very telling. In relationships, they can save you a lot of time and heartache.
For example, when you first start dating someone, the first 2 weeks really are pivotal. One really wrong move and it is over, right? So, it is important to pay attention and try to figure out how to stand out (in a good way...). It's also important to figure out what they really think of you, as they usually won't tell you outright. Do they think your nervous tic is endearing or pathetic? When you bring up your issues, are they full of concern or pity for you? Do they plan to keep you around or jettison you when something better comes along?
Here are some potential early impressions and what they really mean:
1. "She hasn't laughed at any of my jokes. However, her over-the-top cackles at the 16-year old valet's tasteless joke, and then the waiter's corny repartee, seem to mean that she is straight-faced with me only. I think she cracked a smile when I told my tried-and-true "dog-napping" story (10-minutes of absolute hilarity, if you ask me), but it could have been a result of the 12 text messages she had sent and received during its duration."
Translation: You are really unfunny (to her, at least) and she is seeking more entertaining companionship elsewhere. Save yourself money and abort this relationship (before she drives off with the valet).
2. She is mesmerized by my every word. She can recall what I said last week in the greatest detail. She tells me that I am the greatest at everything. When I was fired yesterday, she swore that was incontrovertible proof my company didn't deserve me. She says I'm smart to keep a belly because the winter months are coming and it is actually "sexy." Hollywood actors and models are "fake"; she likes me because I'm "real." My annoying idiosyncrasies are "cute" and I'm "untraditionally handsome."
Translation: Carpe Diem! She likes you. Strike while the iron is hot and lock her up while she is still in this momentary fog!
So, early impressions from dating are good indicators of relationship success. The same is true of the signs received from the first 2 weeks your home is on the rental market.
1. No one is responding to the rental ads about my home. If your home had feelings, it would be locked in a bedroom alone eating bon-bons and watching "Bridges Over Madison County" right now.
Translation: The home is priced too high, the pictures in the ad are either non-existent or awful, there is potentially no contact information contained in the ad, the ad copy is off-putting, or a combination of the above. Fix and repost the ad.
2. I'm getting a lot of showings, but no one is applying.
Translation: The home is either priced a little too high and/or its condition does not back up what is presented in the ad.
3. I'm getting deluged with showings and applications.
Good! But your home is probably priced too low.
4. Real estate agents don't respond to my follow-up calls and e-mails after they show my home.
Translation: Your home does not back up what is in the ad; typically, it is dirty and might look like a college fraternity house or an early 1800's boarding home. They are upset that they wasted their time (and gas) to visit your home and look bad in front of their clients.
5. Your home gets a decent amount of interest and a good application is submitted and accepted within 30 days.
Translation: Your home was priced and marketed appropriately. Bravo!
Though early impressions are never 100% full proof, they are usually on point. Paying attention to them and making adjustments early can save you a lot of headaches, heartache, and money!
Brett Furniss is the President & Owner of BDF Realty ("Charlotte's Most Innovative Property Management & Investment Company"), and Rent-To-Sell Realty ("When You Need a New Solution to Sell Your Home") which specialize in rent-to-own (lease options) and rent-to-sell homes. His newest book, A Real Estate Agent's Complete Guide to Representing Rent-To-Own (Lease Option) Tenants (Delight Clients, Fill Vacant Homes, and Earn $2,250* Upfront! (*Minimum!)