Note: This is an edited transcript of Christine Karpinski's How To Rent Vacation Properties by Owner Not authorized to view the specified article 1694 .
Christine Karpinski: Today's question comes from an anonymous owner, who asks:
Q. "I have had my new rental property listed for three months. Though I've had about 20 inquiries, no one contacts me back after my initial response. I usually follow up by e-mail and phone within an hour of the inquiry. When I return the calls I always get a voice mail, but always leave a brief message. How many times should I try and follow up with a potential renter? Should I be calling them back again after I've already left a message? Should I forget the message and try to keep calling until I reach them? And at what point does customer service become an annoyance?"
A: Well, your question is something that I think a lot of vacation homeowners ponder. In the past, if someone e-mailed me, I would call them right away,and they would answer their phone. But today, with voice mail and caller ID it seems fewer and fewer people actually answer their phones. They're screening their calls. They're calling people back on their own time and when they feel like it.
Certainly, I think you're doing the right thing. You've got to call the renter back, leave a message, tell them which property you own, and which website the inquiry was from. Leave your home phone number, and let them know to get in touch if they have any other questions. Then the next thing you should do is follow up with an e-mail.
After that, I think calling someone again could possibly fall into the category of becoming an annoyance. However, I think it's absolutely appropriate to reply to them, about four to seven days later, to see if they received your e-mail and voice mail and asking them if they have any other questions or if they have found something yet.
A lot of times renters do put their feelers out and then they get busy with life and it takes them time to actually come back to it and make those decisions. So sit tight! I think that you're doing all the right things.
Listen to the original audio version of How and When to Follow Up on Inquiries.
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