Instead of open house once a week, would it be rented faster with showing house by appointment?

Asked by Jerry Zheng, Milpitas, CA Sun Jan 29, 2012

My agent has a weekly (Wednesday evening) open house for my SFH for a while without getting it leased. Some of the folks just don't show up after making appointment due to time conflict. Obviously, showing it by appointment individually seems to be too much to ask, I was wondering about the following:

1] Is this normal for agent to show property through a scheduled weekly open house and would it become to be an issue to get it leased?
2] As an alternative, I am thinking to ask the immediate neighbor of the rental property (he stays home) to show it via appointment. Is this common and would it help? Any suggestion as to how much I should be compensating him for each showing?

Thanks in advance!

Some prospective tenant

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Shelly Long’s answer
Shelly Long, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Mon Feb 6, 2012
Hi Jerry~

You are definitely receiving sound advice here on Trulia! Matter of fact, I'm not sure why ANYONE would hold an Open House for a rental. Furthermore, when I have investors, relocation clients or anybody wanting advice on rentals I ALWAYS tell them to start with Craigslist. In the years before Craigslist it was always the Sacramento Bee, but that is simply not a reliable source, nor do they have the comprehensive info such as Craigslist.

As for your neighbor, that could potentially invite risk where you don't want it. It's a double edged sword too....will the neighbor screen out everybody because they prefer no one in the property or do they simply not care who rents and subsequently push the first live body through the door. So, in my humble opinion, I'd be pushing your Property Manager to get the house on Craigslist ASAP and then get over there ASAP.

Good luck Jerry~!

Shelly Long
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Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Sun Jan 29, 2012
Why don't you put a lock box on the property and have your agent offer compensation to any agent that brings a renter through the MLS. That way your agent can represent you and another agent can bring renters at their convenience.

Good Luck.
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Doug Zeller, Agent, 95619, CA
Tue Jan 31, 2012
I agree thih the Nancy Bergman suggestions to use websites such as Craigslist, Rental .com, and of course for marketing. Then review applications and schedule appointments at your convenience!
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Nancy Bergman, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jan 30, 2012
As an agent and a property manager, I would market it as much as you can. Websites such as Craigslist, Rental .com, and of course Trulia did the trick for me to find a renter. You can also sign up with a property manager that may have tenants interested in your property. I think an open house, especially mid-week, to find tenants, is a waste of time.
I would strongly not ask a neighbor to show your property to a potential tenant. This is a liability and may be setting yourself for problems down the road. Always meet your potential tenants. If they don't show, ask yourself, do you really want them as a tenant.
Good luck,

Nancy S Bergman
DRE # 01893550
Lyon RE Downtown
2801 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Mon Jan 30, 2012
Personally I'll take appointments any day over open houses. I've never had much luck with them unless its one of my rentals.
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Bob Thomas, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Sun Jan 29, 2012
As a Broker and a Property Manager handling over 275 properties if you have a proper marketing program in place you should be showing the home at least 3 times a week to at least 2-3 parties each time. You have a morning showing on one day, an afternoon showing another day and an early evening appointment on the third day. Potential tenants will unfortunately not show up but the Property Manager should be confirming all their appointments before the showing. If after three-five showings the Manager has not received a qualified applicant there may be adjustments to be make.
Your Property should be meeting each potential tenant and evaluating each one during the viewing process.
With regards to the neighbor idea, please remember there are liability issues at hand and I would suggest not to go that route.
All the best,

Bob Thomas, RMP, CRS, GRI
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Sun Jan 29, 2012
I agree completely with the recommendation to put a lockbox on your home so that it can be shown at the convenience of possible tenants. The fact is if your home is difficult to show, you will lose showings...they will simply move on to those that are more easily accessed.

I suggest you use a supra box rather than a combo box if they are available in your area - they are much more secure since they records each visit electronically and capture identification of the agent accessing the box, and your home.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
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Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Sun Jan 29, 2012
I believe open houses for leases is outside of the norm - in a good way. All property managers work differently. I would ask how else they are marketing the home.

As for you using your neighbor to show the home, they are not licensed and if they say something wrong it could come back to haunt you and/or your agent. What about liability and insurance for an unlicensed person?

The rental market in most areas have been brisk, so you will want to make sure that your lease price is correct for the location and condition of the property.

All the best to you.
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