By Matt Willis of

With self-showing technology, a mobile app provides key-less entry into a rental property. While it seems convenient, there are things to consider before trying.

It is not secure for either party

When prospects let themselves into a property, they’re unattended, which means you don’t know who is visiting your home and what they may do while there. Even simple things like tracking mud into the unit or failing to flush the toilet after use are not uncommon.

In addition, self-showing scams are becoming more prevalent. Scammers will “lease” properties that aren’t theirs by duplicating keys and listings and performing their own tours. Then the scammers collect tenants’ security deposits and sensitive information, and in some cases, even let them move in!

It can’t be used for tenant-occupied properties

One of the best ways to reduce vacant days is to show properties before they’re available. You absolutely cannot use self-showings for a property that is currently under lease. In addition, lots of HOAs and condominiums do not allow self-showings.

It is not as helpful

Prospects can’t get all of their questions answered by a friendly professional who is there to help. They can’t ask anything about the features of the property or the neighborhood.

It is cumbersome for prospects

The hurdles of self-showing turn away some of the best prospective renters, who don’t want to have to go through the process required by self-showing technology. This process includes giving their full credit card info, uploading an ID, and sometimes even taking a selfie.

It can leave a bad first impression

This presents your property management business as hands-off. Your prospects may wish to be secure that you will have a person to person relationship with them with any future needs as a resident in your property.

It doesn’t provide reliable feedback for owners or property managers

Unless a person has spent time with these prospects you are going to get very little actionable information related to price, cleanliness, quality, etc.

So what should you look for when seeking help with showings?

  • Professional and personal customer service for your tours
  • A solution that is flexible with limited commitments
  • Flexible schedule to maximize showings (see our article on the busiest tour times)
  • And most important, feedback from the prospect


*Use with permission of Matt Willis and

About the Author William Bronchick

President and founder of the Colorado Landlords Association, best-selling real estate author and attorney, landlord and real estate investor with 28 years' experience.

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