Experts in the Media

Ashleigh Goodchild – Real Estate Business

Property Investor Expert | Real estate trainer

Do you suffer from open home anxiety?

In case you haven’t heard, Australia is in the thick of a rental crisis. In fact it’s so bad at the moment that most property managers are having to cap the number of potential tenants they will allow to come to a home inspection.

The other day, I had to cap an apartment at 50 people, when approximately 300 people had shown interest in it. I felt heavy-hearted doing it, as I understand that all of those people are looking for and need somewhere to live.

For tenants, navigating chaotic viewing sessions with far too many people can be a nerve-wracking experience, often leaving them feeling stressed, anxious, vulnerable and, ultimately, disheartened.

Is there a way to ease the anxiety of open homes and create a more positive experience at home inspections?

Imagine being one of dozens of hopefuls huddled together outside a stranger’s home, jostling for a glimpse of an open door and hoping that “this is the one”. It’s a pressure cooker for anxiety, fuelled by fears of missing out, fierce competition and potentially awkward interactions.

This mob mentality can deter potential tenants from attending, particularly those with social anxiety or those juggling childcare or work commitments.

This is how I believe property managers can help:

  1. By appointment viewings
    Ditch the crowds and invite people to put in an application first, then create smaller open homes with a shortlist of tenants only. This allows for a calmer, more personal experience for both the tenant and the property manager. It will also allow tenants to properly inspect a property and ask questions in a safer environment.
  2. Capped numbers
    If open houses and inspections are unavoidable, limit the number of viewers at a time. This creates a less overwhelming atmosphere and allows for fairer opportunities to assess the property.
  3. Virtual tours
    Embrace technology, just like we did throughout COVID-19. Offer high-quality virtual tours alongside real open houses. This gives tenants a chance to preview the property remotely, reducing the need to attend every open house and freeing up their time.
  4. Transparent information
    Provide detailed property descriptions and photos upfront. This helps manage expectations and ensures only truly interested parties attend the open house, which builds a better experience.

As property managers, if we can take any open home anxiety away from potential tenants who are right for the property, then I believe that’s exactly what we should do.

Ashleigh Goodchild is the director of property management at Soco Realty.