In the last few years I’ve noticed an unprecedented amount of no-shows. It’s always been that people who make appointments on Friday for Monday would only have a 50% chance of showing up. But now it’s gotten down to those who make appointments on Monday for Tuesday. Heck, I even lost a few going from one building to another, when they were supposed to look at more than one apartment! I’d be standing at the second location like a jerk. 15 minutes later, and a No Show.
I’ve thought about it. Our apartments are in good shape (really!), so it’s not like I’m some slumlord whose apartments turn people off.
I’ve thought it’s just me, burned out and cynical after all these years, and sending off a “bad landlord” smell, so bad they can smell it over the phone. So I’ve gone out of my way to be extra-nice to the ones who sound decent. So sleekly treacly I make myself sick. Ick! So I’ve semi-ruled that one out.
It’s mostly the under-30 crowd. So I have a theory. I think it has a lot to do with the internet and cell phones. On the net, nobody’s real, you can say anything, and you don’t have to face anyone. With cell phones, hey, you don’t even have to be on-time for something important. You can just make a call (or, better yet, text) make up some lie, and get there late. Can’t be checked up on, because nobody knows you’re really still home cleaning your toenails when you say you’re in traffic. But, you know, just because we can’t prove you’re lying, it doesn’t mean we believe you.
Recently I was at a restaurant with a friend, and she was only halfway through her lunch when she offered to pack the rest of it so I would be on time for an appointment. I told her not to bother, that they weren’t going to show. But she did anyway. And they didn’t.
So I've made a new appointment rule: I tell the applicant that I won't be there unless they call me 15 minutes prior to our appointment to confirm it. As expected, quite a few never make that call. But the new rule keeps my blood pressure under control.
I bet restaurants have the same problem.