Maybe you’ve finally found the perfect apartment with the proper amount of floor space, bedrooms and amenities that fit your preferences, but how does one stand out to landlords or agents at an open house? With that in mind, below are four ways to stand out at an open house and get an edge in apartment renting.
Introduce Yourself to the Leasing Agent
First things first, introduce yourself and establish a relationship with the leasing agent at an open house. It’s important that they understand why you would appreciate the unit or space, and would be a stable and consistent tenant. In addition, the ability to convey your connection to the area and community, and what interests you most about the area can help personalize your application. Moreover, don’t be afraid to point out features of the apartment that you love—fireplaces, balconies, rooms that can be easily converted into a work space, and much more–or the amenities nearby like transportation, food and drink options, and entertainment that you are excited to be able to easily access.
The easiest way to stand out and make the process as streamlined as possible for all involved is to be as prepared as you can be. Familiarize yourself with the requirements for each open house you attend. For example, in NYC an applicant needs to make 40 times the rent, and in addition prospective tenants should check credit scores, identify if you’ll need a guarantor on standby, and have references ready. Most landlords have their requirements listed on their website, or alternatively you can consider calling them beforehand to go over necessities.
Moreover, prospective tenants who have special circumstances—i.e. relocating for work, currently living in a hotel, or work nearby at a hospital, for example—should come prepared with a cover letter that explains why the unit would be ideal for them.
And don’t forget to show up early! Say an open house runs from 1-3 PM, those arriving as early as possible to stand out and avoid being lost in the shuffle of those touring later in the day.
Identify the Right Open House
While it may be tempting to go to as many open houses as possible, a more efficient process is to identify a select number of apartments to tour. In essence, this means that those attending an open house should check requirements beforehand, ensure they are qualified for the unit, confirm your move-in date correlates with the availability of the unit, and convey genuine interest in the unit to the leasing agent. So only go to the open houses that truly interest you and be prepared to submit your application package right away.
Foster the Relationship
This is one of the most important aspects of the entire process. By fostering a relationship with a leasing agent, prospective tenants can maximize their chances at finding the apartment of their dreams. Even if you don’t sign a lease for an open house you’ve toured, keep in contact with the broker or leasing agent. This can lead to alerts of new availabilities or units that may fit your preferences even more aptly. A prime example of this is Bettina, whose portfolio is consistently updated with new units becoming available. At Bettina, most units get rented before they hit the market. Meaning you will not find them advertised on StreetEasy. Oftentimes, you may be able to find another unit in the same building you have originally applied for, allowing for an easier leasing and touring process. This strategy and advice can be very useful for applicants, and can optimize your chances of finding the right apartment that fills all your needs.