There are two different ways to conduct viewings, the first is on an individual basis, and the second is to do an “open house”.
Meeting the tenant yourself is a really great way to get an initial feel of what you think of them. Instant likes or dislikes can be powerful and should not be underestimated.
Open house viewings are great if you don’t live near to your property, or if you have had a large amount of interest early on. Viewings are booked so that the house is open for a couple of hours, and tenants can come and view the property during these open hours. Alternatively, viewings can be booked 10/15 minutes apart during the open house session, meaning that viewings overlap, but each tenant has a small amount of time alone with you. If you are doing an open house viewing it is often helpful to have someone with you, in case lots of viewers arrive at once.
Open house viewings typically generate offers to let early on. Viewers can see the level of interest in the property, and feel they should declare their interest early in proceedings to secure it.
Guiding the viewing
When showing the tenant around, it is important to guide them through the whole house, including the garden, pointing out any important aspects as you go. Repeat any information that you included in your property description, and anything else you feel is pertinent. Remember that you are renting your property, not selling it. Viewers are not looking for their dream home; they simply want somewhere comfortable and convenient for their lifestyle at this point in time.
Remember that, whilst at your property, the viewers health and safety is your responsibility. Make sure that any hazards are either removed or pointed out to the viewer, so that they can take avoiding action. Examples of hazards are things such as loose carpets, sharp objects or uneven paving.
Set out your standards
If you have particular ground rules, it is important to lay them down from the outset. For example, if you would want payment on a certain date each month, if cars must be parked in the garage, if you want the chimney swept once a year regardless of use. Whatever you feel is important, should be mentioned at the outset. Of course, all of these things can, and should, be put down in writing in the contract, but it helps to shorten the process if any particular issues are dealt with at the outset. Setting out your standards from the start can avoid problems in the future.
It is important for you to refer the tenant to us, should they have any queries or wish to make a formal offer to let. This enables us to deal with routine queries on your behalf. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT YOU GIVE YOUR PERSONAL CONTACT DETAILS TO ANY POTENTIAL TENANTS. This avoids you being put in any kind of an awkward position at a later date, particularly should you no longer wish to proceed with them as tenants.