Why Being Honest in Your Rental Listings is the Best Policy, and it’s the Law
When advertising any property to acquire new tenants, some property managers tend to oversell their property. What is overselling your property? This means including things in your rental listing that do not exist. Over Promise and under deliver.
Many property owners do this hoping that potential tenants will be attracted to what the property owners are selling; overselling has a high chance of backfiring causing the property owner countless losses including broken leases, housing complaints & unoccupied rental homes.
An example of overselling is when a listing indicates a swimming pool. You, as the property owner, know you’re talking about the local pool down the road at the YMCA, but the tenant expects a house that has a swimming pool (or at least a neighborhood pool) and finds out that the property has no pool only after they sign a lease. Obviously, this sits sour in the mouth, and the prospect will be inclined to look for a property that has what he missed out on in your property, and owners are liable to refund fees and suffer loss of use from qualified tenants, suffering loss opportunity cost.
Transparency is an essential aspect in rental listings, this way your property will meet the eye of a tenant who is interested. We’re interested in attracting the RIGHT tenant, not just ANY tenant. It’s important for a property owner to consider the features they wish to include in their rental listing, as whatever they include in their rental listing brands what type of property manager they will be; either trustworthy or untrustworthy.
The following are some of the reasons why being honest in rental listing is beneficial to a property owner:
Consumers are shrewd on lies
The term consumer refers to potential tenants. With increased ease of access to information; one can quickly counter check information offered to him/her since there are many avenues of accessing information, one of them being a simple online search. If a tenant feels something is not right, he can quickly go online, and fact check the information. Once a tenant discovers the information is not entirely accurate, their interest in the property will diminish, as the image the property owner is portraying is not true. This might result in a rental property being vacant for an extended period, thus not generating profits for the property owner.
One can assess the property’s value
Before buying any property, the consumer has to evaluate the property against their budget, understanding whether they can afford the rental property. Some rental listings are quite exaggerated; this might scare away potential tenants as they might think that with all features included in the rental listing the property will be costly for them. This makes the tenant look for another property elsewhere due to the exaggerated information in the rental listing.
Not everything in a rental unit is desirable. Some aspects of the rental unit may not be appealing to the tenant as different tenants have different tastes and preferences. A property owner is obligated to disclose problems that may affect the tenant during his/her stay. This helps in that the tenant knows what he/she is purchasing. It also helps in avoiding lawsuits.
Requirement by law
The law requires that all information provided about any property be valid as this helps reduce cases of misguided tenants. This helps reduce instances of tenants leasing property that does not meet the profile seen by the tenant at first. By being honest, tenants feel they are dealing with someone who is trustworthy and are more willing to proceed with leasing a property.
Gives you credibility
Customers will always trust whatever you are selling if your track record shows that you are a credible property owner. Your reputation is everything in this business. Clients will always be on the lookout for any new listings meeting their search parameters but are more likely to go with someone who their research shows is always honest and reliable in their word.
Honest rental listings will prove to be advantageous to a property owner because integrity knows its own way. To pair your property with the absolute best tenants, it’s important to make honesty in your listings a priority.