OT - How to tell someone to shut up without offending them?

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I'm wondering if someone can help me out here. I'm having problems with prospective tenants that seem to want to tell me their life story when they're looking at a vacant apartment for rent. They start off by telling me where they're living now, and why they want to move, and why it would be more convenient for them to live here rather than there, and that's because they're going to be babysitting for their daughter who lives just a few blocks away. She just had a baby a few weeks ago, and is finishing her maternity leave from where she works. As the baby's grandmother she's going to be babysitting while her daughter is at work. She works at Russell Metals... in the office. She's been working there for over 10 years and she likes it.
See what I mean? People think I'm interested because I'm listening to them. Truthfully, I really couldn't care less.
Up until now I've been saying things like "Excuse me, but I really should be getting back to work."
The problem is that even this doesn't work well because I have to wait for them to stop talking before I can get a word in, and that often takes a lot longer than it should.
Is there any way I can give these people the message, either verbally on non-verbally that I don't care WHY their moving. I only care about the kind of reference I'm going to get from their previous landlords, their employment status and whether they smoke or have pets? Is there some way to give people that message without offending them? Truth is, I truly don't care what's all going on in their life because none of it affects my decision as to whether or not to rent to them.
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nestork

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If you are the leasing agent/manager, you should let them runoff at the mouth and use whatever information you glean (much filtered, of course) as part of your screening process. Once them move in, that is another story though.
two questions for you:
1. what makes you think we want to read your endless dribble?
2. What is it about offending them that bothers you?
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'Oren[_2_ Wrote:

Yeah, but I don't want to spend any more time with them than I have to until I see their application form and contact their former and current landlords to assess whether I'm likely going to rent to them. I basically want them to shut up, fill out the application form and leave the rest to me, but I want to tell them that in a polite sort of way.
If I did shove a stack of papers in front of them to sign, then if they wanted the apartment, that would just take up more of my time while they signed them all. I just want to talk to their current and former landlords more than I want to talk to them.
PS: I ask for their current address on my application forms. Then, I go down to the Property Tax office here in Winnipeg and find out who pays the property tax on that address. That way I know I'm talking to the real landlord and not just someone who's agreed to pretend to be the applicant's landlord. I'd say a good 10 percent of the applications I get have the wrong landlord on them, and those I just chuck in the garbage without further checking.
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nestork

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nestork wrote:

Hi, It depends on your first impression of them. A hunch, a 6th sense. Just cut off nonsense politely. And give them application form.I could never be a landlord because I am too soft.
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I dated a woman, years ago who had this problem. One time I was there, and we were making arrangements to go some where. I had to ask a question. I tried about six times to start asking the question, and she literally just kept talking. Missed all my cues and interrupts. Finally, I yelled for a break, and waved my arms over my head. She didn't appreciate that.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 7/13/2014 3:55 PM, nestork wrote:

Talky people also tend to miss social cues. Might have to try kind, and then direct, and then rude.
It may get to be a choice of time waster, or rude on your part. What's your time worth?
I met a woman at a single adult event, Saturday. She spent a bit of time telling me how her husband of 30 years got onto computer, found a web site for affairs, and then left her. I am guessing the two are contributors, never known a man to leave a woman who is interesting, engaging, and positive.
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I feel your pain, know the type. The only thing I can suggest is to take charge and lay out the ground rules BEFORE they start in. I don't mean to be curt or rude, just business like..,matter of fact. Maybe like this...
Good day, Prospective Tenant, my name is nestork, I'm the owner(rep) and I appreciate your interest. I DO have another engagement soon but I'll be happy to show you the property; if you are interested in it, I will also have a few questions for you. Now, before we go in, are there any questions I can answer for you?
If they start a litany, make a show of looking at your watch, interrupt if need be and remind them that you have another engagement and that your time is limited...maybe offer to reschedule them?
Not a lot of help but the best I can offer. And remember: it ain't WHAT you do, it's the way how you do it :)
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Pico Rico:

I don't want to offend them because until they fill out their application form, I don't know if I'll be renting to them or not. I don't want to make a bad first impression on a tenant that may be in my building for the next 10 years. I want to impess them as being polite and courteous. (No one ever lost anything by being polite, courteous and respectful.)
DadiOH: That's a good idea, but I'm thinking I could just tell the prospective tenant while we're walking to the apartment that I can't spend too much time with them because yada yada yada. I'm using some epoxy I just mixed up and it sets up hard in an hour, or I've got a pizza in the oven and it's coming up on the time I have to take it out, or something else equally time sensitive. If they have a brain, they'll realize that I don't want them to delay me with irrelevant discussion. That way, if they start into their life history, I can just tell them "Sorry, I need to get back to my epoxy/pizza. Have a nice day."
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nestork


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On 7/13/2014 4:50 PM, nestork wrote:

I think the time limit is good. I use that on yellow pages reps, who tend to go on. I tell here are the ground rules. I don't want o hear about bold, display ads, etc. Not interested. Show me where my ads are, and I'll ask the questions. I'm out in half hour, and if you talk too much, we'll leave without a signature and I'll call the office and ask for some one else.
Sounds like you need levels of reply. Polite and to the point to start "I've got several applicants, and I've only got fifteen minutes for you." and then less polite after that. "I never get involved with tenants personal lives. Lets talk references and payment, and not much else."
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In

no one is *making* you read it, you can stop at anytime and just move on. choice is a wonderful thing, ain't it?
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I guess you are one of those guys that just HAS to see a smiley face to get it.
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other than time.
Don't forget all the things you cannot legally ask are often volunteered by such idle chit chat.

they won't get it. You need to have someone call you 5 minutes into your meeting with them. Or set a timer on your phone with a "ring tone" and fake it.
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On Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:08:41 +0200, nestork

Just say........about your personal life........take your smart phone and Google "People that give a fuck."
Tell them your name is not on the list.
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On Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:08:41 +0200, nestork

How about "No intiendo"?
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On Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:08:41 +0200, nestork

I assume you're in the vacant apartment. Interrupt their talking and say, I have to get back home. I'm expecting an important phone call."
OTOH, maybe nows the time to find out who talks too much and who doesn't. If you rent to the former, you'll face this problem over and over.
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On Sun, 13 Jul 2014 22:50:39 +0200, nestork
I've tried epoxizza. Mushroom is better.
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I guess so, because I didn't read anything in your reply to make me think you were a comedian : p
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On Sun, 13 Jul 2014 22:50:39 +0200, nestork

That could work. Then tell them you want to be their friend on Facebook so you can get to know them better. And learn even more details of their life.
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Try to fart silently - that'll end the conversation mighty quick! :D
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On Sun, 13 Jul 2014 19:15:06 -0400, Stormin Mormon

All I want to know is why the hell were you dating my wife!!!
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