Step 6: Showing Rental Property to Prospective Tenants

This is where the rubber meets the road is your first chance to meet interested renters in person. In this guide, we’ll examine the process of showing your rental property to prospective tenants and cover the following:

  • Different types of showings
  • How to reduce no-shows (automatically)
  • Safety considerations
  • Showing an occupied rental property

It begs the question, what’s the best way to show your rental? We polled our Facebook Group and got a lot of great answers on this topic.


Different Ways To Show a Rental Property

In this poll, there were three main ways that landlords and property managers used to show their apartments.

  • Individual Showings
  • Individual showings scheduled in a block of time
  • Hold an open house

The fourth option is the same as an open house with a different context. We will cover that briefly as well.

Individual Showings

This one is straightforward. You find an agreed-upon time and you meet the interested renter to do a walkthrough.


  • You can be hands-on and really highlight the rental. A good realtor does this when they’re trying to sell a property.
  • You can easily keep an eye on an interested renter. You can walk with them to make sure that nothing in the rental gets legs, this is crucial for occupied rentals.


  • A renter may not show up which could throw off the entire showing schedule.

Individual Showings Scheduled in a Block of Time

If you’re showing an apartment, it really shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. In these situations, you can schedule your showings in 15-minute increments.


  • Save on trips to the rental
  • Still, give individual attention


  • If someone is late, it can throw off your schedule
  • Not as flexible for the interested renter

For more information on how to deal with no shows, check out this video:

Hold an Open House

When Apple first launched the iPhone, they purposefully made it a huge event and limited the supply. It created a buyer’s frenzy where people would camp out to buy a phone.


  • The laws of supply and demand still ring true when you show your rental. You create a sense of demand when eager renters see competition in the form of other interested renters. If there are not a lot of rentals on the market, this can certainly drive a lot of demand for your rental.


  • It’s difficult to highlight features, and it makes the process a little more hectic. When you walk the rental with one person, you can take note of cues they give you. Perhaps they’re nitpicking every aspect of the rental, or they dragged mud into the rental. When an open house gets busy, it’s hard to see and hear everything. You might just be looking at a stack of applications at the end with little idea of who is who.

What If The Open House Gets Too Crazy?

If there’s a huge demand in your market and you don’t have time for anything but an open house, here’s what you do. Charge an application fee to run a background check. This fee can be collected as a check or you can make it known the renter will pay directly for the background check.

If you make this known in the initial pre-screening interview, you will weed out a lot of tire kickers. It all depends on the demand in your market. If it’s very high, you can make this information known earlier on.


5 Extra Tips for Showing a Property

Here are 5 winning tips that you can employ when it comes to showing your vacant rental property:

Tip #1. Dress for Success

You are a business owner and you need to dress like one. Now, that doesn’t mean an expensive pantsuit or shirt and tie, although that can give a favorable impression and show that you do mean business. As long as you ensure that you are dressed in a clean and neat manner, and are well-groomed, you will definitely give a great first impression to your prospective tenants. Check your personal hygiene, like your nose, your breath and your teeth, just as you would for a job interview because in essence, that’s what this is.

The visitors are checking you out to see if you seem like a reasonable, businesslike landlord they would want to deal with. Give them the best version of yourself and you’ll find that like-minded people will be drawn to you.

Tip #2. Smile and Greet

Even though showing your rental property is a serious part of filling a vacancy, you must make sure you are putting everyone at ease with your demeanor. Feeling relaxed around strangers can be difficult for those who are not used to meeting formally and a forced smile and stiff personality may be a turn-off for those perfect applicants.

Treat everyone like they are exactly the tenant you are looking for, especially by using their name in your conversations and making them feel comfortable and welcome. Imagine you are a worker in a shop who must greet customers as they enter and help them find what they want. Keep in mind that at this moment in time, they could be just what you are looking for.

Tip #3. Provide Information

You’ll definitely impress visitors to your property when you have a convenient information packet to hand them. It won’t take long to create documents that look professional and have exactly what you want visitors to remember.

Include a rental property information sheet that has a photo of the place, the square footage, the monthly rent and security deposit amounts, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and list any extra features like free cable. Make sure you include your contact information loud and clear on this page.

Other items you can include in the information packet might be a printout of area schools, a list of nearby attractions or features like museums or bike trails, and proximity to major roads for commuting. Put all this in a new folder or staple it neatly.

Tip #4. Leave Them Alone

After you’ve given the tour and answer questions and things seem to be wrapping up, give the visitors some time alone in the rental unit. This gives them a chance to speak frankly with each other if it is a couple, family or potential roommates. If the visitor is a single person, being alone for a few minutes allows them to collect their thoughts and formulate more questions for you.

Above all, you want the visitors to envision themselves living in the unit, so giving them a few minutes to visualize this can be very powerful. Simply say that you want to give them a few minutes to look around on their own and that you’ll be in the front room or right outside when they are ready to ask any more questions. It’s a nice technique that walks the fine line between being too pushy and not getting involved.

Tip #5. Do It All Over Again

You won’t know which visitors will be the ones to apply, and even then you won’t know whether you like what you find once you run the background check. It bears repeating: Treat every visitor as if they are the ideal tenant. That means keeping the same standards of dress and hygiene, the same level of enthusiasm, and spending the same amount of time with them on the tour.

While it can be hard to get psyched up for each showing, take care of yourself and don’t stress out. It can be really draining to be “on” in front of strangers frequently, but it’s worth it to ensure that the quest to find the ideal tenants will be a success.

The way you present yourself and your rental property during an open house visit is probably the single most impactful thing you can do to turn curious visitors into committed applicants. Don’t lose those ideal tenants by dropping the ball during the visit.

Have you discovered any tips or techniques that help you out when showing a rental property to visitors? Please share this article and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.