Tips for Hosting The Best Open House for Rental Applicants
A single showing appointment and an open house have own pros and cons. A one-on-one appointment can lead to cancellations, no shows, and will sometimes be a waste of time. If the property is not yet vacant, it would be inconvenient to current tenants to vacate the place during the showing period or it might be disturbing on their end. An open house is more convenient and efficient to accommodate several potential tenants in one single day. Although it minimizes personal interaction for each client, it is still is a great way to find qualified tenants for your property. It creates a sense of urgency for other visitors once they know that there are several people interested in it.
Scheduling an open house also needs time and preparation. You need to create a great impression with applicant tenants and make the property look both appealing and presentable to the public. For an open house to be successful and to attract the best tenant, make sure you:
PREPARE FOR THE OPEN HOUSE
You can’t hold an open house without getting the property ready for visitors. It has to be tidy, well lit, well painted, warm and cozy. Encourage the current tenants to clean the area and offer incentives in doing so. Inform them ahead of time that you are holding an open house and let them know of the schedule and the hours of showing. That way, they have time to prepare.
All areas of the house should be in good shape – living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. Visitors should not see any faulty areas such as non-functioning faucets, toilet bowls, etc.
Aside from the indoor area, the outdoor should also look clean and appealing as it is the first thing they see before they enter the house. The ground should be free from clutter and any material that might not be safe.
Post your ad on Craigslist, create flyers on Canva.com and distribute them to family, friends and neighbors. You can also research the closest real estate agents around the area and drop by their offices to distribute flyers to them. Sending emails are another option. The goal is to have the largest pool of potential applicants as possible in one day. You can place signage outside the property about the open house and directions to drive traffic on your advertisement.
PREPARE AN APPLICATION FORM AND GUEST LIST
A guest list will help you follow-up with these people to see their interest in the property. Have them fill their names, contact number, and email for future reference. During the showing, there is a good chance of having interested applicants on the spot, so make sure you have application forms ready. Let them know ahead of time to prepare a security deposit in case they like the property and wish to sign on the spot.
Invite your neighbors to the open house by word of mouth or putting flyers in their mailbox. Your community is your closest connection next to your family and friends, and when you make them aware of the open house, chances are they might be interested in it or they will promote it to their friends. Either way, you’re able to build your network. The more people you invite, the more chances of having an interested applicant.
GIVE VISITORS A WARM WELCOME
Welcome visitors with a smile. You can offer them drinks and snacks during the open house to make them feel appreciated for checking out the property. Guide them accordingly during the open house and answer all questions they may have.