One of the great things about being a property manager is that no two days are alike. You never know what tomorrow will bring. For that matter, you never know what this afternoon will bring! That uncertainty may not appeal to everyone, but if you believe variety is the spice of life, then becoming a property manager certainly fits comfortably within your wheelhouse.
In the same vein, you never know who’s going to show up looking to rent. A property is of no value if it’s not full and generating revenue, right? So if a candidate breezes into the management office and has the proper ID, the resources, and the references, there’s no reason not to take them on a tour of the available spaces.
But what if something’s a little off? What if you get a weird vibe from a potential tenant? Something you can’t quite put your finger on? Don’t ignore your instincts! Your concerns may be baseless, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Make sure you follow these guidelines:
Tell everyone where you’re going. Make sure everyone in the management office knows that you’re going to show units, and if possible, which ones. If no one is around, wait until someone comes back or send an e-mail to everyone, letting them know that you’ve gone.
Keep the ID. If you don’t have a policy of hanging on to the potential tenant’s ID in the office, be sure to get a photocopy of it.
Never show a unit at night. This is probably not a huge issue, since most property management office are closed for showings after normal business hours. But during the winter months, night can come early. Stick to busy daytime hours.
Keep your phone with you at all times. Be sure to have building security or the local police only one button push away.
Greet everyone you see. Heaven forbid anything happen to you, but if you say hello to everyone you encounter and then you wind up missing, people will remember bumping into you and your steps can be retraced. An even better plan is to introduce the potential tenant to everyone so they’ll remember him or her as well.
If you’re really concerned, double up. Have someone from maintenance or security, or even someone else from the management office, tag along. There’s always safety in numbers.
If you’re really, really concerned, just say no. If the person is really creeping you out and you’d never rent to them if they were the last person on earth, tell them you have nothing available.
Your safety and peace of mind are worth more than all of the rental income in the world. Always listen to that little voice in the back of your head. It’s your greatest asset!
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