How To Take Calls From Potential Tenants

Filed in General, Just For Landlords by on September 24, 2010 0 Comments

So you got your marketing machine up and running and you are getting calls from potential tenants.  Here is how you should handle those calls.

I recommend sending all calls into a voice mail.  There are a lot of people that will disagree with me here but I strongly believe that you will be better on the phone and save a lot of time if you are returning their calls.  I like to check the voice mail every two or three days when we are actively marketing a property so I have a lot of calls to return.  This makes it easier to set group appointments.  Keep in mind if you don’t call people back the same day sometimes they will find another place before you call them back so if you may want to return calls every day.

Before you start returning calls you need to get yourself ready.  Remove distractions so you can get through the calls quickly.  I also recommend standing when you make these calls and remember to smile.  When you stand you will sound confident and when you smile you will come across as genuine and courteous.

When you return the call ask for the person that called you.  Let them know your name and that you are returning their call about a place for rent or rent to own.  You must maintain control of the call and the best way to do that is to ask questions while being respectful of your time.  They might ask which property but do not answer.  Tell them you have several properties available and that you need some information from them.  Ask them what they are looking for (beds, bath, location) Once they give you this basic information it is real easy to ask them what they were “hoping” to spend per month.  Normally they will just tell you but sometimes you will get resistance.  If you get any resistance ask them what they are currently paying.  DO NOT tell them the price of your unit until they tell you what they want to pay.

I have to admit I don’t always do this.  If I am getting a lot of calls I may change my advertising to include price and will tell them the price right at the beginning of the call to screen out people that cannot afford it.  This is a strategy I use to save me time but telling people the price before you get them talking will limit your chances of turning the prospect into a tenant.

Keep in mind that your two goals of the call are to qualify them and to set an appointment.  You don’t want to tell them too much about the house or your options in working with them.  If they ask if you can work with them with their deposit or option money, simply say that you are sure you can work something out but you want to be sure they even like the house first.

When you set the appointment try to only have two times that will work for you and ask them which of the two is best.   Always call it an appointment and not a showing, people don’t normally want to miss appointments but are more likely to not show up if it is just a showing.  Also at the end of the call, call them by name and ask them if you can ask them a favor.  Tell them you will give them a phone number and that you want them to call you one hour before the appointment.  Be sure they know you will not show up if they don’t call and confirm they will be there.  Trust me this will save you all those times when tenants don’t show up.. or does that only happen to me?  Here is how it will sound:

You – “Ms Jones, will it be ok if I ask you a small favor?”

Tenant – “sure”

You – “I don’t live real close to the house.  I was wondering if I can give you my cell phone number and have you call me one hour before our appointment to confirm that you will in fact be there?”

Tenant – “sure I can do that:

You – “great my number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.  If I don’t get a call from you at _______ I will not show up so it is important that you call me before you drive out there.”

There you have it, speaking to a tenant for the first time. If you want to see the actual script that I use and a tenant information gathering form that I use you can get it for free on our FREE Resources page.

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