Answers You Need to Have Before You Have a Showing
Renters have questions. You’re expected to have answers. Landlords and property managers are expected to know the ins and outs of the unit. If you don’t, it makes you seem inexperienced and unknowledgeable, giving renters more reason to not rent from you.
Other than knowing how much the rent is and where it’s located, here are a few answers you should have in your back pocket before you post your listing or host your first showing.
- Appliances. Know how old the appliances are. Know the materials (ex. ceramic or glass) and whether they’re gas or electric. Some renters are particular about how old appliances are because it can be a good indicator of how efficient the appliance will work.
- Major repairs. Major repairs over the previous five years can be an indicator of what issues may or may not arise in the unit. You should know if there were any previous mold issues? Was there a new central air conditioning installed? Know what major changes were made to the unit within the past 5-7 years.
- Previous tenants. Assuming you were also the landlord or property manager for the previous tenants, you should know a little bit about them. You don’t have to know personal details of the tenants, but know basic details such as how long they’ve lived there, how many people were in the unit, and why they moved out. If you’re reluctant to provide this information, renters may think you’re hiding something.
- History of pest problems. If you live in an area that has a bed bug problem, you need to know this information for sure. Know if your unit is prone to certain pest issues such as rodents. If it is, let them know what you’ll do to take care of it. This will show not only are you aware of issues that happen in your property, but you’re responsible about it.
- Average cost of utilities. Call utility companies and request for the average cost of gas and/or electric bills. Renters don’t want to be surprised by their first PG&E bill. For example, in a unit that doesn’t have good insulation, renters may become upset over the energy bill for using the air conditioning or heater.