Handing over a key or pin number to prospective tenants to enter an available unit has a lot of benefits. You can give visitors the freedom to explore at their own pace without the presence of a high-pressure sales pitch. You'll also gain free time to continue to man the office while guests take their time with a self-showing. The benefits are clear.
Unfortunately, though, there is a downside of these kinds of showings. While a real estate professional's first move might normally be opening up a unit to show it, their primary goal is to convince people to move in. By conducting a showing in person, you have the chance to point out the features of the apartment while downplaying any negatives and rebutting any complaints or concerns the prospective tenant might have.
You also run the risk of a visitor damaging your rental in some way. While 90 percent of guests will come with the intention of looking and leaving the place as it was found, some may inadvertently cause damage, lose keys or risk the current condition the unit is in.
Think twice before you offer self-showings: you may find that the negatives indeed outweigh the positives.
- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management