I’ve just come back from a viewing where the prospective tenant didn’t show up. We only arranged it over the phone yesterday and I always follow this up with an e-mail confirmation too.
Unfortunately, like in many service industries, this is a part of the course when letting properties. But, is there a way that landlords and letting agents can prevent this from happening?
Some insist on calling an hour before to confirm a viewing. Personally, I don’t like this approach as it can cause even more confusion i.e. if you can’t reach the person, should you go to the viewing or not? More importantly, if you were to remind everyone they have a viewing, you might let your property to someone who would have otherwise forgotten. And if they would have forgotten about a viewing I can only imagine they might also be the type of person to forget about the rent each month too.
One tip is to conduct ‘block’ viewings, if possible. This means doing multiple viewings at the same time, but staggering people in to 15-20 minute slots. This gives time for each applicant to take a look around the property and ask any questions, and it ensures if one appointment is a no-show then you have another one to look forward to.
Block viewings also give the benefit of ‘social proof’, as prospective tenants can see they’re not the only ones interested in the property (one arrives as another leaves). If other people are interested in something it is not only more appealing to us, but it should prompt those who like what they see to move quickly and decisively.
Some agents and landlords take this a step further by offering open houses; whereby everyone views the property together. Personally I don’t think this offers very good service to the prospective tenant, or gives either party an opportunity to ‘suss one another out’ and see if it’s right for them.
I’ve heard nothing from the ‘no show’ since leaving her a voicemail as I waited patiently in the empty house. It can be a good idea to take note of such people so they aren’t afforded your time again in the future or, even worse, be entrusted with the keys to your property.
So landlords, contact me and let off some steam – what’s your biggest bugbear when letting property? Is it the property itself, the (prospective) tenants or, dare I say it, letting agents that are causing you the most grief?