As a leasing agent or apartment manager, how would you describe “showing” an apartment?
Do you walk through the unit before you show a potential renter? Would you be willing to move into the unit you are showing? Have you been in the unit since it was cleaned? Do you know exactly what to expect? Before you show a unit, be sure you know exactly what to expect and what a potential tenant will experience. If the unit is in top condition it should sell itself!
If you want to leave a good, lasting impression, let your SENSES do the work! Before each showing, run through these four simple steps and see what kind of impression you get.
When you first walk into the apartment, what do you see? Is it spotless as well as spot-less? Are there cable cords lying on the floor? Are the cleaning supplies still lying around? Does the carpet look new or can you still see the last tenant’s spaghetti sauce stains? Have the walls been painted or are there dirty hand smears on the walls and light switches? Are there any broken blinds or light fixtures? Have the windows and mirrors been cleaned? Is there a new bug infestation or water seeping in the recent storm? Things change when a unit is left empty. If the unit is not clean before a showing, how can a tenant expect it to be clean before they move in?
How does the apartment smell? Does it have that good ol’ “clean and new” smell? Or does it still have the last tenant’s pet odor, or maybe the neighbor’s potent cooking? Whether it’s a stench or a clean smell, is it overwhelming? If so, open some windows, and shut the vents. Some apartment shoppers might assume that if it smells extremely fresh at the moment, maybe it’s to hide a different odor which will arise after moving in.
Wipe your hand down the kitchen counter. Is it dusty? Do you still feel food crumbs or dried up food stains? Open the cupboards and the microwave and make sure they have been cleaned. Pull out the oven and refrigerator. Food likes to fall behind these spots, which can later lead to problems with ants or other rodents. Do this throughout the apartment, in the closets and the bathroom. Potential tenants will touch everything from walls and doors to countertops and floors; be sure the impression is what you want it to be.
As you’re spending time in the apartment, pay close attention to the noise – both external and internal. Can you hear your neighbor’s TV? Are those rambunctious children above screaming or running and jumping around? If so, it’s time to have a visit with them. Maybe it would be worth having them move into a ground floor unit. For internal noise, pay attention to the furnace, the shower head, toilet, dishwasher, A/C unit, etc. Disturbing noises can really turn someone away.
After you do a run through, ask yourself, are YOU ready to move in? Did the apartment pass the test? If not, hold off on scheduling any showings until you feel the impression is right. If all is good, then it’s ready to show! Good luck finding your perfect tenant!