Education and news for smart DIY landlords!
There’s nothing more confusing to people looking for places to rent than seeing a plain arrow sign, pointing to the left, with no real details.
An open house is a great strategy for generating more interested tenants in a short time. Real estate agents often leverage open houses to get sales but you, a landlord, can use it to pick up tenants.
Instead of private showings, you can have multiple people show up at once through an open house. Random individuals who pass by can stop and look at your property. Who knows? They can be your next best tenants.
Check out this blog post to learn tips on how to maximize an open house.
Yes, putting up a signage on your property that says “Open House” remains to be a useful technique. It promotes word-of-mouth marketing especially among people with relatives who want to rent. Your neighbors see your signage, passers-by see it, and everybody else does. This signage is cheap and brings you a high ROI in no time. Make sure you include details such as the time and date of the open house.
Posting content about your open house is a free way to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible. All it takes is a share by your friends to get the message out. Here’s how it works: Take snapshots of your open house (for a sneak peek), write a compelling call to action, and post it! Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms for this since they’re highly visual. You can even use free image editors like Canva or PicMonkey to add text or some filter over your image.
Two to three days before your first open house, get everything ready. Sweep and mop the floors, vacuum carpets, remove cobwebs, remove dark spots on the walls, and replace broken furniture. Mow the lawn and prune the bushes. Your property should look “move-in ready” during the entire duration of the open house. Even the tiniest details create a good or bad first impression. The house should also be nice to smell! Don’t make last-minute preparations as you might miss an area or two.
Most people would hesitate to move around an open house when they see the landlord. They’re not ready for a commitment yet, except for the ones who are actively looking. So, a good strategy would be to leave a sign-up sheet on a table by the entrance. This entices people more because they know they aren’t obliged to give you a “yes.” Also, it gives you opportunities to get in touch and warm them up a bit until they’re ready. A bowl of chocolates or candies beside the sign-up sheet encourages more sign-ups.
Open houses are vulnerable to theft. That’s a fact. Some people who are actually thieves would pretend to be interested renters but are secretly “spying” to check what they can steal. Avoid this by hiring security guards. On your end, lock doors of rooms that contain valuable items. Make an inventory of your items. Take note of visitors’ plate numbers. Lastly, never display expensive items for people to see.
Some landlords would indicate a specific time for the open house (for example, 2:00 PM) while others would set a timeframe (2:00-4:00 PM). Whatever you choose depends on your availability. However, the first option would instill a sense of urgency. It would also help you identify people who are much more likely to rent.
All areas should be well-lit. In fact, it is highly advisable that you open the curtains to invite natural light. Consider scented candles and lamps with relaxing lights. This creates a pleasing experience for visitors. Do this an hour or two before the scheduled time.
By following these tips, you encourage people to want to move in. As a landlord, it’s important to smile and put on a friendly face (even if you’re stressed or having a bad day)! Be ready to answer people’s questions in a professional and polite manner.
Finally, I offer you the opportunity to take a complete DIY landlording course: Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials. Everything you need to know to become not just a landlord, but a successful landlord, is here.