Property owners have to go through a lot to get an apartment ready to show. From purchasing the property, to renovations and cleaning, it’s a journey that even Frodo would wince at. With all that hard work behind you, it’s critical to not drop the ball on one of the most important details of all: showings. Showing an apartment to potential tenants seems like an easy endeavor, but there are plenty of ways to screw it up. You want the best tenant you can find and a lazy showing can often cause them to turn in the other direction. Even if the apartment sells itself, picky tenants can be turned off by a careless property manager. Here are my Ali Safavi Real Estate Tips for showing an apartment.
- The Meeting
Set up expectations in your favor, if you have a preliminary call to ask questions, don’t make it feel like an interview. Smile as you speak and talk in a level tone, focus on making it feel like a conversation. Being too serious or short can often come off as rude and dismissive. You also don’t want to come off as a used car salesman.
- The Arrival
As a rule of thumb, always arrive five minutes early to a showing, dressed professionally, with business cards ready to go. Prepare the home: turn on all lights, open all blinds, and I like to spray a fresh scented air freshener throughout the home. You want to make it feel inviting and most importantly – clean! Think Annett Benning from American Beauty. When the prospect arrives, greet them outside with a smile, handshake, your card and your name. Try not to give the appearance you are in a rush or that this is your 10thshowing that day.
- The Big Show
Remember, you are the ringmaster. You’re guiding them through this tour. It shouldn’t be a free for all or choose your own adventure. Your job is to walk them room by room, pointing out all the special little features that your unit offers, mentioning what utilities are included, the best restaurants nearby, and local attractions. Make sure to leave room for questions. Everyone is looking for something different, so make sure to engage them about their current home and why they’re moving, this will help you identify their specific desires and what they don’t want to see. When it comes to showings, one size doesn’t not fit all. Tailor your “sales pitch” to the buyer.
- The Close
At the completion of your showing, you should ask them if they’d like you to go over the process of securing the unit, and if they say yes, explain the process in detail, including all fees associated. Of course, don’t do this if you have reservations about the buyer. There are laws governing the reasons you can turn away an interested a buyer. Make sure you are fully aware of these before you start showing.
If you are moving on to the close, ask if they’d like to take a few minutes to discuss the home by themselves before they commit to a non-refundable deposit. If they seem like they’re ready to go, offer them the option to come to the office (if you have one) to lay down the depost.. If they are thinkers, hesitating and unsure of how to proceed, tell them to go home, sleep on it, talk about it, and they’ll hear from you the next day. Keep track of your leads and follow up every few days until you get a firm answer, positive or negative.
Showing properties requires you to be a sales person, share your passion for the property you are showing with the people walking through, there is nothing more attractive in sales than when someone believes in the product that they are selling.
Author: Ali Safavi
Ali Safavi is a Los Angeles based real estate investor.
Ali’s impressive executive corporate experience stretches across several household name companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Sara Lee, Levi’s, Haagen-Dazs, P&G and Disney. While at Procter and Gamble in a key brand management role, Ali led the company’s most significant and successful brand launch in Febreze Air Effects – worth $200 million in profitable revenue. Ali Safavi’s passion is real estate investing. He owns multiple cash-flowing properties across the nation, allowing him to retire before the age of 40.