Pre-Leasing Ideas


My business partner and I understand the importance and value of completing pre-leasing activities for our rental properties. Unfortunately, we have not had very much success showing properties when tenants are still occupying the units (messy, cluttered, etc.).

Without giving monetary discounts, have any of you had success pre-leasing? If so, what non-monetary options do you use to convince your tenants to prepare the property prior to showing?

Any assistance will be appreciated.


I have some issues with showing the place before the prior tenant moves.

First is the issue of cleanliness, and only one out of four tenants is clean enough that the apartment would show well. Maybe another one out of four would be passable, so I’ll only be able to show half of the units being vacated.

Second, the key issue is the trust the tenant has in you and the people you bring. So unless you tell tenants to bring ALL their valuables to a safe deposit box, what better way to CASE the place than to see an apartment. Still, if the tenant is paranoid, or halfway paroniod, I wouldn’t even consider it else I be accused of breaking or stealing his valuables.

I’m sympathetic if a tenant turns me down, because when I notified the landlord I was vacating my first apartment moving to a condo I bought, I had no problems with burglaries before that, and then right after i told them it was OK to show the place, within the last 30 days, my apartment was broken into twice, after some showings, and jewelry my wife collected since she was a little girl, jewelry given to her by relatives long dead, was stolen, and could never be replaced.

She still cries over it. No amount of time it saves the landlord was worth the pain and heartache.

Some tenants insists they be there when I show it, and given that most people work, some on weekends, it makes showing people the place at a convenient time impossible. I got one guy giving me Wednesday and Thursday evenings only. Anyway, out of 20 or so people that wanted to see the place on Sunday, only one showed up midweek. Most ask if they can see it the following weekend, which again was a problem for the tenant.

So I tell them to call be back after month end, and by then, they can see it at any time.

Unless I have a trusting tenant, a clean apartment, I do better knowing the day they move, and more often than not, I get it back a few days before month end, so I’ll get a painter coming by the last day of the month, I do a “open house” that weekend, and the place is rented within two weeks.

When the market was hot, rentals in high demand, I managed to show places before moveout, even messy places, and had the moving truck leaving noontime, the next tenant in by 5:00PM, and I gave the new tenant a painting allowance.

But this is more the exception.

But being able to turn the place over within two weeks of moveout, I find it unnecessary to hassle uncooperative tenants, and lose sleep and risk lawsuits over broken or stolen property.

Furthermore, what happened to us, I won’t visit on any of my tenants.

Thanks for the opinion, Frank. Cleanliness is definately one of the issues we have experienced when showing properties.

Sorry to hear about your wife’s valuables…for the few showings we have had, I make sure to be on-site when the viewings occur.

Has anyone else had good or bad pre-leasing experiences??

Any input is appreciated. Thanks!