With tenant demand consistently on the rise, many landlords are overwhelmed by the high volume of enquiries they receive.
The ongoing imbalance between supply and demand in the UK’s private rental sector remains pronounced, with landlords facing an exceptional level of interest in their rentals immediately upon listing.
Our data shows that OpenRent landlords are seeing around twice as many enquiries within the first 96 hours of listing a property compared to 2021. This means you’re receiving enquiries at a faster rate than usual*, which ultimately reduces ‘time to let’, but might also make the process feel more hectic.
If you’re swamped with tenant enquiries, there are effective steps you can take to sort through relevant applications. All that while being open and honest with prospective tenants who may also be feeling stressed out by the process.
- Use pre-screening questions to pin down quality enquiries
- Turn on auto-reply to add your own questions
- Take advantage of your inbox’s full potential
- Turning down tenant enquiries
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Use pre-screening questions to pin down quality enquiries
When you list your property on OpenRent, you have the flexibility to set specific criteria for potential tenants, such as preferences regarding smokers or pets.
On top of that, you can enable default screening, prompting applicants to respond to a set of questions aligned with any exclusions you might have included.
As soon as someone shows interest, we double-check that they meet your criteria before they can request a viewing of the property.
This way, you’re left dealing only with quality enquiries, ultimately saving time for both you and the prospective tenant.
This feature is handy for popular adverts where tons of candidates are showing interest, even if they’re not what you’re looking for.
If your property falls into this category, we kick in default screening automatically – it’s all about helping you find the perfect match hassle-free.
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Turn on auto-reply to add your own questions
In addition to our default screening feature, you can set up auto-reply messages that go out to potential tenants enquiring about your property.
Typically, landlords use this feature to provide relevant details such as when they’re available for viewings.
However, you can also use it to include questions of your own that the standard screening process might not cover. For example, you might want to find out a prospective tenant’s preferred move-in date or their plan for covering rent.
It’s best to stick with relevant and straightforward questions – no need to go overboard. Our tenant referencing does the heavy lifting, delving into details like their financial situation, credit score, and risk level.
Take advantage of your inbox’s full potential
Besides employing tenant screening questions, there’s another less obvious way to tackle an overflow of property enquiries.
Let’s say you’ve covered the first two steps, and glanced at candidates’ responses, but your inbox is still bursting. An easy hack is to hit the star icon next to an enquiry to mark it as a favourite. This pins it to the top of your inbox for quick access.
For an even more organised approach, apply filters to see only the most relevant enquiries. This could mean only displaying messages related to viewing requests or focusing on chats where questions have been asked.
To speed up communication, hit the ‘Reply All’ button to shoot a message to everyone, or just those you haven’t responded to yet.
Ensure the compatibility of applicants with your property by leveraging our tenant referencing tools.Order Tenant Referencing
Turning down tenant enquiries
Rejecting a tenant enquiry is just as important as finding a suitable match. If you choose not to proceed with a specific enquiry, we suggest declining it.
You can do this either by directly communicating with the tenant or by using the ‘Decline Enquiry’ feature, where you can choose from a list of common reasons or input your own.
This approach ensures that the tenant understands they should continue their search elsewhere, acknowledging the importance of time for both tenants and landlords, especially in fiercely competitive areas.
Opting for the ‘Decline Enquiry’ feature also means you won’t receive any more messages from tenants you’ve turned down, further streamlining the process of sorting through suitable enquiries.
Navigating the surge in tenant demand is not just a challenge but an opportunity for landlords to redefine their approach.
By implementing smart screening tools and embracing efficient communication methods, you can transform this demanding process into a rewarding experience for both parties.
Remember, every tenant enquiry is a step closer to finding the perfect match – embrace the challenge and make the most out of the bustling rental market.
* There is effectively a surge in tenant demand when a property is first listed, but that causes properties to be let more quickly rather than an overall increase in the number of enquiries.