As restrictions are starting to ease throughout the country, prospective tenants are gaining confidence and are agreeing to apartment showings in person. This is possible with some proper planning. It’s very important for landlords and property managers to have protocols in place to ensure safety. Here are some ways to show your listings effectively and safely.
1. Vacant Units are a Plus
If the apartment is vacant this can definitely be one in the plus column. When you are speaking or emailing a prospective tenant, inform them that the unit is vacant, but reassure them that you have had it professionally sanitized and cleaned. Not having it currently occupied can create a sense of relief for those looking for a place to live, especially now.
2. Require Masks and Gloves
When setting up the showing date and time, also share that wearing a mask and gloves is required for you, the prospect, any other person that he or she brings along, and also if there is a current tenant. Make sure everyone is aware and on board with this strict policy.
3. Sanitize and Clean
Be vigilant about cleaning door knobs, countertops, bathrooms, appliances or any high-traffic areas that people come in contact with in the apartment. Tell your prospective tenant that you are being extra-careful about your cleaning procedures and also keep wipes, hand sanitizer and extra masks and gloves readily available during the showing.
4. Suggest Limiting the Number of Guests
When showing an apartment, it’s acceptable to ask the person who is coming to the property to limit who they can bring. One extra person should be allowed, but ask if they can refrain from bringing more than three people to see the place.
5. Social Distance During the Showing
Leave some space between you and a prospective tenant. Six feet is ideal. Don’t crowd into a small kitchen, and let them look in the bedroom alone. Don’t sit on the furniture, and stand far enough apart where you can converse while discussing things safely.
6. Clear the Air if you Can
Open a window or two in the unit to ventilate the space. Use air purifiers and tell them not to come if they aren’t feeling well. It’s important to let them know you are committed to safety protocols.
7. Direct Prospects to an Online Listing
Before the actual showing, it’s helpful if you have photos, videos or listing information compiled and put on a site or portal. If a prospective tenant has a chance to do a quick virtual tour, they can be in a better position to ask questions when they meet you in person at the apartment. In addition, because they have already seen some of the highlights of the unit virtually, it can shorten the time during the actual showing.
Keeping Showings Safe
The business of showing apartments during the COVID-19 pandemic can take some extra planning. Make sure to share your expectations in advance. For example, let them know gloves and masks are required, ask if they can limit the amount of people they bring to the apartment, and ask them not to come if they are sick. You can also reassure your commitment by cleaning the unit and offering hand sanitizer, wipes and extra masks and gloves. By setting this example, you are creating a great first impression and they will find you to be a nice and responsible landlord.
You can also make the unit safer by opening a window to promote better ventilation and using air purifiers. Another important tip is to social distance during the tour. Allow them space to look around. To be even more prepared, direct your prospective tenants to an online listing with photographs and videos. After the showing email them follow-up information about the unit. This way you are limiting contact even more.