Author Topic: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?  (Read 3772 times)

Enough

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First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« on: July 02, 2016, 09:50:45 AM »
Purchased a triplex a few months ago and have a tenant leaving at the end of July.  She is out of town but is allowing me to show the apartment while she is away.  I posted the listing on Wednesday, had 9 inquiries by call/text/email from people that wanted to schedule a time to see it and told them all that rather than scheduling individual times to view it, I would be at the property from 9-10AM saturday to show it to anyone that was interested.  Not a single person showed up. 

So a few questions:
Would tenants be more motivated to show up if I scheduled showings individually?  How do you schedule tenants to view?
Any suggestions to make the property more attractive?  Here is the listing: https://home.cozy.co/apply/63812/ It is also copied on zillow and craigslist.  Not sure if its worth putting a for-rent sign in the yard or a newspaper listing.  How do you advertise?

I plan to try again over the next few weeks, but if I cant get it rented out for that price before the end of the month, I'd like to take the opportunity to make some capital improvements (central air, hardwood floors, removing drop ceiling from kitchen, etc.) and relist at a higher rate.

sokoloff

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 10:36:53 AM »
I wouldn't do individual appointments; if someone can't show for a group appointment they agreed to attend, I don't want to rent to them.

I do think 9 AM on Sat AM is part of the issue. 11 AM or 1 PM is likely to be more successful. Friday night goings out aren't incompatible with paying rent. :)

monarda

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 10:46:15 AM »
We make individual appointments, 15 minutes apart. We make the prospectives confirm the day before the viewing day. There are always a couple of no-shows but that's worked for us to be able to lease our place after a single viewing day (with plenty of options of good applicants)

We advertise only on Craigslist. We don't charge an application fee. We've thought about it, but decided to only do the credit check ($19.99 per person) on applicants that pass all the other tests first.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 10:55:55 AM by monarda »

MakeSmarterDecisions

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 10:52:03 AM »
We do individual meetings 15 minutes apart too.  We want to talk to people individually, in addition to the many communications I have with them over email before we meet.  It has worked very well for the last six years.

alme

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2016, 02:39:22 PM »
We do individual showings. I think people are more likely to show up to an appointment than an "open house." We like to chat with people as they view the apartment so we can get a sense of whether they're likely to be good, long-term tenants. We're pretty flexible with scheduling viewings, but we live in one of the units in our triplex. I think you'd get more interest in viewings if you scheduled people at 15-minute intervals one evening and one Saturday (as sokoloff suggested, later in the day).

We also put a sign in the yard, and surprisingly, it generates the most "real" interest, but that may be due in part to the specifics of our neighborhood (older, suburban, not likely to appeal to young people). We include the # of bedrooms and price on the sign.

Enough

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 10:57:07 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I am scheduling showings in 15-min intervals however I can bunch them up. 

How much pre-screening do you all do prior to scheduling the showing?

MakeSmarterDecisions

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 07:40:33 PM »
I do a lot of pre-screening and I try to use the same "script" in my first email reply to everyone. Things like - can you confirm that you understand:
no smoking/no pets?
a year lease?
etc..
Asking them to confirm those gets rid of more than half of the inquiries.

I then remind them that we require a full month security deposit, and first and last month's rent at lease signing. (That gets rid of a bunch more...)

And I end the email with - Our units are generally quiet (no loud partying) and my husband has to work over-time shifts at the police department so I need to check his schedule. (The truth...)

That has worked for the 10 units we own.  I never give out our phone number until we are ready to meet folks.



Megma

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 08:56:54 PM »
I am doing this for the first time now (just bought first rental at the end of May), I've been doing the 15 minute appointment thing after seeing it suggested on bigger pockets and it more or less works. It's enough time for people to walk through but if you have a no show, it not a big deal. I also bring a book.

Sometimes people show up a little late/early and overlap and it's weird but there you go.

I've also stopped scheduling more than 1-2 days in advance. Usually same day or the next day or people find another place and don't show if it's more in advance than that.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one whose emails eliminate 1/2 of the inquiries, I thought I was sounding too demanding! Even though all the other listings in the area have similar requirements.

Also, on Craigslist you have to keep reposting. You can renew your listing every two days, which will move it to this top of list again, so I have like eight and rotate them. apparently people do not know how to use the convenient map feature which shows all active listings but there you are...

zephyr911

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2016, 07:19:28 AM »
After my last rental vacancy, I signed all but one unit over to a paid manager. That one is still self-managed (only because we've managed to get great long-term tenants who barely need anything) but will also be folded into the paid management portfolio when it goes vacant, if not before.


alme

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 02:59:54 PM »
My husband usually handles the initial emails and phone calls, but he asks about willingness to sign a one-year lease, pets, confirm they understand the basics. This may also be where the sign/phone number is pretty efficient--people tend to be at least a little interested if they picked up the phone, and if the # of bedrooms or rent doesn't work, they hang up quickly. Usually, we rent our units in 1-2 days.

marty998

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2016, 03:31:15 PM »
I do a lot of pre-screening and I try to use the same "script" in my first email reply to everyone. Things like - can you confirm that you understand:
no smoking/no pets?
a year lease?
etc..
Asking them to confirm those gets rid of more than half of the inquiries.

I then remind them that we require a full month security deposit, and first and last month's rent at lease signing. (That gets rid of a bunch more...)

And I end the email with - Our units are generally quiet (no loud partying) and my husband has to work over-time shifts at the police department so I need to check his schedule. (The truth...)

That has worked for the 10 units we own.  I never give out our phone number until we are ready to meet folks.


Last month's rent? As in end of the lease's month? How does that work?

Choices

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2016, 04:52:02 PM »
I do a lot of pre-screening and I try to use the same "script" in my first email reply to everyone. Things like - can you confirm that you understand:
no smoking/no pets?
a year lease?
etc..
Asking them to confirm those gets rid of more than half of the inquiries.

I then remind them that we require a full month security deposit, and first and last month's rent at lease signing. (That gets rid of a bunch more...)

And I end the email with - Our units are generally quiet (no loud partying) and my husband has to work over-time shifts at the police department so I need to check his schedule. (The truth...)

That has worked for the 10 units we own.  I never give out our phone number until we are ready to meet folks.
This is golden.

MakeSmarterDecisions

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 06:06:42 PM »
To Marty998- When we bought the apartment complex the previous owner always collected the security deposit and the first month's rent but he also required the last month be pre-paid as well. He said that many folks don't want to pay the last month of the lease (because often they have to put down a new deposit somewhere else) and they want you to use the security deposit to cover it instead (even though it says you can't do that in the lease...) And if they don't pay the last month - what good would evicting them do since they are leaving anyway.

We didn't do this when we started putting in tenants ourselves, but we are going back to trying it now too. We have had two people in the last year break the lease (for good reasons) but it ensures that we at least have the money for the last month they are there and a security deposit to make sure they don't damage anything on the way out. Then they get the deposit back if we can find someone to rent the place - and we keep it if we can't find someone.

Our units rent for $600 - so they have to have $1800 to rent the apartment.  If they can't come up with that, they likely can't afford the place either.  All the tenants we have in place now could have easily come up with this amount. 

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2016, 07:09:12 AM »
In this rental market, I get 100+ calls in a week.

Here is a great synopsis that may help.  I rarely have any vacancies.  I only show a few times, mostly 1-2.  I get very sold tenants.  I do not show the apartment to under-qualified people, unless they are liars.

http://www.nononsenselandlord.com/2015/01/get-the-best-tenants-into-your-rental-property/

MakeSmarterDecisions

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2016, 01:32:29 PM »
The NoNonsense Landlord's link has outstanding information.  Love it!

Bobberth

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2016, 03:40:02 PM »
In my experience, you have 24 hours to get a prospective tenant to look at your property and actually a large % show up. Maybe 48 hours but the % showing up will go down. I do open houses as well but if somebody called on Wed and I didn't show until Sat, I would expect zero to turn up as they are looking on Wed and either will find a place by Sat or completely forget about Sat. When I have a vacancy I try to do 2 weeknights and a weekend showing, depending on my schedule. The last vacancy I had I was showing Monday & Wednesday 630-730 and Saturday either around 10-11 or 2-3, depending on my schedule. That gives me wide coverage to accommodate prospects. I also plan to work on smaller tasks while I am there so I am still productive if people do not show.

Maybe show more often or wait to advertise the property until you can show it?

clarkfan1979

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2016, 03:44:03 PM »
I do individual appointments in 30 minute blocks. I can multi-task and show the property while I am doing small repairs. If I was a tenant and the landlord wouldn't schedule an individual appointment with me, I think it would be a turn off.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2016, 09:14:40 PM »
The NoNonsense Landlord's link has outstanding information.  Love it!

Thank you!

ender

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2016, 09:22:02 PM »
9am on Saturday is likely "meh, it's just an open house and I'm tired, I'll pass" territory for me, and I'm pretty sure I would have been considered an ideal tenant by most people's characteristics.

Open house tells me that you don't care who applies, just that someone does. I... don't want those sorts of people as neighbors.

Evie

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Re: First Rental Viewing was a Flop - any suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2016, 01:25:07 PM »
One benefit of the open house is you can get a lot of applicants at the same time, which means you have more cover for making your decisions since you will have (hopefully) multiple qualified applicants to chose from.