A landlord’s job isn’t easy, but most frustrations come from dealing with repairs and problem tenants. While you can’t control how many repairs you’ll need to deal with, you can control your relationship with your tenants – for the most part.
Most tenants don’t form strong relationships with their landlords because they don’t see or interact with them often. You don’t buy properties to make friends, you buy properties to generate passive income. The thing is, you need tenants to make money, and if you can’t retain your tenants, a property left vacant even for a month can cost you thousands of dollars.
You can rent to anyone who meets your income and credit score criteria, but retaining tenants long-term requires a strategy. You don’t need to be best friends with your tenants, but you do need to treat them like people you respect and want to see thrive.
Tenants won’t hesitate to move if they find a better place. Your relationship with them won’t even factor into the equation for making the decision. If you want to be their first choice, even if it means they have to pay an extra couple hundred bucks each month for rent, you’ve got to make a significant psychological impact. They need to form an attachment to you the way they would form an attachment to amenities like having a pool in the backyard or extra counter space in the kitchen.
Going above and beyond for your tenants and treating them well can make the impact you need to be one of the reasons a tenant chooses to rent from you. Here are two reasons to create this impact:
- You’ll generate more income in the long run
When you go above and beyond for your tenants, you’ll retain them longer. You won’t have to worry so much about vacancies, and you can gradually increase the rent if you’re not restricted by rent control. That doesn’t mean you should always increase the rent, but most tenants expect a fair and reasonable rent increase at some point.
There are several things you can do for your tenants that also give you the opportunity to collect higher rent:
- Furnish some of your rental units. Not everyone is looking for a furnished home, but many are. By furnishing at least some of your rental units, you can target a smaller niche of renters including younger people looking to rent their first apartment and people moving from out of town. Even if all you’ve got is a studio apartment, you can find ideas to furnish it beautifully.
Green Residential is correct when they say furnished apartments are in high demand. Check out your local classified ads and you’ll see furnished homes often list for more. Many find it easier to pay higher rent than buy furniture and pay someone to move it around.
- Hire a property management company. When a tenant knows the property they’re moving into is being taken care of by a professional property management company, they’re going to feel relieved. Many tenants are used to landlords not responding to their needs, so when they know they’re being taken care of by professionals, they’ll have less to worry about. Tenants crave this security.
- Provide landscaping services for some tenants. Not all tenants are capable of basic landscaping. If your tenant isn’t capable of doing their own landscaping and you want to rent to them, cover basic landscaping as an amenity.
- You won’t have to engage in so many legal battles
The point of going above and beyond is to establish a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship with your tenants, so they don’t feel the need to retaliate against you when small problems accumulate and one day they explode.
For example, most tenants don’t want to file a lawsuit against their landlord, but about 11% of tenants think it’s a good solution. Tenants feel desperate when their landlord isn’t available or breaks their promises, and some will file a lawsuit when they reach the end of their rope. It doesn’t matter if the lawsuit is frivolous, you still have to go through a time-consuming and costly process to get it dismissed.
It’s easy to impress your tenants
The bar for landlords is set so low, just being your word will impress a tenant. By communicating and making good on your promises to implement repairs in a timely manner, you’re preventing lawsuits and making tenants feel appreciated.