How to Deal With Prospective Tenants (Part 2 of 3)

by Vena Jones-Cox

Question:

We considered blocking out a set period of time each week (say Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) but I’m trying to be customer friendly and I’m afraid that the work schedules of our prospects would preclude them from making it to the set “open house.”

Answer:

There is a way to accomplish both: when a caller sets an appointment at, say, Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., tell the next caller that you’ll be there Wednesday at 6. If that time doesn’t work for him, set up Friday at 5 (or whatever).

Now you have two times during the week when you know you’ll be at the property anyway, so try to plug everyone else into those times.

Being “customer friendly” is always a good idea, but making your schedule around those of the your potential tenants is a very bad one. You can appear to be accommodating them without inconveniencing yourself by offering several appointment times.

Believe me, they don’t appreciate you any more because you jump when they say jump. In fact, it sets a tone for the rest of your relationship that you probably don’t want to encourage.

Question:

A suggestion on an internet site suggested that I require a prospect to call to confirm an hour prior to any scheduled showing, but I’m not comfortable doing that—to me it sends the message that I regard all prospective tenants as being too immature to keep appointments.

Answer:

Clearly, they are too immature to keep appointments, so I don’t know why you’d feel bad. But if it makes you feel better about this policy (which is a great one, by the way), tell prospects that you always forget appointments, so they need to call you an hour before to remind you to show up.

Remember, the point here is to save your valuable time, NOT to make the lives of your prospects easy.

Reprinted from the Real Deal, a monthly newsletter for Real Life Real Estate Investors with permission of Vena Jones-Cox. Get a free 3-month trial subscription by clicking here. One per household, please.