What To Know Before You Show Your Property

Part 6 of our Landlord’s guide to Tenant Screening.

This is where the rubber meets the road is your first chance to meet interested renters in person. In this chapter we will 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.


The pros are that you can be hands-on and really highlight the rental. A good realtor does this when they’re trying to sell a property.

One thing to think about with an individual show is that 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.


Time is of the essence for anyone really. The downfall here is that 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.


However, there are cons to an open house. 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.