I was once taken to view a rental flat by a landlord with half of the previous nights chicken fried rice (at least I think that's what it was), scattered over the dashboard of his car..... and his jumper wasn't much better either.
I was once taken to view a rental flat by a landlord with half of the previous nights chicken fried rice (at least I think that’s what it was), scattered over the dashboard of his car….. and his jumper wasn’t much better either, which is never a good look. Overall he gave the impression of someone who really didn’t give a monkeys. During the viewing he just stood by the front door, muttering to himself, which was pretty unnerving.
You might think no-one cares what the landlord’s like, that the tenants are only interested in the property, but trust me it’s not true. This guy was so unfriendly I wouldn’t have felt comfortable renting from him, so I barely looked at the flat and escaped as quickly as possible.
I think that if you’re a landlord who doesn’t use an agent then you need to make a good first impression with tenants. You need to make them feel that you’ll be approachable (but not a pushover), that you care about the property (but you’re not overly protective) and that you’re interested in them (but not in a creepy, popping-round-to-check up-on-them-every-day or might put a camera in the shower kind of way).
Striking this balance can be tricky because you’re letting someone a home, which is very personal and you need to get to know them so you can be sure that they’ll take care of the place which after all means a lot to you. However, at the same time this is a financial transaction, you’re entrusting them to live in what is probably your most valuable investment, so you need to be business-like too.
You don’t need to turn up to viewings suited and booted looking like a lettings agent, but following these 5 steps should help you create the right impression, which should be efficient but approachable, business-like but understanding.
- Remember to give existing tenants sufficient notice of any viewings (at least 24 hours) so you don’t burst in when they’re in bed, in the shower or in the middle of something they wouldn’t want interrupted. That would be awkward for them, for you and for the viewers. If it’s a short notice viewing then double check that your current tenants are OK with it. Potential new tenants will want to see that you’re respectful of your existing tenants.
- Call or text viewers an hour or so beforehand to remind them of the meeting time and ask them to let you know if they’re running late. This will reassure them that they’re expected and also save you wasting time waiting for no-shows.
- Arrive at the property a few minutes before the viewers to make sure that everything is OK, turn on lights etc basically anything you can easily do to create a welcoming atmosphere.
- Print off some flyers with essential information about the property on one side, including your contact details. On the reverse, you could include a list of everything you require from them if they want to make an offer, such as written references, employer’s details, proof of ID and your bank details for the holding deposit. This looks professional and it will also save time in the long run.
- Be friendly, but not over the top. Give them all (if there all multiple viewers) plenty of time to have a good look round the property and ask you any questions they may have.
Being organized will take any stress out of viewings and help tenants feel totally comfortable dealing with you.
Love Miss Toots X