Tips for scoring a rental showing
No doubt about it, the real estate market in BC is HOT! I keep hearing about it in the media and through friends, but when our awesome tenant gave notice earlier this week, my husband and I were thrown into the craziness of the rental market.
Within two hours of posting an ad for our suite on UsedVictoria.com, we had nearly 20 emails. In less than 24 hours, we had over 40 inquiries. My head is spinning from trying to keep all my replies straight!
I’ll share some tips for landlords soon, but right now, I feel compelled to help some would-be renters out there…I witnessed a lot of mistakes that cost people the opportunity to see our suite.
Remember that every ad for a rental is receiving an astounding number of responses; make things easy on a potential landlord and you could find yourself being offered the first viewing.
- Create a canned reply so you can quickly copy and paste it into emails (see below for what to include)
- Set up an alert on your Used.ca city site (this will help you be the first to reply). Learn how here
- Don’t bother asking if the space is still available. Just assume it is if the ad is up
- Take two minutes and read the ad. I posted specific questions in my ad and when people that couldn’t take the time to respond to my questions, I gave them my canned rejection email
- Take the earliest showing time you can get. We rented our last place to the first candidate on the spot and cancelled all the other showings. We knew she “was the one” immediately
- Don’t lie. If you know you don’t meet the landlord’s’ requirements, don’t waste their time and yours (the truth will come out!)
- Make sure your public social media accounts are something you’d like a potential landlord to see
Your canned reply to landlords:
- This is your chance to sell yourself. I’m sorry, but you’re not in the driver’s seat in this market and you don’t get to be picky. The point here is to get a showing (you can be picky at that point)
- Answer all the questions the ad asked
- Even if the ad doesn’t ask for details, give them. It could make you stand out from the crowd. The types of things that might help include:
- How many people want to live at the rental
- Your current occupations and how long you’ve been there
- Pet details
- If you’re willing to help out with yard work, let that be known (I would love some help with our gardening 🙂
- Your hobbies and interests. Sometimes you can strike a common interest and gain points that way
- PRO TIP: one of our potential renters won herself some major brownie points last night! She must have Googled me after our correspondences, and realized that we had a common friend-of-a-friend on Facebook. She had her friend reach out to my friend, who then contacted me to put in a good word for her. While it’s slightly creepy, I do applaud her ingenuity and it’s nice to hear good things about a potential renter from a someone I’m connected to
During the showing, be yourself. Yes, that’s cliche and boring, I know. This is where you should make sure your needs are being met too. It’s about a great fit for both the renter and the landlord. However, I would recommend putting your best self forward: dress for the occasion, bring along reference letters and/or contact details.
As a rookie landlord of three rental units, I’ll share some tips on managing your time and finding your next great renter soon.
Other tips or suggestions? Share them below in the comments.