Landlord Basics: Setting Up For A Showing

Real Estate Agent

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management. Click here to view the entire Landlord Basics archive.)

Showing apartments can be a headache if you don’t have a system down for scheduling showings and preparing yourself for the showing.  Not being prepared can have a negative impact on your showing, and potentially lose a renter.  Take these steps to get ready for a showing, starting with scheduling appointments!

Scheduling appointments should be done in such a way that you have multiple people coming to see the apartment if possible.  Some prefer to do it one by one, but an open house setting will allow more people to see it in less time, meaning fewer trips to the property with a higher chance of finding a renter.  You may want to plan for a couple different times that fit your schedule, and then offer the option to prospects as they plan to come see the apartment.  Make sure to take down a name and phone number!  You may also want to have prospects bring a pay stub to show current employment.

The day before the showing is scheduled, call the people who have planned to come and confirm that they still plan to attend.  When leaving a message, the prospect should be required to call back and confirm.  A good sample message is “This is Tom from XYZ Apartments, calling for Jan to confirm the apartment showing on May 7 at 4PM.  Please give me a call to confirm at 555-1234.  If I don’t hear from you, I’ll assume you are no longer interested, and I won’t go to the appointment, so please call today to confirm. Thank you!”  I like to use this message because it forces an action from the prospect.  If they don’t call back, you can safely assume that they were not interested, and if you don’t have anyone who is confirmed then there is no reason to go out to the property.

The day of the showing, take a few minutes to put together paperwork that you will need.  This may include flyers, signage, rental applications, agency disclosures, etc.  Having all the paperwork together ahead of time will reduce your stress because you will know you are ready when the time comes.

Once you arrive at the showing, set up your signage and lay out your paperwork.  Take the time to prepare the apartment.  For ideas on how to prepare, take a look at these 5 Tips For Improving Open Houses.  Greet people as they come in, but allow them to look around the apartment on their own.  Answer questions they have, and rate their interest level.  Offer the rental application to them, as well as a pen.  Many people will want to take it with them, but most of the time these applications don’t end up coming back in.  The better bet is letting them know the sooner they fill it out, the faster it will get processed.

A good showing can bring you many prospective tenants!  Having a plan before you walk in will help you feel more organized and confident, and this will be picked up by the prospects.  Remember that filling the apartment is important, but finding the right tenant is equally, if not more important!

Andrew Schultz is a real estate agent and property manager located in the Western New York area.  His articles on real estate investing and property management can be found at

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