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  • Technology

    Undertaking viewings as a self-managing LL

    Welcome to Day 2 of "Self Managing Landlords" Week 2017 - powered by Upad.

    All this week, Upad will be providing exclusive content to assist and support the self-managing landlord.

    The running order was as follows:

    Monday -      Should you self-manage?

    Wednesday - Most common landlord/ tenant complaints

    Thursday -     HMO Management

    Friday -          Setting up a tenancy - Legal Guide

    Today's article takes a look at how to conduct your own viewings as a self-managing landlord.

    Viewings are likely the most daunting aspect of self-managing if you’ve never done so before. But it doesn’t need to be and it’s one of the most important parts of finding the right tenant.

    What are the benefits of conducting viewings yourself?

    • Cut out the middle man and answer tenant’s questions directly, plus get yours answered too
    • Directly negotiate on rent, deposit and other terms
    • Starts a professional relationship from the start
    • You can get a ‘gut-feel’ from meeting a tenant personally

    What are the downsides?

    • It won’t be possible to conduct viewings yourself if you live abroad or a long distance from the property
    • You work full time and don’t have time to show tenants round
    • You don’t like dealing directly with tenants

    If you’ve decided the pros outweigh the cons in your situation, here’s a guide to conducting a successful viewing;

    1. Be flexible. If a tenant can only view evenings and weekends then try and work with them.
    2. Consider a block viewing. These are generally held for 3 or more interested applicants over an hour or two on a particular day. Not only does it cut down on time, it can also lead to more offers because tenants can see the property is in demand.
    3. Make the place presentable. Arrive to the property early.  Turn the lights on and turn the heating up if the property is cold. Have a good tidy up and a thorough clean before you show any potential tenants round. Also consider dressing the property with a few pillows, rugs and flowers to give an extra special touch. Take a nice air freshener with you and give the property a good spray to banish any nasty niffs.  If there’s a garden, make sure to keep that looking good too.
    4. Ask questions. Before they even get to the stage of viewing the property, make sure to ask applicants a few questions to assess their suitability. You don’t want to waste your own or their time by finding out they aren’t right for the property at the viewing. Here’s a few suggestions;
    • Why are you moving?
    • Who will be moving in?
    • Where do you work?
    • Have you rented before?

    Prepare for questions. Tenants will have questions when they view, perhaps confirming details or asking about the local area. Jot down a few key points or print out your property advert to confirm details.

    When you have an empty property, viewings can be a breeze. You’re able to keep it clean and tidy, plus you can show round tenants whenever your schedule, and theirs, allows. But what about when you have tenants in situ? This can make viewings a little more difficult, here’s some advice if you’re in this position;

    • Have an open discussion with your tenants when notice has been given or received about the importance of showing tenants round. Explain that whilst you want to be respectful of their privacy, the quicker you find new tenants the quicker you can be out of their hair!
    • Find out if they have any preferences to when viewings are held. They may prefer to be present during viewings, or only allow them in the evenings or at weekends.
    • You must give a minimum of 24 hours’ notice and it’s better for you if it’s in writing, in case it’s disputed later. Remember, it’s not your right to enter the property whilst tenants are living there.
    • Ask your tenants to keep the property tidy and presentable for viewings. Again, reiterate that the better the property looks, the quicker you can find tenants and leave them to it!
    • Keep viewings short but sweet if possible and try not to infringe on your tenant’s time too much.
    • Consider offering your tenants an incentive, such as a reduced rent rate or a voucher, for their co-operation.

    Remember, if you are undertaking a viewing you will be meeting a stranger.  Let someone know where you are.  Have a mobile phone with you. If someone starts acting strangely or inappropriately, leave the property immediately.  The Suzy Lamplugh Trust have some useful information on personal safety.

    In this video, Upad founder, James Davis talks about turning a viewing into a tenancy:

    Do you conduct your own viewings? Or do you prefer to let an agency deal with tenants?

    We invite you to tune in to Property Tribes every day this week for this exclusive content and event, powered by Upad.  Watch out for videos, case studies, and much more!

    VISIT THE UPAD WEBSITE or call the team on 0333 240 1220 to find out more about how they support self-managing landlords.

    You can download a checklist of pre-viewing questions to ask here:


    Content so far:

    Day 1 - Should you self-manage your BTL properties?

    *Transparency notice: Upad is a commercial partner of Property Tribes.

    Upad has the following professional memberships and credentials:

    SEE ALSO  -           10 turn off's for tenants 

    UP NEXT -              15 questions every landlord should ask prospective tenants

    DON'T MISS -         Open House rental viewings