Did you know that better landlords attract better tenants? It’s pretty simple really. When you consider your rental property is a business, then your tenants are your customers. You’re providing a service, and they are paying for that service. Wouldn’t you want to keep your best customers for as long as possible?
The first thing you need to decide is if you want to be a “do-it-yourself” landlord, or go down the path of hiring a property management company. There are benefits to both options, but if you are a new “do-it-yourself” landlord, here are a few tips on how to be a great landlord, and in turn, keep your renters happy, for longer!
As the saying goes, first impressions last. As your new tenants move in, it’s a great idea to make the process easy and seamless for them from the start. Why not write them a welcome letter? Leaving your tenant a brief note, as well as echoing how happy you are to have them, will set the tone the relationship. Remember to include your contact details!
You could also consider stocking the bathrooms or kitchen. This could be as simple as buying some soap or tooth paste for the bathroom, or some dish washing detergent for the kitchen. Such a small investment can really make a difference to those first few days in a new place.
To build a harmonious lease/lessor relationship, it is important that you are both on the same page from day one. To ensure this is the case, it is always a good idea to walk your renters through the lease. By walking your tenant through the lease it provides the opportunity to answer any questions they may have about any of the clauses in it. This helps to build trust, and importantly, makes it easy for both parties to follow the lease guidelines.
Whilst it is important to have a collaborative relationship with your tenant, at the end of the day, it is a business relationship. If a problem is to arise, it is vital to follow the guidelines outlined in your lease – as that is what everyone signed! This way, should they have any objections, you can make it clear that you are within your rights, or visa versa.
It’s also advisable to keep electronic copies of everything – receipts, invoices, bills. You never know when you may need to refer to them down the track.
It might sound like common sense, but dressing neatly, presenting yourself well and responding promptly can go a long way to keeping your tenants happy!
Ultimately, if your tenants need to talk to you, then you need to be reachable. Tenants should always be provided with multiple means to contact you. Plus, if there was a leaky pipe, you would want to know about it before real damage was done.
Whenever a tenant calls or emails you, be sure to respond as soon as possible. Remember any interaction with your tenant is like a business interaction, so it’s important to think of what you would expect from a business – efficiency, accessibility, approachability. If you know you are going to be away, tell the tenant that you may not be able to respond as quickly.
We need to remember that tenants are people too. Good landlords exhibit all the traits that form a good working relationship – open and honest, transparent, good communication. Showing empathy, exercising compassion and making sure you listen to your tenant’s concerns can really go a long way.
If you want to be a good landlord that attracts tenants who stick around, it is also vital that you are respectful of their privacy.
A good landlord is consistent. A lot of frustration and miscommunication can occur when rules and decisions are changed on a whim, or without reasoning. It pays to be reliable, helping to build trust and understanding.
By following these easy tips, you are on your way to being the best landlord your tenants have ever had!