Whether you have an out-of-state rental applicant or are marketing your vacancy before the existing tenants are moved out, selling potential applicants on a rental property they’ve never seen is tricky. Applicants still need a visual sense of the space, an understanding of how their lifestyle could change within the neighborhood, and establish a personal connection with you. By using some of these creative ways, you’ll be able to successfully rent out a vacancy the applicants have never seen before.
It’s All About the Visuals
When your applicants can’t see the rental property in person, it’s important to supplement with visuals. This helps your future renters imagine how they’ll be living in the space, from where they’ll put their furniture to if the space is safe enough for their newly walking toddler.
The visual resources you can use are endless. Start with providing pictures of the rental property and the floorplan. If the applicants are out-of-town and the unit is already vacant, get a little personal and arrange a Facetime or Skype call. If they’re unavailable, stick to creating a standard video, or consider experimenting with 3D floorplan renderings. The sky’s the limit when it comes to supplemental property visuals!
Invite Them into the Neighborhood
Even if you can’t show the rental property to the interested applicant, invite them to tour the surrounding neighborhood. Provide them with a map of the surrounding area with some recommendations catered to their interests (like coffee shops, grocery stores, parks and schools, etc.). While you aren’t able to showcase how they’ll be able to physically operate within the unit, you can still give them a glimpse into how their lifestyle could change by living in a property near their personal interests.
If possible, talk to your existing tenants to see if they’d be comfortable with you showing the property to your interested applicants. Of course, get this consent in writing and text your tenants reminding them of a showing appointment.
In an age where Craigslist rental scams are common, it’s important to provide a little extra transparency when trying to sell to applicants on a rental property they’ve never seen. When talking to an interested prospect online, provide materials to reinforce the information you’ve previously discussed (like a marketing packet with pictures of the property, key rent and utility information, etc.). Arrange to meet, video, or voice call in person to start that landlord-tenant relationship off. When in doubt, be professional. By implementing a few of these things, you’ll establish a one-to-one connection with your interested applicants and convince them to choose your rental property over the competition.
Whether your interested prospects decide to rent from your property or not, be sure to keep customer service in the back of your mind. Even if your efforts didn’t convince them this time, they could come running back in the future (or recommend the rental property to their friends).
Do you have any creative ways to sell your applicants on a unit they’ve never seen?
Let us know in the comment section.