Keeping your tenants happy is the key to success in a rental property business. It takes a significant amount of time and money to find and retain great tenants, and if you’ve finally found a good fit, you want to do everything you can to make them stay. However, it’s not always easy to find a balance between doing your job properly and keeping tenants happy.
Keep Them Informed
A little education can go a long way in making things easier for both you and the tenant. Just because you don’t think a tenant will like a rule doesn’t mean you should hide it from them. Being honest about policies from the very beginning is the best way to develop a relationship that everyone can trust.
Perform Repairs Quickly
Give tenants a property they can be proud of. The quality of the property is largely a reflection of the kinds of tenants you’ll attract. Doing repairs quickly and upholding a reputation of keeping the property in tip-top shape are what will keep your tenants coming back to sign a new contract.
On the flip side, there’s nothing more frustrating to a tenant than hitting a stone wall every time they turn in a maintenance request. Long processes and slow responses only make tenants angry.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Though many landlords are able to avoid some of the biggest issues with tenants, make sure you’re prepared to handle the worst situations. It can be critical to have appropriate landlord insurance in the event of damage to property or a break-in.
You’ll also want to have a plan in place for handling these situations if they arise, including a procedure for the tenant to follow. Your tenant will appreciate the time and effort you put into keeping their property safe and comfortable.
Send Reminders to Pay Rent
Instead of sending your tenant a nasty email when their rent is overdue, send them a reminder email a few days before the due date. You can do this through a scheduled, automated message so you don’t have to worry about remembering yourself. Reminders are great for both you and the tenant because you get rent on time, and your tenant doesn’t get a late fee just because they forgot one month.
Maintain an Open Door Policy
Set office hours and leave the door open during that time for tenants to come in and discuss any problems or concerns they might have. Make sure they know you are only available after hours for emergencies. However, be kind but firm if one of your tenants forgets and calls you way after hours. These are just small ways that you can remind your tenant why they love living where they do.
Respond Quickly to Communication
Anytime someone calls, emails, or asks a question, try to respond as quickly as possible. Effective communication is key in keeping tenants around. Mandate a policy of responding to all forms of communication within 24 hours. If you’re going to be out of town for a few days, or you don’t want to spend your weekends rifling through emails, simply let your tenants know you won’t be in the office for a specific timeframe and you’ll get back to them as soon as you return.
You’ll be amazed how much a little effort in communication and preparation on your part can significantly reduce the headache that would follow without it.
What steps do you take to keep your tenants paying and staying?
Let us know with a comment!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.