Happy tenants are often the best tenants. As a landlord, your tenants are the backbone of the entire rental property operation. Having a good tenant that pays on time and has little drama makes owning the property feel almost too easy at times. On the flip side, unhappy tenants will drag their feet by sending the rent check and look to argue with you on every minor item. They will make the entire nine months, or more, they are on the property as painful as possible. Oftentimes, it is the minor actions of a landlord that can make the biggest difference. If you treat your tenants with respect and respond as quickly as you can, they will go the extra mile for you.
- Simplify rent collection. Rent collection is the most important aspect of being a landlord. You can’t assume that you will collect rent on time every month. There is always a fine line between finding a rent collection method that is acceptable for you and still easy for your tenants. The most common method is good old-fashioned mail. As easy as this is for your tenants, there are some drawbacks for the landlord. You need to drive to the PO Box and hope your tenant didn’t wait until the last day of the month to send out their check. This certainly isn’t the hardest thing you will do all day, but there are easier options currently available. However, some of these options require the use of technology, which can be frustrating if you are unfamiliar with how to use it. Always lean toward whatever option is the easiest for your tenant. By making it as easy as possible, you greatly increase the chance that you will collect your rent in a timely fashion every month.
- Quick Maintenance Repair. One of the most common complaints from tenants is not getting their repairs done promptly. Regardless of the scope of the work that is needed, you need to get these done as quickly as possible. A small item that may not seem that important to you can be a huge deal to your tenant. If something pops up with your property, you need to drop whatever else you are doing and get this item repaired. If your main maintenance person is unavailable, you can’t wait until their schedule is cleared. You need to deal with the problem with the same sense of urgency as if you were living there as your primary residence. At the same time, you need to stress to your tenant that not every item will be treated with the same response. Fixing a light switch in the basement may take a little longer than repairing a clogged toilet. However, simply responding on time goes a long way toward making your tenant comfortable and happy.
- Return emails and phone calls. Your tenant wants to feel like their landlord cares about them and the property. By ignoring their phone calls and emails, they will quickly sour on you and your property. One of the most basic customer relations items for anyone in business is responding quickly when reached out to. The longer you wait to return a text or phone call, the less you show that you care about your tenant. There are many times when you will get a message from your tenant about something you feel is insignificant. Instead of getting frustrated and annoyed at these calls, you need to understand that this is a big part of being a landlord. The reality is that you will spend less than two minutes on the phone returning their call. These two minutes may not mean much to you, but they show your tenant that they are important. Because of this, they will take better care of your property, send rent checks out quicker, and refer your property to their friends when their lease is up.
- Give plenty of space. Once you commit to renting to someone, you need to give them their space. Even though you have the right to inspect the property unannounced, you can’t make a habit of doing this. Any visits to the property should only be done with 72 hours notice. Your tenants want to feel comfortable in the property and feel like they can enjoy it without their landlord constantly stopping by. If you want to stay on top of the interior, you can tell your tenant when they sign the lease that you will do monthly or bimonthly inspections with a few days’ notice. This gives you the satisfaction of doing periodic inspections and your tenant the comfort of knowing you will not be at the property unannounced. There is also nothing stopping you from driving by the property and making sure there aren’t cars parked all over the lawn and garbage in the yard. What you don’t want to do is ever make your tenant feel uncomfortable in their property. By giving them their space, they will enjoy their time spent on the property.
Any landlord who has ever dealt with a bad tenant knows the importance of doing whatever they can to make their tenants happier. A happy tenant is the foundation of a smooth rental property experience for everyone involved.