Have you ever been stood up at an apartment showing by a prospective tenant? If you have been a landlord long enough, the answer is probably yes. Although you can never entirely prevent no-shows, you can at least minimize when they will happen by using these 5 simple tips:
- Spent some time screening the prospective tenant over the phone prior to setting up an appointment. This will help you avoid tenants you would not otherwise rent to (because they fall outside of your rental policies) and save yourself a trip. This should also build some rapport with the person, thereby making them feel more obligated to keep the appointment.
- Require all prospects to confirm their appointment with you 1 hour before the scheduled time. When booking the showing, firmly tell them that you will not be at the apartment if they do not call you to confirm.
- When I get calls from my Craigslist ads, I schedule multiple showings at the same time. I often book up to 5 showing at the same time. If maximizes my chances that my trip will not be wasted. It also creates subtle competition among the prospective tenants for the apartment.
- Make sure to always have showings before dark or bring another person with you. Also, schedule the appointments when it is convenient for you and/or when you are going to be in the area.
- If you are skeptical that some is going to keep their appointment, call them the money of the appointment and remind them (but still require them to confirm one hour prior).
A few simple tricks can make this necessary part of being a landlord as quick and easy as possible.