Self-guided tours can give your property more opportunities to lease to quality tenants. However, there are necessary steps to ensure privacy and safety for yourself, the property, and future tenants. Leasing Specialist Caleb Schafbuch has solid advice on how to properly prepare for viewers.
Let’s get into the do’s and don’ts of self-guided tours:
Self-guided tours: Do
- Have a system in place for pre-qualifying a person(s) for a tour
You want this self-guided tour to be legit. There are companies that will help you set up a verification process before a person walks through the house. Rently or Showmojo specialize in handling verification for investors.
A questionnaire to gather basic facts about a potential tenant is a great way to pre-screen them, as well. Ask about:
- Credit score
- Monthly income
- Smoking habits
Require a state-issued or official form of ID. Lastly, confirm one more time that the person filling out the form will be the one touring.
- Have the property ready to go
The property needs to be decluttered and cleaned. Dust level surfaces, vacuum the carpets, and sweep the hardwood floors. If you’re staging the property, be sure that everything is in place. There are companies that will do the work for you.
“Your property should give potential residents an idea of the space,” Schafbuch says. “Being able to visualize themselves in the home will help them make a decision.”
- Stay in contact
Self-guided tours are different in the sense that you won’t be there to answer questions as they pop up. Get in contact with the viewer before the tour, day-of. Ask if they have everything they need for the self-guided tour to run smoothly. “People will only call you if they’re having trouble getting into the home. Otherwise, you may not hear from them,” Says Schafbuch.
Give them ample time to complete the tour and then reach out to see if you can answer any questions. You are in charge of initiating the conversation when it comes to self-guided tours.
Self-guided tours: Don’t
- Let people in without knowing who they are
It’s so important to find out as much as you can about the person touring your home. You need to be wary for the safety of your future tenants and your property. Think of a self-guided tour the same way you would a home you live in. You wouldn’t give your address and the garage code to just anyone that asked for it.
Some key lockboxes have one-time access codes. Or change the code after each self-guided tour.
- Allow a self-showing if the property isn’t vacant
It’s easy to get anxious when you don’t know who your next tenant will be. But it’s unsafe to allow a self-guided tour with occupants still in the home. “Even if there’s an early move out, we get written consent from the residents that we can allow tours,” Schafbuch is adamant about getting that written consent. Even if you know the occupants will be fully moved out a few weeks or even a month in advance, it is still technically theirs by the lease agreement.
Keep up with the ever-changing rental industry
Self-guided tours offer plenty of benefits. They save you time as the owner of the property and gives potential tenants more options for tour times. They won’t have to go off of your limited schedule anymore. If you put a system in place for self-guided tours, you can alleviate some stressors when it comes to leasing your property. If you have any questions about self-guided tours or if you are looking to build wealth through real estate, schedule a consultation with us. We’d love to help you grow your wealth.