Setting The Tone For A Tenancy

We prefaced last week that our actions from the start of contact with a prospective tenant, it can set a tone for the tenancy. In this blog we are going to focus on the pre-tenancy activities and how they can affect how successful a residency is for landlord and tenant.

It’s Sales 101 to always be pleasant and happy when someone calls that wants to rent your place.  After the prospect has decided that they would like a showing, your instinct it likely to tell them you can show it now and grab your keys. After all, you don’t want to miss out on renting it right?   people’s instinct is to jump and grab your keys.

You have subtly sent a clue that your schedule and time isn’t too important to you.  You will jump when the right keys are turned (so to speak). This is not the precedent you want to set.  You want to make sure the tenant knows that your time is of value to you and that you schedule your time carefully. Doing so will reinforce to the tenant that you have other obligations. It also avoids setting the false expectations that you will always jump to assist them.

When scheduling the showing try to do it at least 24 hours in advance (unless you have another showing already scheduled that you can piggyback). If your time is limited don’t be afraid to set an open house strategy. You can tell the prospect you are showing the property at 9am & 10am on Saturday and they are welcome to join you then.  The premise being that if the prospect is motivated enough, they will be there.

When you are at the property for the showing, it is important to remember that your time is money.  If the person doesn’t call within 5 minutes of the showing start time to say they are lost or had an emergency, don’t wait around.  Remind yourself that you have a schedule and other tasks to handle.  It is your choice if you choose to call the tenant about the missed appointment while at the property or later.   If you call while there do not allow them to monopolize your time more.  Offer to reschedule but make sure the next appointment piggy backs off an existing one.  (Just in case they don’t show again.)

If a tenant isn’t courteous of your time before they move-in, they aren’t going to value your time after.  If they don’t value your time they don’t respect you.  If they don’t respect you, they aren’t going to be inclined to pay you on time per your rules.

There is a difference between being flexible and a doormat.  If you become a doormat for the pre-tenancy phase you will notice rent due dates are fluid, rules are nice when they work for them,and your words aren’t enforceable. Your communication and actions should establish the idea that you are the one who will control the relationship. If they seize control in the pre-tenancy days you will never get it back and you will always be their second fiddle until you “man” up and kick them out.

In the next blog we’ll take a look at what happens after the prospect has seen the property.  We’ll address the subtle things you might be doing during the application and leasing process that further establishes a tone of tenant dominance.

Corina Eufinger

Owner Brio Properties & CRC Investments