On the weekend we began showing our latest rent to own home to prospective tenant buyers. Dave’s been sick for over a week now, and I’ve been a bit overloaded trying to do some of his work and and keep up with mine (at least that is my excuse for what I am about to tell you).
I dragged him out to the showing even though he wasn’t feeling well. It’s difficult to do a busy showing solo – especially when you have to be on your toes enough to get a sense of someones income and financial situation to do a preliminary screening.
We showed up 40 minutes early because we’ve learned that REALLY keen rent to own tenants show up 15 to 20 minutes early. When we walked in we both realized that many of the light fixtures weren’t back up after the painting and the downstairs bathroom was still missing face plates, toilet paper rolls and towel bars after the reno.
The bad part? I had walked through the property two days before and didn’t notice these things. When I had walked through I was checking on renovation garbage removal, kitchen cleaning and the carpet cleaning. I totally missed the light fixtures and little odds and ends in the one bathroom.
So there we were … 20 to 40 minutes before the tenants are to show up and the place is not in what we consider to be show-ready condition.
Well, this is why we show up early, bring tools, cleaning supplies and a get ‘er done attitude.
We set to work … and with the exception of a few light fixtures that were too high to reach without a ladder, we had the place ready. And I got to thinking that we should create a checklist for ourselves and for you, of everything to bring to a tenant showing just in case your walk through before misses something (or somethingS!).
- Multi-head screwdriver
- Lysol wipes or nice smelling cleaner & rags (I like Method Grapefruit cleaner personally)
- Tenant rental applications
- The property inspection report (this is more important for Rent To Own homes than a regular rental)
- Receipt book (although we don’t normally take a deposit without screening our tenants if there are multiple people that want it that is what we’ll do to set up a first come first serve type of arrangement)
- Black plastic garbage bag (for last minute trash pick up)
- Extra lightbulbs (there ALWAYS seems to be a bulb out that wasn’t out before!)
Other people recommend things like fresh flowers, a bowl of candies and air freshener. I could add them to the list but truthfully we never have them. We do have a box in our car that has a stapler, scissors, tape, black felt markers, paper clips, business cards and some other office materials which comes in handy … but we don’t bring it in. We also usually have a drill, garbage bags, doggie bags and two dogs in our car!
When you arrive for the showing: open some windows to get fresh air in, turn heat or air conditioner on to make the home comfortable. Turn on lights in every room, open blinds and curtains, and put on a smile!
We generally show our homes vacant so we do everything we can to make the home look and smell fresh, clean and well maintained. And ever since we ONLY showed homes like this we’ve found it MUCH easier to attract great tenants that pay us the rent we want to get for a home.
By Dave Peniuk