Finding good tenants is a difficult and time-consuming task. The last thing you want to happen is that you lose a renter who pays on time, respects your property, and doesn’t cause unnecessary drama.
But in order to avoid that, you may have to regularly impress your tenants. What follows are some of our favorite ways to wow renters and keep them from abandoning your properties for greener pastures.
1. Prepare a Welcome Package
A solid first impression goes a long way. Don’t wait until tenants have settled into the new digs to start trying to get on their good side; lead from the very beginning by presenting them with a welcome package.
A good one may include snacks, basic toiletries and house supplies, a bottle of wine, gift cards to local stores, and any number of other items. You should also include a welcome letter that lists contact information and details on how to pay the rent, how to set up utilities, info about trash pickup, parking details, and that sort of thing.
If you spend $100 on a good welcome package, it could be worth thousands of dollars to you over the life of the tenancy.
2. Make Paying Rent Easy
If you think having to collect rent manually and in person is frustrating, you might consider what it feels like from the perspective of a good tenant.
Trying to remember to make a payment is frustrating enough. Then they have to go through the process of finding a checkbook (who has those anymore?), writing a check, and physically mailing or dropping off the payment. Bleh!
Make things easier on your tenants (and yourself) by setting up an online rent collection system that automatically withdraws money from their account and deposits it into yours on the same day every month. It will make so many people happier.
3. Address Maintenance Concerns Quickly
Any time a tenant brings a problem to your attention, don’t wait days or weeks to address maintenance concerns. Make it your goal to move as swiftly as possible, even if it means fixing something that might stand to be left alone for longer.
If you don’t have the time or expertise to be an on-call landlord who can respond to every request in real time, hire a property management service that will oversee this facet of the business for you. Most of the good ones have 24/7 repair and support lines that tenants can call.
4. Offer Annual Upgrades
Make a habit out of providing your most loyal tenants with annual upgrades (free of charge). It doesn’t have to be anything major, but you can factor the cost into your general longterm numbers.
For example, you might decide to invest $500 in the property each time a tenant signs a new lease agreement. The improvement could be a $500 bathroom renovation, a brand new appliance, a new TV for the living room, or even a landscaping touch-up.
Choose something that’s likely to please the tenant and simultaneously improves the property. Better yet, you might offer the tenant two or three options to choose from.
5. Respect Their Privacy
Your tenant wants privacy (and has a legal right to it). Don’t make the mistake of frequently dropping in unannounced, or making lots of house calls to “fix” small things.
Tenants will suspect you don’t trust them and will feel uncomfortable if you constantly stop by. If you have a legitimate reason to believe something illegal or wrong may be occurring, there are appropriate ways to investigate.
6. Be Proactive With Lease Renewals
Make sure you’re in contact with tenants well in advance of lease renewals. We recommend reaching out at least 90 days before the current lease expires to offer them a renewal opportunity.
This gives both parties time to think about their future plans. If they should decide to move on, that window gives you time to begin looking for your next great tenant.
7. Provide Discounts
You probably assess penalties and fees for tenants who don’t follow the rules. But do you also reward the ones who follow the rules – for example, by giving out discounts?
One option is to award an early payment discount to tenants who pay before the first of the month. You could also apply a small discount to the rent each time a tenant signs a new lease agreement. Such perks will encourage them to stick around for a longer period of time.
Be the Best Landlord You Can Be
Being a good landlord is simpler than you might think. In all honesty, it takes a lot more work to be a bad landlord.
The key is to treat people like human beings and follow the golden rule of treating others the way you’d want to be treated if you were in their shoes. Use this article as a starting point, but don’t let it limit you! It’s always possible to take matters a step further.