Thursday, 18 July 2019

The most frustrating thing about letting a property

I was chatting with a fellow letting agent recently when we got on to our pet peeves with the job. We both agreed on what the most frustrating thing about letting a property is - attending a viewing only for the prospective tenant not to show up; especially when you only arranged it the day before! Unfortunately, this is a part of the course when letting properties, but is there a way that landlords and letting agents can prevent it from happening?

Some insist on confirming the appointment an hour before the viewing. Personally, I don’t like this approach as it can cause even more confusion if you can’t get hold of the prospective tenant i.e. should you then go to the viewing or not? More importantly though, 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 paying 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 person arrives as another leaves). If other people are interested in something then psychologically it becomes more appealing to us, which should in this case 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 at the same time. Personally I don’t think this provides a very good service to the prospective tenants, nor does it give either party an opportunity to ‘suss one another out’ and see if committing to a tenancy together is the right thing to do.

Beyond that, the only other way to protect yourself against future no shows is to create a list of those people who committed this sin so that 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 frustration when letting your property? Is it the niggling maintenance issues that always seem to happen at the most inopportune time, problematic tenants or, dare I say it, letting agents that are causing you the most grief?


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E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

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