Showing Set-up Checklist
When setting up a rental showing, the agent typically will need to coordinate with the prospective tenant, the owner and any current tenants. Luckily, virtual showings usually make this part of the rental process easier. Use your showing set-up checklist as your process guide.
Virtual Showing Set-up Checklist:
- When initially qualifying your client, try to get a few dates and times that they will be available to “tune in” for a virtual showing.
- Contact the apartments’ owner (or the listings agent). Your goal is to determine the showing logistics AND, as importantly, gain additional info about the property. Important to know:
- a. Confirm virtual showings are still allowed.
- b. Type of virtual showing and technology (see below for details… live vs. pre-recorded, as well as who conducts the showing).
- c. Critical property aspects, particularly those most important to your client (e.g., rent, parking options, etc.).
- d. If the owner has agreed to pay an agent fee, confirm amount and how that will be handled (invoice procedure and timing).
- e. Is the unit currently occupied?
- f. Always remember to let the owner know you have a great potential tenant for their unit!
- Contact your client:
- a. Build excitement (but don’t over-promise)!
- b. Confirm how you will conduct the showing. Make sure the client understands the process and has all necessary tech tools.
- c. Provide the date and time if you will be doing a “live virtual showing.”
- d. Set expectations… even if this property isn’t the one, initial showings are the best way for you to fully understand what is most important to your client. (Even with in-person showings, a client almost never signs a lease for the first unit they see… our advice is hope for the best, but prepare for the search to continue.)
- The day before the showing, send your client a reminder. The day of the showing, confirm with your client.
Virtual Showing Options
There are two main ways to do a virtual showing: live and pre-recorded. Here’s how you can understand your options and how position yourself for success.
Which virtual showing “type” is right for you and your client?
- Want to focus on a limited number of deals and provide a high service level? Live virtual showings may be right for you.
- Want to work on numerous deals at once knowing that only a small percent will close?Pre-recorded showings may be right for you.
- Already have a deep relationship with your client? Pre-recorded showings may be right for you.
Live virtual showing
This means the agent and the client (or clients) will all be online together as a tour of the property is conducted. The tour will be conducted by either the agent or by the property manager (or in-house agent). Live virtual showings typically create a tighter bond with the client (and owner). However, they typically require more effort.
Will you be conducting the showing?
If so, here’s how you can proceed:
- Make sure everyone involved is clear on what technology you will be using to conduct the live virtual tour. Inevitably, there will be some sort of tech snafu, so give yourself and your client a little extra time at the start of the tour. Overview tech setup for live virtual showings.
- Keep in mind the showing prep basics:
- Make sure you have confirmed with the owner, any existing tenants, your client. Then, reconfirm!
- Make sure you know how to access the unit.
- If there are others involved in the decision (such as a roommate or parent), try to have everyone on the call.
Will the owner, property manager or in-house agent be conducting (or participating in) the showing?
All the above showing mechanics will apply, however, agents must also be of maintaining client control!
- You should avoid having your client and the owner exchange contact info. To that end, we highly recommend that you originate/host the meeting if possible. Overview tech setup for live virtual showings.
- If you are not familiar with the property, get familiar! This will increase credibility with your client since you will be able to provide additional insight. Here’s some tips:
- Try to visit beforehand, or, be there while the showing is conducted.
- If you have a client you have previously placed in the building or nearby, get some feedback.
- Speak with the owner/manager beforehand to gain additional insight into the property and application process.
- Let the owner/manager know you will be in touch with them after the call. This will help establish boundaries to maintain client control.
- Speak with your client beforehand; let your client know you already are in touch with the owner. Again, you’re positioning yourself as the operative piece in this transaction!
- Let your client know you will contact them immediately after the call to get their feedback… advise your client to be complimentary but maintain a “poker face” throughout the showing so that you are in the best position to get the deal done.
- During the call, re-emphasize to the owner/manager that you will talk it over with your client and will contact them on behalf of your client at some point after the call.
This type of showing is essentially sending a video of the property to your client. The video may be provided by either the owner/property manager. Or, you may be able to go to the property and record the video yourself. In either case, make sure you provide helpful commentary to your client about the unit (see next section for hints). Pre-recorded showings can be made and viewed without having everyone available at the same time, so coordination is generally much easier. Overview tech options for pre-recorded virtual showings.
Will you be recording the showing?
The logistics of this are pretty straightforward:
- Scheduling: Since you do not need to have everyone available at the same time, things get much easier! Instead, you only need to work with all relevant parties–the property owner and, if needed, the current renter–to record the showing.
- Recording options. Check out our suggestions for recording options… tech options for pre-recorded virtual showings.
Will the owner, property manager or in-house agent be recording the showing?
- This one will be very easy to coordinate. The main thing to remember is to have the owner/manager send the video(s) to you and not directly to your client.
- In this situation, it is highly advisable to follow our “Top Agent Tip” and introduce your client to pre-recorded tours from more than one property.
Top Agent Tip:
If you can provide several different pre-recorded property tours of different apartments, you are providing a more valuable service to your client. This sets up the conversation to be which property is the best fit and is very helpful for nurturing a deeper relationship!
As you are coordinating the virtual showing, keep a few things in mind:
- Make sure you are prepared to bring extra knowledge to the conversation to supplement the virtual tour. Let them know your take on the area, the property, and the pricing.
- Make sure you are taking the recommended steps to maintain client control.
- Make sure your clients know you have them covered whether or not the property is the right fit.
- Make sure the property owner knows that you have a great potential renter for them! Put yourself and your client in a position to succeed if you end up submitting an application.
- Remember: The deal process has started! Every interaction with your client or the owner is an opportunity to position yourself well.
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