In the multifamily world, accepting walk-in rental showings is typically considered a big component of good customer service and community branding… but that is slowly fading. Many multifamily properties have started ditching walk-ins in favor of requiring scheduled showings to maximize their leasing agent’s time and minimize the chances they’ll receive not-so-serious viewers. Whether or not you decide to adopt the practice, just know that this is why some properties are no longer taking walk-ins.
Good Ol' Supply and Demand
The demand for affordable housing in major metros is booming. In fact, according to Zillow Economic Research, at least half of american households rent in 18 of the country’s 35 largest cities. With the demand so high in major cities, many apartment communities don’t have to accept walk-ins to quickly fill the vacancy and can require more from their potential applicants.
Seeking Serious (and Responsible) Applicants
The benefit to having a high demand and refusing walk-ins is that you can require more from your applicants. Beyond requesting the viewer schedule a showing, properties can email follow up information confirming their appointment and giving the viewer a sneak peek into the community amenities or by providing a video of available floorplan(s). Adding these extra steps help properties weed out the less interested viewers and get more qualified applicants excited.
For the Staff that Wear Many Hats
For property managers who migrate between multifamily and single-family managed rental vacancies, accepting walk-ins isn’t always possible. Not to mention if there’s a sizable distance between the properties they manage and the location of their office. In this situation, using digital scheduling can not only save managers much needed time, but help them juggle their many other tasks. Plus adding a little automation to these types of processes is a quick and easy way to save a lot of time.
Winter Viewings: It’s Just Too Cold
Let’s face it – no one likes touring a rental property when they’re cold, staff and potential applicants alike. Some rental properties that are heavily affected by snow or frost opt to refuse walk-ins to properly prepare for a viewing. Having scheduled viewings allows managers and leasing agents to turn up the heat in the vacancy and double check that pathways (and sometimes doorways) are free from snow and ice.
While some multifamily communities refuse walk-ins, that doesn’t mean your properties have to as well. This method isn’t for everyone and depends entirely on the property’s location, the market conditions, and the amount of available time your staff has.