Properly screening tenants goes a long way towards keeping your rental property profitable, but your work as a landlord doesn’t stop there.
Your property management style can determine whether you find good tenants, or scare them away. If you want to increase the odds of both attracting and retaining good tenants for the long haul, here are some property management skills that can help pave the way:
Are You Good at Customer Service?
The most frequent complaint from tenants is landlords not resolving repair requests or tenant complaints. Customer service is one of the strongest considerations tenants weigh when deciding where to live.
Like any business, if the service is bad, profits will suffer.
Tenants tend to track the example set by the landlord. If no one returns the tenants’ calls or fixes things when they break, then rent starts coming in late, trash doesn’t make its way to the bins, the lawn grows tall, and property gets neglected.
Set the right tone with your tenants by staying in touch. Be easy to contact, be responsive, and be someone your tenants can count on. Show by example, and tenants will naturally try harder to meet their responsibilities.
Are You Getting Prospects Excited About the Property?
Last year, one of the largest online apartment listing services, Apartments.com, conducted a survey of tenants. One of the findings is that roughly 60% of renters were dissatisfied with the property’s overall value. That’s a devastating statistic, especially if you factor in how renters use the Internet to share negative views and comments.
Pride of ownership is a valuable asset. If the landlord cares about the property, the tenant is more likely to do so as well. This pride should be apparent when it’s needed most — the property tour. Tidy and secure rentals will attract the best prospects, and bolster profitability.
Tenants also love a sense of community. When a tenant feels excited about where they live, they will work harder at paying rent on time and following the rules. Simply keeping the property up allows tenants to feel pride in where they live. Happy tenants lead to more referrals and an easier time filling vacancies.
Are You Getting Feedback from Tenants?
Reading surveys and market trends is a necessary part of managing a property, but some of the best information will come directly from your tenants.
Interviewing exiting tenants is a great way to learn from mistakes and reward successes when it comes to your property management skills. Tenants are less likely to hedge about how they feel if you catch them as they are leaving or shortly thereafter.
The prospects who don’t become tenants also have valuable information to share. Give them an opportunity to tell you what they didn’t like about the property. Keep notes and see if you can pick up on any trends.
Do You Know How to Handle Lease Renewals?
There are two important things every landlord should know about lease renewals. First, make sure you contact tenants early — before they start shopping the competition. Track the leases and get in touch with the tenant two or three months before the end of the lease term.
Also, it’s important not to postpone needed maintenance and updates because a tenant renews. Allow your long-term property maintenance plan rule. Renewing tenants should be a catalyst to making necessary repairs, not a hindrance.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
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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.