If you're a landlord or property manager, showing rental units during the time of COVID can be a challenge. Staying six feet apart during a standard tour is sometimes difficult or impossible, so many property owners have developed new ways of showing their rental units safely. In this article, we'll cover some of the basics of showing your rental units during a time of COVID. Whether you're doing interviews and showings virtually or doing them in person, having a plan can help make this process better overall.
Hold Virtual Interviews
Interviews are easy to hold virtually. Choose an online platform like Zoom, Skype or FaceTime for holding interviews. To accommodate your applicants, offer multiple possible platforms. Like any in-person interview, have your questions prepared in advance. If you do not have an online platform for holding a virtual interview, phone interviews work almost as well.
Show the Rental Virtually
Showing the rental virtually is a good way to allow potential renters to see your property without coming into contact. Practice showing your rental virtually with someone you work with. Practicing in advance will give you a good sense of how to achieve the best light for virtual showings, and how to hold the computer or camera at an angle that will provide the best view of the property. Encourage the person on the other line to provide feedback about how much they can see, what they can't see, and what they'd like to see more of.
- Turn on all lights in the rental property for virtual showings.
- Walk slowly around each room to give everyone a chance to observe the property.
- Stop periodically during the showing and ask, "Do you have any questions? Would you like to see more of anything?"
Focus on important features like the position of the doors and windows, condition of the flooring, and the appearance of the kitchens and baths. After the virtual showing, your potential renters may want to see the property in-person before signing an agreement. See our suggestions below for making that happen.
Pay for Professional Photographs
Professional photographers know how to present homes in the best light possible. Hire a professional photographer to take photos of each of your properties as they become available. If you're not sure whether the photographer you want to hire is right for the job, look at their portfolio. Post the best of these pictures in online listings, and be prepared to send any extra pictures to anyone who inquires about the property.
If Virtual Isn't An Option, Have a Plan
You may not have the right technology to make virtual showings possible. If you must have in-person showings and interviews, these tips can help.
- Know the requirements of your state before planning any in-person showing.
- Have a plan for the best way to conduct an in-person showing safely.
- Provide clear instructions to the person coming to the in-person showing.
For example, you may plan to show the house by opening the door and allowing the potential renter to enter the property as you wait outside. If this is your plan, tell the potential renter before they show up, so they'll be prepared. Don't assume that all potential renters will wear masks or follow COVID-19 protocols. Set any expectations that you have before the meeting, including mask protocols.
Good Communication Is Key
Good communication is key to ensuring that your interviews and showings, whether virtual or in-person, be successful. Be sure to communicate COVID protocols, communicate about the virtual platform and more.
About The Author
Since graduating college in 2002, Leslie C. has written hundreds of articles and blog posts on a freelance basis. Just a few of her interests as a writer include topics like home repair, home maintenance, home improvement, travel, cooking, baking, green living, gardening, parenting, decorating, party planning and generally running a successful and functional household. In particular, her passion for writing home and family-related articles has only increased since she started a cooking blog in 2011 and bought a ranch-style "fixer" home, circa the 1950s. Every day for Leslie is a new adventure in DIY home repair, family cooking, and retro-style decorating, and her passion for these subjects shows in her written work.
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