With self-showing technology, there are a few options. Either a mobile app provides keyless entry into a rental property, or the potential tenant is given the code to access a lockbox with the key inside. While self-showings are convenient for both renters and property managers, there are some potential drawbacks to consider when deciding if self-showings are right for your business.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of self-showings, and how you can choose the best self-showing software to protect you and your properties. First, here are the three downsides:
Compromised security and the risk of scammers
When leads let themselves into a property, they’re unattended, which means you don't know who is visiting your property or what they may do while there. Even simple things like tracking mud into the unit or failing to flush the toilet after use are not uncommon.
However, the real threat lies with self-showing scams and fake landlords. Between 2020 and 2021, the FBI reports that there was a 64% increase in rental scams. But how do these rental scams work? Typically, scammers will “lease” properties that aren’t theirs by duplicating keys to perform their own tours, posing as the landlord, or they will gain access to a smart lockbox code and provide it to the unsuspecting renter for a self-showing.
Scammers typically post their own listings on marketplace websites such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, as these websites are less credible than Zillow or Zumper, making it less likely that their post will be flagged as fake. After the renter has toured and signed an illegitimate "lease", the scammer will collect the security deposit through wire transfer or apps like Cashapp and Venmo. In some cases, the renter moves in before the property manager even notices their property is occupied, leaving them to deal with costly eviction proceedings.
They can’t be used for tenant-occupied properties
One of the best ways to reduce vacant days is to show properties before they’re available. However, you cannot use self-showings for a property that is currently under lease. While the unit is occupied, you can use a team member or Showdigs Agent to show the property during specific times that the current tenants have agreed to. Once the unit is vacant, switch over to self-showings to save time and money.
Lack of feedback
Prospective renters can’t get their questions answered from a friendly professional who is there to help. Since they are touring the property by themselves, all questions will have to be answered post-tour via email, phone, or text.
One benefit of in-person showings is that you or your leasing agent can identify any issues with the property during the tour. Additionally, without automated follow-up, you’ll need to reach out to the lead to receive feedback and answer any questions.
Now that we’ve identified the risks, here are a few benefits of self-showings:
Convenience for the lead and property manager
Did you know that 40% of renters tour properties after work hours or during the weekend? Do you know who doesn’t typically work after-hours or weekends? Your in-house leasing agents.
By providing multiple times for a property tour, you’re able to drastically reduce your days on market while centering the lead’s schedule. Easy, streamlined scheduling makes it easy for the prospective renter to choose a time that works for them, giving you an advantage over other property managers that may only show their homes during specific windows.
Self-showings also provide flexibility for the property manager. How many times have you begrudgingly rescheduled a tour because of an emergency at one of your other properties? With self-showings, the lead can keep their tour time no matter how hectic your day may be.
They make it easier to show the property multiple times to the same lead
If a renter is planning to share the property with 2 or more other people, you would typically ask to schedule a time that works for all parties. This is a scheduling nightmare, considering that groups of young adult renters (who are likely unable to take time away from their job), comprise nearly one quarter of the rental market.
However, with self-showings, the property manager or leasing agent won’t have to spend time driving back and forth to the property for multiple showings. If a group of leads can’t coordinate a single showing time, you can allow each roommate to self-tour the property when it’s convenient for them, which will move the leasing process along.
They lessen the burden of no-shows
As a property manager, you’re likely familiar with the frustration of no-shows. As many as you may send a confirmation text, there’s still a chance that the lead will cancel, no-show, or try to reschedule to a time that doesn’t fit into your schedule.
Self-showings lessen the pain of being stood up. Instead of blocking time off to drive to and show the property, just for the prospect to no-show, you can rest easy knowing that your time won’t be wasted.
They provide a better ROI than traditional agent-led showings
The cost of setting up self-showings is minimal compared to traditional agent-led showings. With Showdigs, unlimited self-showings for all properties are included in our subscription fee. While you’ll need to purchase a smart lockbox, this is a one-time fee.
Self-showings also require fewer trips to the property, making them even more cost effective. According to Multi-Housing News, of those who take self-guided tours, a whopping 33% end up renting the property.
If you’re looking to switch self-showings software, or if you’ve just decided to give them a try, here are some key things to consider:
- Safe, secure, and reliable self-showing software
- Professional and personal customer service for when prospects are self-touring
- A solution that is flexible with limited commitments
- Easy scheduling that maximizes availability and provides a lead-centric experience
- And most importantly, feedback from the prospect
Showdigs offers the most secure self-showings available. Our Listing Shield™ prevents rental scams with 5 layers of security, including:
- Cutting-edge AI facial recognition
- ID collection
- Required pre-screening questions
- Accurate running tour logs
- One-time lockbox codes
Our lead-friendly scheduling software makes it easy for prospective renters to coordinate a time that works for them, and our automated follow-up will boost your tour sign-ups and post-tour conversion rates. Unlimited self-showings, streamlined scheduling, and support from our in-house Live Operations team during each tour comes included with every Showdigs subscription at no extra cost.