How can Property Managers Leverage Automation to Avoid No Shows?

Posted on:
August 12, 2021
8 MIN READ

Appointments are crucial for property managers. They mark both the beginning and the end of transactions, sales, rentals, and other agreements. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that these appointments occur right on time and as expected with a very low risk of cancellation or no shows.  

But between scheduling and rescheduling appointments, hosting the tour, and then following up afterward, property managers tend to spend a huge chunk of their valuable time managing guest cards.  

Property managers are busier than ever, managing occupancy rates and the number of rental units available. In this hectic market, the last thing property managers should do is waste their limited time on non-serious appointments.

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How much do no shows cost property managers?

The most straightforward answer is – no shows and appointment cancellations cost property managers A LOT. That’s resources, money, and time that could be spent dealing with owner leads, bringing in extra dollars, and investing in a better resident experience.  

If you are not doing anything to fill empty appointment slots, and proactively reduce no shows, you are basically leaving money on the table. But before you start developing your no show plan of attack, here is how you can do the math and estimate just how much no shows are costing your property management company:

According to our data a decent sized property management company with 500+ units schedules at least 400 appointments per month.

$ property managers waste on no shows

Number of No shows = 20% * 400 appointments/mo = 80 no shows per month

Time taken to manually schedule a tour = 15 mins * 80 appointments/mo = 20 hours per month

Time taken to travel and show a property = 60 mins * 80 appointments/mo = 80 hours per month

Total time lost on no shows in a year = 100 hours/mo * 12 months = 1200 hours per year
Staff costs lost = $25/hr * 1200hrs/yr = $30,000 / year

Utilize self-showing technology to avoid costly no shows

Seasoned property managers with a lot of experience know that renting out their units comes with the hassle of dealing with no shows.  

You know the drill – you take a valuable chunk of time out of your day, drive out to your property, and prepare to walk a prospective tenant through what could be their future home. But then, no one shows up, and you've suddenly wasted a huge chunk of time on someone who was never ready to commit to renting your property in the first place.  

This frustrating situation results in a huge loss of both time and money, which you might not be able to recover.  

But what if property managers could prevent these no shows or at least keep them to a minimum? Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to stop rental no shows from happening all of the time:  

1. Automate the Showing Process with a Scheduling Software

Automate the Showing Process with a Scheduling Software

With an online tour scheduler, property managers can save the hassle of setting up rental showing appointments themselves. Instead, the tenant leads can book and even confirm their own appointments online, reducing the risk of no shows. An automatic tour scheduling software like LetHub provides prospective renters with multiple choices based on property manager’s availability.

Giving prospective tenants the added convenience of selecting a date and time of their choice is a sure-fire way to ensure no cancellations. Automation won't save just the time it takes for travel and showing the rental properties; it'll also save the time lost in back-and-forth communication for scheduling the tour.  

With no need to travel only to find out that the tenant has cancelled, property managers can utilize their time and show properties to only those tenants who have confirmed appointments.  

2. Send Confirmation Reminders

Don't forget to follow up! Look for a property management software solution that lets you automatically send tour confirmation reminders before every showing. It's a good idea to send out tour alerts via email and SMS to prospective tenants about rental showings in advance.  

River allows for potential renters to receive a timely, courteous SMS reminder, allowing them to confirm or cancel an appointment at their discretion. Based on that response, the platform would then alert the property manager about which prospects will be in attendance and which ones must be rescheduled.

Clearly tell the renters that you will not show up to the property if you have not received their confirmation response. This will guarantee a cut down in rental no shows. When scheduling a time to meet prospective tenants at the property, let them know that they must inform the agent one hour before showing if they won’t be able to make it.  

3. Pre-qualify Prospective Renters Beforehand

Sometimes a lead may not be a good fit for the property, regardless of how interested or enthusiastic they seem in renting it. To avoid wasting time on rental showings which do not convert into a paying lease, find out whether or not a lead is qualified to rent a property, and subsequently worth the time spent on the rental showing, by efficiently pre-screening them.  

Using a property management leasing software like LetHub you can pre-screen tenants based on your custom criteria so that only qualified leads are able to book a showing for your property. The software filters out poor leads that do not match your credit score and salary requirements for a property, leaving you with highly-qualified renters who can move in ASAP.

4. Conduct Open Houses

And lastly, consider opting for an open house. During the COVID-19 pandemic open houses were not an option but now that everything is getting back to normal one should utilize open houses and take advantage of it.  

Not only will an open house rental showing help property managers cross off multiple showings at the same time, but it will also create a sense of urgency within the prospective tenants. They will realize that they have a lot of competition looking at the property, which will likely induce faster decision-making on their part regarding renting the property.

Wait, I’m still getting no shows! Now what?

What if you take all of these steps and your tenants still don't show up? Sometimes, no shows are unavoidable. After all, medical emergencies, traffic jams, and car problems can affect anyone at the most inconvenient times.  

So, if you've followed the steps here and your prospective tenant still does not show up to view your property, consider checking up on them by making a quick phone call to see what happened.  

If they do not have a reasonable excuse for failing to show up, it's likely best for you to look for someone else to rent to. After all, a tenant's lateness may be indicative of irresponsibility, and an irresponsible tenant is more likely to pay rent late and/or damage your property.  

So, keep in mind that waiting a bit longer to rent to the right tenant is better than quickly renting to the wrong one.

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