Once you’ve got the move-in date, rent and description down, pick a date for showings and state it in the ad. I find it works best to set aside several hours for all showings, so that I can control my schedule. But don’t provide an address for an “open house” – scheduling appointments that way will only result in a confusing free-for-all.
Instead, ask people to book an appointment for a time during that showing period. I schedule my appointments close together – 15 minutes apart for family-sized apartments, five to ten minutes for tours of smaller units. This might sound a bit hectic, but it works well for two reasons.
One reason is that there are always no-shows. In fact, you can expect only 60% of your appointments to be met. With a well-filled schedule, then, I don’t have huge gaps of time even if several clients don’t show up. Also, by keeping appointments close together, renters see others coming and going. There’s nothing like a little foot traffic to lend a sense of urgency to the process and create a great buzz about the property.
Word of mouth can be a good way to reach prospective tenants, so do let friends, family and colleagues know that you have an apartment for rent. But be careful about renting to family and friends. Your income suite is a business for you, and it can be tricky when your personal life and your business intersect.
Next article: Part 4 – The Tenant Application & Tour
Read more about how to find great tenants: