You looked hard through lots of listings. You poured over amenities, locations, price points, square footage, and photo after photo after photo. And you found that perfect apartment. You sent the landlord an inquiry through the Dwellsy, excited to see what could be your new home and then…crickets! You never heard back from the landlord.
We know the frustration, and we hate it too. It happens way too much, unfortunately. Ugh.
Want to know the secrets for why that happens so much?
First, let me just say that some landlords are not as organized as they could be. So some of those non-responses are just because folks don’t have their acts together. But, in my experience of working with lots of landlords over time, that’s actually pretty rare. It’s hard to list a rental. There’s a lot of setup involved. When a potential renter is interested, that’s exciting and most are all over replying back expeditiously…unless they aren’t.
So, why would an otherwise well-intentioned, organized landlord not respond to your inquiry?
1. Too many people are interested in that listing
We all know what it feels like to see that amazing place that you’ve been looking for. The place that will welcome your dog, is near that amazing cafe, and has that awesome kitchen is often something lots of people are looking for. So, sometimes, the best listings can get a lot of inquiries.
And when I say a lot of inquiries…I mean a lot. Like potentially dozens or even hundreds. Often, that landlord is just one person all by herself in handling those and there just isn’t enough time to get back to everyone. The first couple that inquire will get a call from the landlord, the others just sit out there. Some inquiries contain more helpful information for the landlord which increases the likelihood they will get a response.
2. The listing is in limbo
Often, a landlord will put a listing out there, get a few inquiries from renters, respond to all of them, and it seems like one or more of those initial inquiries might be the right fit. From the landlord’s perspective, it’s an awkward point.
The place is likely rented…but maybe not. And during that time, what do they tell someone new who inquires? That it might be rented…but it might not, so hang tight? Hard to figure out the right thing to say in this situation – which might last as long as a week. Sometimes they find the right match and a happy renter gets the home they’re looking for, sometimes not.
If it gets rented, then the landlord may get back to all those who inquired and close the loop? We wish they would, but often they don’t and you’re left wondering, “Why didn’t the landlord call me back?” If it ultimately doesn’t get rented, then they will start to go back to the inquiries that have come in and start responding to folks again.
Unfortunately, during this time, the listing is still pretty much always up as “available” even though it may not be. Frustrating, I know.
Unfortunately, one of these two situations arises far too often, and it makes it difficult for all of us trying to find that right place. So, what do you do? Here’s our suggestions:
3. Set your expectations for responsiveness
Almost 80% of properties (most, actually) are owned and managed by an individual or a one person management company. They’re people trying to do the best they can, but balancing their rental responsibilities with jobs, families and everything else that we all balance, so be reasonable in your expectations. If the landlord doesn’t call you back, try reaching out to them again.
Some properties have big, corporate owners or managers, and these folks often have call centers to field calls and emails from interested renters. And, they have staffed leasing offices where there are people whose whole job is finding you and showing you the great places they have. You should have higher service expectations from these folks – you should hear back from them pretty quickly and pretty much every time. There should be no excuse for a property manager not to respond.
4. Don’t fall in love too quickly…
As much as we all fall in love with that perfect place, there are so many other people looking at that same perfect place. An available rental can go quite quickly and so all of us here at Dwellsy would encourage you not to fall in love with a place until you’ve spoken to the landlord, visited the place, and you’re sure it’s right for you.
5.…But be ready to move fast!
By far, the most important thing in getting that special place is to move quickly. If you think it’s amazing, someone else probably does too. So, if you see a new place that’s perfect pop up, don’t hesitate – inquire right away. When you get a response be ready to tour the apartment right away. That will give you the best chance of hearing back from the landlord and making that place your new home! If the landlord didn’t call you back, be assertive and follow up.
For more tips on finding that great new place, see here for a step by step guide to finding a new rental and here for seven ways that the apartment search has changed.