Property Management companies only grow to a certain extent before they begin to feel the stress of having too much to do, and not enough hands to go around. When that happens, they start rooting around for something that can be changed. Some of their job that can be hired out or discarded altogether. For many companies, this is the moment when they decide to cease providing in-person showings.
Showings are a large part of property management. They also require a great deal of effort. More and more companies turn to the easier route of simply checking out keys. But the quick and easy route is not always the best.
The bonuses of checking out keys are fairly apparent. The ease of providing prospective applicants with a key in exchanging for a fee to be refunded on return and a picture of their driver’s license forms a tempting image. No schedule and no fuss. No more having the problem of those people that call in to say they are five minutes away and “please don’t leave,” even though it is ten minutes after time.
But nothing is that easy. There is a darker side to self-shows. It creates an air of detachment around the tenancy that can be damaging in the long run. None of the staff, excluding the receptionist, may even see the applicants until after they are approved.
It does not matter how thoroughly you screen these applicants. Without meeting them face to face, do you really know them? Usually, you can find the information you need using credit check, rental references, and social media checks, but there are times when the person that looks near perfect on paper isn’t quite as flawless in person.
Empire has found that no matter how detailed the screening process is, it is never enough to render the in-person showings meaningless. Nothing can replace that opportunity to interview the prospective applicant face to face. It’s also the perfect time for interested parties to question the Property Manager further regarding screening policies and lease terms.
The Liability of Self Showings
At our showings, it is common procedure for the Property Manager to walk around the home after everyone has left. They check windows and doors, securing the perimeter. They occasionally find windows open. Left so by someone viewing the home. If the window remains open, there is nothing to prevent them from returning later and ransacking, wrecking, spending the night, and etc.
The safety measure of having someone there to lock up is not present at self-shows. The prospective applicant can check out the key and view the home at his leisure. As long as he returns the key before the deadline, he has no cause for worry. But there is no way of knowing what he does inside the property, or if he is going to lock up afterward. If he doesn’t lock up, there is nothing to prevent him from returning.
Here at Empire, we think of the showing as one of the most important steps in the entire process. We also understand that shortcuts in the renting process always have negative repercussions.
To this day, Empire has never performed an eviction on a tenant we moved into the home. We do the work needed on the front end to prevent any occasion where we would be forced to evict. It is a source of pride for us and demonstrates better than words our commitment to finding the best tenant possible for your home.
Contact Empire to see how easy landlording can be.