Tenant Self-Showings

Tenant self-showings and using electronic lockboxes to get your vacant properties rented. Here's our thoughts.

As the owner of a leading Philadelphia property management company, I'm constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to streamline our operations and enhance the rental experience for both landlords and tenants. Today, I'd like to share our experience with electronic lockboxes and self-showings, an approach that might raise eyebrows at first but has proven to be a game-changer in our property management practices.

The Initial Concerns

The concept of allowing potential tenants to view vacant properties unsupervised is one that initially caused quite a stir among landlords. Concerns ranged from the fear of unauthorized squatting, potential property damage, to the security of the lockbox itself. However, after extensive research and participation in both national and international property management forums, we've found these concerns to be largely unfounded in our experience.

How Electronic Lockboxes Work

The electronic lockboxes we utilize are robust, secure, and integrate with a service that requires potential tenants to validate their identity by uploading an ID before receiving access. A temporary code is then generated, valid for a limited time window—often just an hour—ensuring controlled access to the property.

Each lockbox, costing around $155, represents a significant investment in our commitment to leveraging technology for efficiency. Despite the initial cost, the benefits have been undeniable, prompting us to stock thousands of dollars' worth of these devices to cover our managed properties.

The Advantages of Self-Showings

Self-showings offer a seamless experience for potential tenants. From the moment they express interest in a property, they can immediately schedule a viewing at their convenience without waiting on us or adjusting to a real estate agent's schedule. This autonomy not only enhances their experience but also significantly increases the chances of them moving forward with the application process.

Furthermore, self-showings remove the logistical challenges of coordinating visits, allowing tenants to explore the property at their own pace, without the pressure of having someone looking over their shoulder. They can take their time, inspect every nook and cranny, and truly envision themselves living in the space.

Insurance and Security

One of the key factors that allow us to confidently offer self-showings is our comprehensive insurance coverage. We've meticulously evaluated our policies to ensure that we're adequately protected against the unlikely event of property damage or theft during a self-showing. Our proactive approach to insurance means landlords can rest easy, knowing their properties are in safe hands.

Concluding Thoughts

Electronic lockboxes and self-showings represent a forward-thinking approach to property management that aligns with the modern tenant's expectations for convenience and autonomy. By embracing this technology, we've not only streamlined our showing process but also positioned ourselves as a property management company that prioritizes efficiency and tenant satisfaction.

For landlords in Philadelphia looking to optimize their rental properties, considering electronic showings might just be the innovative solution you need. It has certainly transformed how we manage our properties, and we believe it has the potential to do the same for you.


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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