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How to Find an Ideal Tenant While Operating Within a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Environment

With everyday life changing due to Coronavirus, or COVID-19, digital media, online tools and technology are more crucial than ever to help showcase your property and keep potential leads moving through the leasing process. Given the importance of social distancing, you may be experiencing less face-to-face interaction with prospective tenants. Here are some best practices we recommend implementing to ensure you continue to find your next ideal renter.

Create a virtual tour for your rental property 

Virtual tours, such as 3D tours and property videos, go a long way. They provide renters a way to envision themselves living their day-to-day lives within a rental property without actually taking a physical tour. On Rentals.com, we support virtual property tours on our listings so prospective renters can still view rentals while practicing social distancing during the Coronavirus threat.

If you don’t have a virtual tour or video, a simple way to create one is with your smartphone.

A virtual tour link on a computer desktop to help prospective renters virtually view properties while Coronavirus is still a threat.

A virtual tour link on a mobile device to help prospective renters virtually view properties while Coronavirus is still a threat.

A few best practices to follow when creating your property video are shared below. There are also other professional tools, like Matterport, that you can use to create your own virtual 3D tour.

When creating a property video with your smartphone, make sure to:

  • Always record videos in landscape mode, or horizontally. Nothing is worse than watching a great video that has two black vertical bars along both sides.
  • Turn on all lights in the space, and use natural light over flash wherever possible. Natural light tends to be at its peak around 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm.
  • Move through the space naturally as you would on a tour.
  • Narrate the video, as you would an in-person tour, to provide additional details.
  • If possible, use a smartphone model released no more than 3 years ago.
  • Keep each individual video between 30 seconds and 2 minutes when possible.

Utilize technology to communicate with prospective tenants during Coronavirus

Just because you can’t physically meet with prospective renters doesn’t mean you’re unable to communicate with them face-to-face. Technology such as Facetime, WhatsApp, Facebook Messager and Skype are more important than ever to utilize during this time. By using these tools to communicate directly with leads face-to-face, you can virtually show them your property and still see their non-verbal communication cues, such as their facial expressions, to gauge how they react to your rental property.

Use Facetime to communicate with prospective renters while Coronavirus is still a threat.

Use Skype to communicate with prospective renters while Coronavirus is still a threat.

Not sure how to use Facetime, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Skype? We can help.

Implement online applications and screening reports

Screening your potential tenant is an important step in ensuring you find the ideal renter for your rental home. The process can be simple for most seasoned landlords, although many still use paper applications. There is no better time than now to start using online applications and screening reports, especially in an era of social distancing.

Rentals.com’s online applications have all the necessary information to properly vet a prospective renter — including employment & income, residence history, references and more. And the best part? The application is approved to use across all 50 states.

Landlords can add application and tenant screening reports to an existing Rentals.com listing or use both of these products without one. As always, applications and screening reports are FREE for landlords to use. Find more information on online applications and tenant screening here.

An example of an online application on Rentals.com.

And some other considerations which are always important…

  • High-quality photos are more crucial than ever. We have plenty of tips to help you capture photos that will make your property look as inviting and appealing as possible. And if you’re not completely sure what all you should take pictures of, we’ve outlined guidelines for you here.

  • Include an image of the floorplan. Even if it’s just a rough sketch, include a visual of the floorplan within your listing. This will help prospective tenants get a better feel for the unit and imagine how they’d live their day-to-day lives in the space. Are you not sure how to create an image of your floorplan? Here are 10 free software options you can use. Floorplanner is a great option designed specifically for those in real estate. 

  • Detailed, well-written listings go a long way. Make sure not to skimp within your property’s description, but be sure to avoid using these words and phrases. Outline all of your property’s strongest selling points, such as overall square footage, type of flooring and what’s close by, such as public transportation, the school district, certain large employers, etc.

We understand these are difficult times and there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty on how COVID-19, or Coronavirus, will impact you and your business. We are hopeful this will pass as quickly as it has arrived. In the meantime, we are here to help you get through this trying time.

Need help? We are here for you. Please reach out to us at [email protected]

Categories: Coronavirus, Featured, Landlords

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About the Author
Steffi Cook

Steffi Cook is the head of content for Rentals.com. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her on the tennis court, hiking in the mountains or trying a new restaurant.