Prepping for the Show
by Connor Schlecht
First impressions matter. Make a good impression and you could land yourself a job, opportunities, or even significant others. We all know these as life facts, so why would you treat showing a property any differently?
Preparing your property requires attention to detail as your prospective tenants will be taking everything into consideration. Here are some steps to follow when getting ready for the big day:
Make sure the current tenants are not present!
Though this may not seem like a big deal, it can make or break a showing. If the current tenants are present, the prospects will feel like they are intruding and this may lead to them overlooking some of the main selling points of the house (especially master bedrooms and bathrooms).
This is more of a common sense point, but one that cannot be stressed enough. Some prospects will arrive early in order to scope out the property. It is extremely important that you be present at the property to greet the early risers and possibly even reward them with a private showing of the property.
As part of the preparation you may consider asking the current residents to confine their pet or take it with them while conducting showings. Pets can be even more distracting to prospects, and can be especially detrimental when the pets are not friendly. Even though the property may have been perfect, the image of a snarling hound may be the only thing they walk away remembering.
Another major part of a showing is how fresh and clean the house is. While you can tell prospects to “use their imagination” while showing a currently vacated property, you can take control of some parts of the property such as the odor on it. Lighting aromatic candles in main areas in conjunction with spraying fresheners and odor removers can make a property smell fresh and clean… even if it looks like a disaster area.
Turn on the Lights
In addition to providing a fresh smelling property, it is almost always recommended to open all the windows in the unit assuming it is appropriate. Letting natural light into rooms can make them look more spacious as well as homey. Also, opening the windows can be extremely beneficial depending on the property. If the unit is buried in the hillside amongst pine groves, it would be highly recommended to let some of that fresh mountain air into the property, assuming it won’t freeze or overheat your prospects…
While opening the windows is always a good idea, it may not be enough. In general it is always a good idea to turn on all necessary lights to allow prospects to ruminate whilst you illuminate the possibilities the property could provide. This can even include the light over the stove, depending on the cleanliness of the unit.
Open the Gates!
People can only guess what goes on behind closed doors… don’t give their imagination the opportunity! Make sure all doors (including closets) are open. Not only does this make the property look more inviting, but it also gives visitors permission to look inside without feeling that they are encroaching the current tenants privacy.
Make it Shiny
When making the final preparations before a showing, if possible, organize or remove some of the tenants clutter (Note: Remember to always ask for permission first). This way you can present the ideal looking property and give your prospects a better gist of what the property will look like once it is turned over.
If you follow all eight steps, you can turn a frail house into a leasing agents dream. Prospects will come out of the woodwork and the property will be filled in no time, making for shorter vacancies, more profits and one happy owner. All in a days work.