Exciting news! It’s time to show your Oregon rental property and find a tenant to move in and pay rent. You’re about ready to start making money on your investment and if you’ve spent weeks or even months preparing your home to rent, you should be really excited you’ve made it to this point. While many property owners hire a property management company to market and show their rental, if you choose to go it alone, here are a few helpful hints to successfully find the right tenant for you.
First, you need to decide how you want to handle your showings. Some property owners choose to arrange individual showings one at a time. Others decide to group their showings together by “opening the house” for several hours at a time. What you decide to do will depend largely on what your specific schedule allows. If you’re reading this, we’re guessing property management is probably not your day job and showing your rental can be time consuming at best. If your property is currently occupied, you’ll have to consider your tenant’s schedule as well. Look in your lease to ensure you follow the agreed upon procedures for showing the property and ask (nicely) if the current tenant wouldn’t mind making sure the home is clean and organized and that any pets have been property restrained or removed.
It’s VERY important to take into consideration safety when it comes to showing your property. You’re meeting someone you’ve never met before. It’s highly recommended that you never show your property alone and that if you have no other choice, you let someone know who you are meeting and where you are meeting them. In fact, many property managers request a copy of the prospective tenant’s driver’s license or ID prior to showing and it’s something you might want to consider too. Always carry your cell phone. Following a prospective tenant through the house vs. leading them helps ensure you have an escape route if anything should happen. Remember it is always best to keep the prospective tenant in front of you. We don’t mean to scare you. Chances are you’ll be just fine, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Be Prepared & Informative
The key to a successful showing is to ensure your property shows at its best. Make sure window blinds are open to allow as much natural light in as possible and turn on the lights to help make each room look bigger. If the property is currently occupied, ask your tenant to ensure the property is clean and organized. Try to anticipate any questions you may be asked – what is the average utility bill? Is there Internet access? Where is the nearest school, grocery store or gas station? Some property managers carry a measuring tape in the event the prospective tenant would like to measure any rooms to see if their furniture will fit. The more help you can provide them up front, the greater the chance that they’ll be interested in renting your property. Have a copy of the HOA and house rules on hand. Let the prospective tenant know of any property restrictions such as parking or pets (if you choose to allow pets that is). Also, consider bringing a copy of the rental application. If a prospective tenant is ready to go and you like what you know so far, there’s no need to delay any further.
Some property owners may feel weird about following around a prospective tenant during a showing. It can be a little awkward, however it is important – particularly if the home is currently occupied. While it is rare, there have been cases where things ummmmm…go missing. Showing your property to prospective tenants can be time consuming and overwhelming. It’s one of the main reasons many property investors choose to hire a property manager to do it for them. Sometimes leaving it in the hands of the professionals is the easiest way to go.