Many property investors focus on maximizing return on investment with financial strategies, careful maintenance planning, and keeping labor costs low, but developing a stellar landlord-tenant relationship should be one more important tool in your belt. Developing a strong rapport with your tenants can save you money in the long run by reducing the occurrence of damage, non-payment, and litigation struggles that can drag down your ROI potential.
Whether you own one property or 100, it’s important to give your tenants the confidence of knowing you’re organized and efficient right from the first phone call. When they meet with you in your office, make sure everything is tidy and keep sensitive information such as another client’s tenant screening report locked up to show you take privacy seriously.
Tenants appreciate feeling as if you know them, so if you manage a large volume of properties, you should devise a system that provides you quick access to each unit’s history and data quickly while on a call. Inquire about past service calls when they contact you to make sure they are satisfied with repairs, and if you’ve kept notes on past conversations, following up on them can make your tenant feel like a valued customer.
Even though a home is something everyone needs, don’t forget that you are still in sales, and should always be selling. This includes anticipating your tenant’s needs, whether it’s how to find condo insurance in New Jersey or who will be able to hook up their utilities. The level of proactive service you provide sets the tone for all of your future business dealings, reaffirms the overall impression that you are organized and efficient, and gives your tenants the idea that you can be counted on whenever they need you in the future.
Manage renewals well in advance: don’t wait for 30 days before the lease expires to start discussing renewals if you wish to keep tenants. Start at least 90 days out by checking whether any repairs need to be made or if the tenants have any concerns. If they are outstanding tenants, let them know that you would like them to stay at your property. This also gives you the chance to communicate and correct any potential issues before your tenants simply decide to move elsewhere.
Rental turnovers are expensive and labor intensive, and a high volume or extended period of vacancies can put your investments in jeopardy. Being proactive in all facets of your business can help keep your tenants happy and your rental properties occupied.
Even if you only manage one rental property, it pays to behave as though you manage 1,000. Courtesy, professional attire, and knowledge of state and federal laws such as the Fair Housing Act can help you provide top-quality customer service that can inspire loyal tenants year after year. These days, transgressions are commonly met with complaints aired on public forums and review services that have the potential to drive away future business in addition to the direct problem that must be politely addressed.
If you drive a car with your company’s logo or you wear identifying corporate branding on your shirt or lapel, it pays to always behave as if you are in front of potential customers while out in public — because you are. Anyone you meet could either become a new client or refer someone they know to you, so treat every interaction as a potential to win new business. Keeping your tenants satisfied and keeping your rental properties steadily occupied can save you time, hassle, and a great deal of money in the long run.