Tips for a Smoother Lease Signing
This post is by guest contributor Sierra Bouchelle from Quinn Property Solutions, Inc.
Signing a lease can be a worrisome and confusing process for residents. Ease your new resident’s mind and start off your relationship on the right foot by being prepared at lease signing.
Most folks ready to move are also working full time, and have difficulty scheduling time away from their jobs. Relieve resident’s anxiety by offering flexible lease signing appointments according to your availability. Just knowing that you will work with them is a great way to begin your relationship. Keep in mind, scheduling “after-hour” or weekend appointments may benefit you too. If you are a small office of just a few associates, scheduling appointments after hours will often eliminate distractions of the ringing phone and walk-ins needing attention too. Make it easy on yourself by requiring that all parties signing the lease be there at the same time. No need to repeat yourself if you follow this rule.
Once you have the appointment scheduled, draft the lease accordingly. Ideally, you should allow enough time to complete the paperwork and software setup prior to the people arriving in your office. It’s best to have at least a few days notice so you can thoughtfully and correctly enter information into your lease agreement and computer programs. This is a good time to also decipher handwritten information and clarify any confusion with contact information such as phone numbers or e-mails. Flag things that need attention, and discuss them once the tenants arrive to sign the lease.
Another way to make the paperwork process smoother is to offer duplicate copies at the time tenants sign the lease. This way you retain an original, and the tenants keep an original as well. Sometimes lease copies are necessary for school enrollment, mailbox setup, utility turn-on, and other individual needs. The goal of giving an original lease is to avoid the need to fax a copy to some office on the tenant’s behalf. This will save you time, money, inconvenience, or interruption down the line.
Speaking of saving money, include coupons to local favorite restaurants and shops in your move-in packet. If you ever have business associates drop off freebies like pens, pencils, magnets, note pads, brochures, etc. now is the time to use them! Spread the word of other local firms and their services via your move-in packet. Ultimately, you are providing not only legal documentation regarding your property, but also a helpful resource package to your new resident. You can even include flyers about local children’s activities and programs, bus schedules, and menus for nearby restaurants.
Making your new residents feel welcome is a goal all property managers should have, no matter the size of the firm. Start off your relationship on a positive note, and you’ll reap the benefits of word of mouth advertising.
Sierra is the Office Administrator for Quinn Property Solutions, Inc. in Cecil County, Maryland. QPS offers experienced rental property management in addition to buying, selling, and leasing real estate locally.