Many factors go into the making of a profitable rental business. For landlords who are planning to stay in business for the long term, a good reputation becomes a valuable tool.
Consider the traits that take a landlord from mediocre to masterful:
Being a responsible landlord means anticipating the issues that are likely to arise in any tenancy, and educating the tenant to meet their responsibilities. An important example is providing a tenant orientation, going over proper use of the appliances, reviewing house rules, and making the rental process what the tenant wants — turnkey.
A considerate landlord helps the tenants settle in, and encourages a sense of community. Whether it’s enforcing rules that provide quiet enjoyment, sponsoring a get-together, sending a newsletter, or just leaving behind a menu to a local take-out restaurant, tenants with a sense of belonging take more pride in their home, and that in turn encourages them to take better care of the property.
The rental rules have to apply equally to every tenant. Each tenant should feel he or she is on equal ground.This is a crucial step to having tenants who follow the rules — a tenant shouldn’t feel entitled, nor should one feel discouraged, because those are the tenants most likely to misbehave. Avoid making a tenant feel bad for requesting a repair, and try not to cause hard feelings during an inspection. Tenants will come and go. Stay objective, and focus on the long-term goal — a profitable rental business.
The best leaders set a good example. Landlords can lead by keeping the rental property in good condition. Leaders also know how to bring out the best in people — to create win-win scenarios where tenants behave well in order to gain approval.
It’s easy to focus on bad tenants, and ignore the ones who are towing the line. Tenant incentive programs encourage clean properties and on-time rent payments. Something as simple as a ‘thank you’ will go a long way with a good tenant.
Tenants who pay rent on time throughout the tenancy now can build credit. Landlords who report rent payments provide an essential incentive to tenants while reducing delinquencies. Tenants who successfully complete the tenancy can provide a copy of their payment record to new landlords when competing for vacancies.
A leader is the voice of reason — the person with the answers.
Successful landlords have learned never to let emotions govern business practices. They honor the terms of the lease, including the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment. Firmly rein in a tenant who is violating the rules, but refrain from using a harsh tone or insults.
Staying in touch with the tenant throughout the lease term also shows respect for the relationship.
In sum – treat tenants as you would like them to treat you. That way, you will enjoy the successes that come from being a great landlord.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.