Rental Open House Guidance During Coronavirus
The Coronavirus pandemic has taken over the globe, and with it comes a new normal — face coverings, social distancing and lots of hand sanitizer. Despite this upheaval, renters still need places to live. Learn how to hold a successful rental open house during this time if you have a property sitting empty.
Follow CDC and State Suggestions
While planning your rental open house, keep abreast of guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal government and state. Experts currently recommend limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer. As a result, you may want to allow only one group to tour the home at a time. When more than one group is present, encourage people to maintain a distance of 6 feet from one another.
Be open with all potential tenants about the risks of attending a rental open house at this time. Direct them to state and CDC websites for specific information about the severity of infection risk in your area. You should also keep an eye on these sites regularly as the situation changes often.
Keep Proper Signage in Mind
For any open house event, you’ll want to post “Rental Open House” and “For Rent” signs on the exterior. Be sure signage is visible from the road as many people will take note of them while driving by. Put “Rental Open House” signs up a few days before the showing, and be sure to include the date and time for maximum turnout.
Beyond the typical signage, you’ll want to hang posters with social distancing and mask requirements on the front entrance and inside the property. You should also include notices if potential tenants must use hand sanitizer once they step inside.
Ensure the House Is Pristine
Even during a typical rental open house, the property should be perfectly clean. The floors should be swept, mopped and vacuumed. Clean up all surfaces, remove smudges from glass, take out the trash and repaint the walls if necessary. Open the windows before the event for airflow and light scented candles for a pleasant aroma.
Leave all the lights in the house on to keep potential tenants from touching light switches. Spread out groups in 15-minute intervals to give yourself enough time to sanitize commonly touched areas such as doorknobs, countertops and faucets between visits.
You should also ask visitors to cover their shoes with booties at the door. It's important to remember just how many germs come into contact with our shoes outside of the home. While there are multiple actions that would need to happen for someone to infect another person this way, taking necessary precautions is the best — and safest — way to handle lowering this risk.
Take Advantage of Technology
Prospective renters who want to attend a rental open house don't have to show up in person. Offer alternatives for those who are interested but don’t feel comfortable attending. For example, you can schedule live tours, allowing you to video chat with potential tenants through Facetime, WhatsApp or Skype and virtually show them around the property. This option also allows you to answer any questions during the tour.
You can also hold virtual showings at any time by creating a virtual property video tour. With the right tools, you can develop a 360-video tour of the space, along with a clickable floor plan. People can peruse the property at their leisure with just a computer or mobile device.
Keep Appointments Available
The typical rental open house allows people to come and go as they please. While you can still keep this policy, you should also encourage potential tenants to schedule an appointment. Keep each time slot to 15-20 minutes and limit each group to two or three people.
Some prospective tenants will still show up outside of appointment times to explore the property. Request that they wait outside or in their vehicles until the current group leaves so you can sanitize commonly touched areas.
You Can Still Hold a Rental Open House Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
You can still market your property and host a successful rental open house despite the Coronavirus pandemic. If you take the precautions above and allow for alternative touring options, you can keep potential tenants safe and healthy.