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How to Prep Your Rental Units for a Successful Open House


Avoiding vacancy is every property manager's No. 1 goal. Rental units are an investment, and leaving one vacant is a surefire way to set back the gains you earn from a unit. Fortunately, open houses are a great way to get your vacant property in front of as many people as possible in a short timeframe. By hosting a successful open house, you save yourself time and put an end to vacancy headaches.

Read on for tips on how to prepare for a stellar open house.

Clean it Up

No one wants to live in a dirty house, so why would someone want to tour a dirty rental property? Unit open houses are an opportunity for interested renters to come in and see the space that is available for rent. If the current tenants are still in the unit, work with them to make sure that it looks as nice as possible prior to the day of the open house.

Sprucing up a rental property means scrubbing the floors, cleaning the carpets, wiping down counters and everything else that goes into removing dirt and grime from the unit. However, cleaning up a rental property also involves simply decluttering. For some tenants, this may be a more difficult task than for others, but it's important to do your best to make the unit look like a clean, comfortable place that people would want to live in. The more you can make the rental unit feel like home to a prospective renter, the more likely it is that the unit will be filled as a result of your open-house efforts.

Fix it Up

It may go without saying for some, but it's important to handle any pre-existing repair orders associated with your rental unit prior to hosting an open house for that unit. Real estate agents have the benefit of not needing to fix up properties they are trying to sell before they sell them, but rental properties are a different story. If a potential homebuyer is considering a property and it has a few flaws that can be improved or fixed, the homebuyer could view it as an opportunity to add value to the home. If potential renters come in to your open house and find it to be in any sort of disrepair, they will likely choose not to rent from you because they do not stand to benefit from fixing up the property themselves.

Give it a Pleasant Scent

It's well known that scent is one of the strongest senses we have as humans. Smell can unlock memories and emotions in a way that our other senses cannot, which makes it a particularly powerful tool for open houses. If your rental property smells pleasantly, the people touring it are more likely to think highly of it—which increases the chances that they will rent. How you make the unit smell nicer is up to you. You can bring a candle, a wax warmer, an essential oil infuser—choose a smell with mass appeal that isn't too overpowering, such as lavender or vanilla. Whatever you do, remember that a pleasant smell is a subtle touch and it should not be overused.

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