In times of rental vacancy, it is not necessary for a landlord to open the door every time someone comes knocking, requesting for a showing.
After placing a solid and informative rental ad online or in the newspaper (stage 1 of the filtration process), you are now ready to receive phone inquiries. As the flood gate opens (stage 2 filtration process), you will need to ask these 3 important questions listed here below to help you determine if it’s worth the time and effort to move forward in entertaining these rental inquiries:
For when are you looking to move-in?
In maintaining a steady rental income stream, the objective of the game is to make sure we have a shorter downtime as much as possible. If you are wanting to have a vacancy filled by March 1, would you be entertaining clients who are looking for a home for the 1st of April or May? Obviously not! Maybe keep them in the back burner just in case the rental vacancy drags on longer. But the main objective is to have it rented out as soon as possible. Regardless, if you have a very healthy reserve fund or not, it is better to have it rented sooner than later. Remember, vacancy equates to negative cash flow.
For how long would you plan to stay?
In the business of renting properties, we understand that the paradigm is that tenants do come and go. It is a temporary situation or short-term stay in most cases, given that some tenants use this as a stepping stone before they would own their own home. Regardless, we have to look for good clients that would stay as long as they want. We tell our potential tenants, “Preferably a one-year lease please”. We all know that the process is a gruelling task. We find that 6 months or less is too short considering the amount of effort and time required to re-rent a place.
For how many people?
This question is mainly for the safety of the tenants that will be living there. See to it that the unit doesn’t exceed the allowable number of occupants. It would be breaking the law if you allowed a dwelling to contain more than the recommended tenants. Obviously if the unit is a two-bedroom condo, and the inquirers are for a party of five, then there is no point to carry on with the transaction. Inform them right away that the unit is too small for their family, and they will need to find a bigger unit for their safety. Instead, offer to help them to find a suitable place. Lookup online rental ads in the category and affordability they are looking for and send it their way. By providing them with a full service regardless if they are approved or not, you are building lasting relationship and guaranteeing a repeat of customers in the long term.
Overall, these initial questions will save you and your potential rental client’s valuable time by streamlining the business process a little better. Why spend more of your valuable time, if you know it is not a good fit based on these 3 key questions? In the concept of customer centricity, you are being of service by leading your potential clients in the right direction.