There are many benefits of keeping your tenants happy in your rental community. No landlord wants to have unsatisfied tenants. At the same time, you don’t want to sacrifice your business income by giving a free month’s rent in order to make your tenants like you. Instead, apply a few of these ideas in your role as a landlord and your tenants will not only be happy, they will feel as though their landlord actually cares. And in the end, they will become long term tenants that will give your community a good reputation as well as recommending you to others.
Have a presence at the community! If you have someone hired to do the lawn care/snow removal, you most likely don’t stop by your property very often. Once or twice a week, drop by your property, pick up loose trash in the yard or in the hallways (also check the laundry facilities to make sure things are operable, or if there is a repair note. Often times, tenants will post a note, instead of calling, if machines are broken). If you see a tenant in the hallway or outside, be respectful and carry on a quick friendly chat with them. Ask specifically how things are with the apartment. This gives them and you the opportunity to find out if they have a quick repair that needs to be made and gives them the impression you actually care. It is a comfort to know you are around if ever needed.
Be available for any situation! When a tenant calls, answer your phone, or return the call as soon as possible, and always be courteous. Even if you are in the middle of a project, make them feel as though there call is important. Your tenant already feels like a pest for calling about a problem. Don’t let your vocal intonation affirm that. If they are calling because they got locked out of their home, stop by and let them in, instead of making them find and pay for a locksmith. You will be a HUGE life saver in the tenant’s perspective. When a tenant asks for something to be repaired, whether it’s a major or minimal repair, do it! By setting it off to the way side, your tenant will start getting frustrated, and then they will give you a list of other minimal things that they want repaired. They’re not paying rent for something broken.
Provide supplies and essential equipment! If you are renting out a house, or if your units have laundry hookups, find out if your tenants have their own washer and dryer. If not, give them 2 options: help them find a cheap used set to purchase, or supply them with new/used set and add $20+ to their rent. After the tenant pays the deposit, first month’s rent, and all the utilities, it takes time to be able to save money for another large expense. You can even give them the option to make 12 monthly payments and buy the machines. Therefore, they are responsible for any required maintenance.
During the winter months, set out a salt bucket and a few shovels in the entry way or in a utility closet tenants have access to. Even though you or the maintenance crew plans on going to the property to remove snow, the sidewalks are still going to be slippery, and tenants are at risk of falling and getting injured. Tenants are more than willing to throw a little salt out to prevent that from happening. Tenants typically won’t have their own shovel since they aren’t expected to remove snow. They probably didn’t consider the fact that their vehicle is going to be buried after the streets or parking lot gets plowed. Once again, be a life saver and provide them with the appropriate equipment. By providing these 2 affordable essentials, you can prevent your tenant from having a disastrous day!
Show compassion! Time and time again, Landlords have those certain tenants that always pay their rent late. In these situations, why wouldn’t you add a late fee! Then you have those other tenants who ALWAYS pay their rent on time, sometimes even ahead of time. If these tenants call you in advance and explain to you they’re going to be a few days late (perhaps they cant cash there paycheck because the banks are closed due to the holiday. Maybe their car broke down and they had to pay for the maintenance all up front. Now they have to wait a week for their next paycheck), be compassionate and understanding. Unexpected car repairs are spendy, and now your tenant has been shorted out on cash. Give them a break and forgive the late fee. They will deeply appreciate it, and by the next month, like always, that rent check will be in your hand on time!
Rent Increases On A Plus Side! No matter what, you will always have a number of tenants who will balk when you inform them of a rent increase. There are certain ways to approach the matter to make it easier to swallow. When you meet with your tenant to go over their lease renewal, try to meet in their home. This gives you the opportunity to look around and see what small details you can do to upgrade their home. Mention to them a few of the upgrades you would like to come in and do, for example, replace the blinds, install new light fixtures, do some paint touch ups or even paint an accent wall (maybe allow them to help pick out colors), etc. Once you inform them of the rent increase along with the upgrades, they are less likely to argue because they know the money will go to some improvements. Just remember, if they agree to another 1 year lease, follow through on your promise and do those upgrades in a timely manner!
Let’s say 2 years ago, you did a rent increase throughout the complex. Some tenants chose not to renew their lease and moved out. In the meantime, you decided to make some updates in the apartments that were vacant. You installed new carpet and wood laminate flooring, painted the walls with neutral colors, instead of the boring white walls, replaced the appliances, etc. These units feel brand new and have all been filled! Well, there’s only one problem. Ms Jensen has been living in her apartment for 6 years. She is paying the same rent as the tenants in the remodeled units. Don’t wait for her to move out before remodeling her home. Schedule dates and times with her and go from room to room. Have one of your maintenance men with you and you two handle moving the furniture around. This will take some of the pressure off her shoulders. When she comes home from work, she will feel like she is in a brand new home! How great is that!
Being a landlord comes with a list of responsibilities, but one important thing to try to do is keep your tenants happy. No matter how hard you have tried, there will be a few that you just can’t seem to please, but the point is that you at least tried! By applying a few of these ideas into your daily activities, you will be successful. Whether or not your tenant verbally tells you how happy they are, you will be able to tell by just communicating with them and by their actions. Give it a try! That’s all it takes!
What other things have you done to keep your tenants happy? Do you have other tips that are easy and cost effective? Comment Below.
Also check out our other Tips for Managers for other great articles!