11 Step Guide to A Successful Showing


You’ve got the lead and you’ve found some apartments they’ll love. Time to go on a showing. As an expert coach at Rental Beast University, I get asked lots of questions about showings by agents who want to make sure they can deliver a flawless showing to their clients. While I can’t promise this five guide will seal the deal, it’s a great starting place to prep for a fantastic. showing.

1. Ask Qualification Questions

Before you even think about scheduling showings, make sure that you qualify your clients with a questionnaire. Make sure to ask the important questions.

Related: 6 Lead Qualification You Need to Ask

Remember, you can choose to work with clients you want. If your lead’s not thinking about finding a new place for six months, or they’re already working with a real estate professional, you don’t have to accept their business.

2. Find time windows that work for you and your client

The first step is to find a window that works both for you and your client. Quick reminder that your personal safety is also important. If you’d feel uncomfortable showing units after dark, see if you can do some showings during the day on a weekend. Find a window of a couple hours and both you and your client can get together to see units near each other. Factor in your commute time. 

3. Set up 3-4 showings (if possible)

woman wearing purple shirt holding smartphone white sitting on chair

Contact landlords and listings agents and set up a few showings. This is not only important so you can get your client in front of enough properties that will interest them, but also so that your client can compare and contrast and you can get a better picture of what they want from an apartment. If you’re working with clients who have little experience renting, showing them various apartments will also help set expectations. 

4. Make sure you both know all the information

Triple check the location of the apartment, make sure that the landlord knows that you’re coming, and that you know the location of the keys. 

5. Call your client an hour before to confirm

One hour before your set for your showing, call your client and remind them the address of the apartment they’ll be seeing, and the time you’ll be seeing it at. Also, ask them who they will be bringing to the showing. 

6. Talk with your client before, during, and after the Showing (and take notes!)

When talking with them before, make sure to stress the parts of the neighborhood you’ll think they’ll like (e.g, “This apartment is near a few public transport stops, and is a 10 minute drive from the grocery store!” Or “You’ll notice that this street is very quiet. There’s a park nearby which will be great for the kids.”) During the showing, explain what they are seeing and any extra amenities the the apartment building has that you might not be able to show them (e.g dog park, package service, secure access). After the showing try to get the most information you can from them about what they liked and didn’t. If you’re likely to forget, carry a notebook and take some notes.

7. Ask them to rank the apartment on a scale from 1-10

It’s helpful for both you and your client to be a number to the apartment and get something concrete the two of you can talk about. Ask what factors contributed to that number.

8. If the ranking is low, ask why!

If their ranking is low, then make sure you have a long talk about why this apartment wasn’t up to their standards. Remember, always stay positive. The apartment might not have had the open floor plan they’re looking for, but is super close to their work. Don’t be pushy, but remind them of why you choose this apartment. 

10. If the ranking is high, stress that time is of the essence

If your client is enthusiastic about the apartment, make sure that they know that their timing is important. I’ve coached agents who were direct with their final statements (“So, are you going to buy this house or not?”) And, while I don’t suggest every real estate agent follows suit, it is important to have  way to describe to them that apartments can go quickly, so make sure to stress that time is of the essences. Maybe say something along the lines of, “It’s important to remember that apartments go quickly, and the sooner you get your application in the better.”

Just a reminder! Rental Beast’s online application engine, Apply Now, makes rental applications fast and hassle-free. Apply Now can be accessed while you’re on the road with your client, and, with credit scores processed in only minutes, Apply Now makes it easy for landlords to make a decision and for you to get your commission. 

11. Leave respectfully

thank you signage

Shut off the lights before you leave and clean the apartment if necessary. It’s also nice to leave a quick “thank you!” note.


Your client might not show up 

This is not the outcome you’re hoping for. A client not coming for a showing (or, by the way, an agent not making it to a showing!) is not only highly disrespectful and frustrating, but a big waste of time and money. Sometimes your client will have a good reason for not showing up and not contacting you—maybe their car broke down or they had an unavoidable emergency! Call your client, and hear their excuse. But, try not to linger too much on this, as difficult as it might be. Just keep moving! 

Try to follow your clients at a respectful distance

Let your client explore the space by themselves, discuss furniture placement, and envision calling that unit home. Try not to breathe over their shoulder or be overly directive in how they see the home. It’s also important to note that this also can be a safety issue. Lets get real—anytime you’re alone in a home with strangers, you put yourself at risk. Mitigate that risk wherever you can and don’t stand behind your client. 

Stay positive

Unless you’ve hit the jackpot and found an absolutely perfect property, chances are the apartment you’re showing your client won’t check off every single item on your client’s checklist. That’s ok! Instead of mentioning that the apartment doesn’t have something, focus instead on the positives. This is a great way to keep the client thinking positive. It can also be a great way to try to figure out exactly what priorities are important to your client. If the apartment is a big hit except it’s not close to any public transportation, then you know public transportation is a bigger factor than you might have initially thought. 

Clean your car

Always offer to drive them from place to place. Don’t be offended if they say no–sometimes clients want some private time to think about what they say alone. However, if you will be taking your client to a few locations, remember to clean the inside of your car to project a professional image! 

Looking to sharpen your skills and expand your capacity on your own time? Want to know more about Rental Beast University? To learn more about the Rental Beast platform or to request a no-obligation demo visit Rental Beast for Real Estate Agents.

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