Renting 101 – Confirmation Calls

August 12th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Property Management, Rental Property

I really love leasing apartments. I have a well set up system to find and evaluate tenants and I’ve been doing it for years. One of the best things about it is that sometimes when I go to show apartments, we all go as a family group. My husband drives and we pack up my son and off we go. Generally we go do something else after.

My least favourite part of this job is the driving. It’s boring. Going with other people is more interesting. This was the plan for this evening’s showing in Mississauga. The property is about an hour away. My hubby is a very conscientious guy and he checked the traffic. There was an accident and the 401 Hwy was completely backed up. We decide to take an alternate route, which will take a little longer than an hour.

Confirmation Calls

Whenever I book a showing for a property I always require the potential tenant to call me an hour before the appointment. There are several benefits. First of all when people initially call, they ask questions about the rental which may eliminate the property from their search. Most potential tenants don’t care and will make an appointment if you ask and then stand you up. If you require them to call they won’t. This will save you a trip.

I don’t call the prospective tenant. I have found that if I do call them, a surprising number of people will say that they will show up. I then drive to the property and the people STAND ME UP. They then shut off their phone or ignore my calls. Some people just won’t say “No I don’t want the apartment” I don’t know why people are like this. I just know they are.

Motivation

You want your prospective tenant to be motivated enough by your apartment to call you. You don’t need tire kickers. People are nosy but also lazy. If you offer them the chance to come by and snoop they will.  If they have to do more work, like call you, they won’t bother. Which leaves you with only more motivated potential tenants seeing your place, getting you to drive out and talking to you.

I Broke My Own Rule and Paid The Price

Tonight because of the traffic jam and the alternate route I decided to take off early without any confirmation calls. I had 4 showings booked so I thought I would be fine. I was wrong.  We ended up in the car wasting gas. No one confirmed their appointment. No showings.

There’s another benefit

Another nice thing about confirmation calls is that if life happens which it always seems to, you can move the appointment back for yourself or the potential tenant. Things like traffic jams or having to work late wreak havoc with appointments. It allows for rescheduling.

Being Stood Up

I don’t like being stood up. It’s a waste of my time and gas. It does happen even with confirmation calls. The record amount of stand ups for me was 13 confirmed calls stood up one hour later. It was very horrible weather. Freezing rain. I drove all the way to the property in this mess only and not one person showed up. How depressing is that?

Don’t get discouraged if someone stands you up. It’s not you.. you’re in awesome company. I get stood up too.

Highly Recommended Practice

If you’re a landlord and you show your own properties, I highly suggest you implement the practice of getting your tenants to call one hour before their appointment. Save your gas and your time and minimize the chance of being stood up.

Happy Renting!

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • CanuckLandlord

    Hi Rachelle, I didn’t do this before I read this tip in one of your guest posts, but it’s saved me time and money since. I even mentioned it to another landlord who has begun doing this. So simple, yet so great. Thanks.

    Have you ever tried an ‘open house’ approach to showing apartments?

  • Rachelle

    I have always made appointments but I will have more than one showing at once.

    I have found that if you schedule too far away no one comes to see the place. I like it when I show the same day or the next day.

    I don’t like hanging around waiting for people to show.

  • Julie Broad

    Great post!! We always do confirmation calls and we always mention the time it’s going to take us to get there so they know what we have invested in meeting up. We rarely have no-shows. That said we do use a more open house like approach so if one person doesn’t show it’s usually not a big deal because we have several others coming by as well. Typically what we’ll do is say to someone “we’re going to be at the house at 7pm on Thursday – you could come by and see it then”. And it becomes an open house of sorts with many people all seeing it at the same time. We rarely will show the place to just one person as it’s a lot of work for us to do that so we always try to get as many people to a place all at once. But we don’t usually say from 1-3pm like a real open house because then we would be waiting around like you said Rachelle. We say “1pm” and that way most people show up by 1:20 or so at the latest. We do miss out on a few interested people because we won’t show it at odd times to accommodate just one person’s schedule but in general this approach works well and minimizes the time we spend on this part of the business.

  • Financial Uproar

    I love when the rental market is particularly hot, since I can schedule 2 or 3 prospective tenants for 15 minute bookend showings. This accomplishes two things- it puts some motivation in people if they actually see that others are interested in the place and if someone doesn’t show then I’m not wasting a trip over there. Confirmation calls are a good idea, I don’t do them as often as I should.

  • Leasing to a new tenant | Landlord Rescue

    […] that tenants just stand landlords up on a regular basis. After I shared with him how to implement confirmation calls, I’m assuming he started the healing journey from the abandonment issues suffered at the […]