Everyone who knows me knows I don’t believe in open houses.
But of course, we’re renting them, not selling them, for the most part.
Why? What provokes my strong feelings?
Open Houses don’t work- at least they haven’t for us.
And apparently I’m not alone.
Jane Kwiatkowski has written some pithy thoughts on the subject for The Buffalo News.
She refers to these people as house snoops because they haunt open houses every Sunday as a regular hobby.
They are the irritating non-customers who take up your time, criticize your units, and generally make a nuisance of themselves because they’re in your way.
One of my most fav quotes is from house snooper James May.
“It’s kind of the same attraction as the Parkside tour of homes,” said James May. “It’s a good snooping experience. We only do three or four, and pretty much stick to the Delaware District and Central Park, just to get out of the house. It’s free and it doesn’t require thinking or commitment.”
So what does all this have to do with property management?
You will get calls from apartment snoops. Those are the folks who have no intention of renting what you have.
How will you know for sure?
Ask them when they need something.
That one simple question will stop them from hijacking a big chunk of your time.
I have often been so surprised I’ve almost dropped the phone when callers, who are disguised apartment snoops, tell me they really don’t need anything for three, maybe four months.
So why are they looking now?
Do they honestly think you will hold a unit that long?
How do you solve this problem?
Tell them the unit will be rented now- as in immediately- not at some far off date in the distant future. (Say it nicely, of course).
If they still insist on seeing it, show it to them more at your convenience, not theirs. That would be when you know you have a good prospect coming. Piggyback the appointments and you won’t be losing any time.
Let them walk through and then out. That’s all they really want to do anyway.