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Showing your Rental Property Effectively and Safely in Pittsburgh

To show a rental property to a potential residents in Pittsburgh (or any other city), many first time landlords simply show up at the scheduled time with little preparation. In this article, we will cover the steps that show you how to effectively and safely show your rental home. A properly and well thought out agenda and day can make sure you are safe and not rushed for this important step in renting your investment property.  

 

SAFETY

  • First and foremost, you need to consider personal safety. If you feel unsafe when meeting the prospects just allow them to go into the home and tell them you’ll be out front when they’re done. Call a friend or family member and let them know what is going on, ask them to stay on the phone with you. This will keep the potentially dangerous prospects at a distance and if they know you’re talking to someone they will most likely reconsider if they were planning on doing something. The process is really no different from taking a hike somewhere in that you never know what may happen when you are outside your home; remember you are meeting strangers at the property, not friends and family. Be Safe. These situations are rare. But it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Once your prospective residents arrive, greet them at the front porch and show them into the home. For safety purposes, let them enter first and always keep yourself closest to the exits while showing the home.  Now it is time for your true showman to come out – point out the amenities of the home, such as lighting, flooring, and other special features.  Let new prospective renters know which appliances are staying with the home, as well as other items that they may need to know, such as parking or common interest community restrictions. Also let them know about the closest public transportation, shopping, and other points of interest in relation to the home.
  • Another safety tip to consider is after they leave be sure to go into the home and check that windows and doors are all locked. There have been some instances of ‘potential residents’ unlocking a window or a door during the showing only to come back at night to break in. 
  • Timed lighting! If your property is going to be vacant for long leave blinds closed. You don’t want criminals to know it’s vacant. Timed lighting is a great option so they see that lights are on.

 

TIPS FOR SHOWING EFFECTIVELY

  • Call the prospects before the showing for a short interview. Make sure they meet your qualifications and that the move in date will work. You don’t want to show your property to someone who’s not looking to move until 3 months after your property is vacant. Make sure they know they’ll need to provide proof of income, you’ll be doing a criminal background check, no Section 8, etc.
  • Be at your rental property at least 15 minutes before your appointment time as this will give you the opportunity to quickly pick up stray rubbish that may have blown in, check the mailbox, and maybe even pull those pesky weeds by the front yard. Once inside, you can open the blinds and set the thermostat for a comfortable temperature before your prospective residents show up. These small touch ups only take a few minutes, but can make a significant difference in the prospective residents’ first impression.
  • Stay with the prospective residents but do not hover – let them tour the home and give them room to discuss features. When it comes to showing your rental property, your goal is to have prospective renters envision themselves living in the home. The more references you can make that will help them feel comfortable and like they have arrived in a place to call home the better.  
  • Once the tour is complete, ask them whether they would like to fill out an application to lease. Be careful not to make comments that may lead residents to believe they have already qualified for the home as you never know what the approval process will uncover. Set a sense of urgency with prospective residents with regard to the application – let them know you have other appointments and may be processing applications. Be upfront and let them know you’ll be accepting the most qualified applicants. Also provide them with a timeline for your decision. 
  • If it’s occupied, make sure you’re respectful to the current residents. Even a bit above and beyond just so they feel comfortable with us coming into their home. It can be scary for some people for strangers coming in all the time. Ask them if they want you to take your shoes off. Little stuff goes a long way. Thank them for letting you come by and be respectful of their belongings.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.