As a landlord, you might think your property is your most valuable asset. But, in reality, you could argue that your tenants are your most valuable assets. Because without tenants, there is no cash flow.
Keeping your tenants satisfied should be one of your number one priorities as a rental property owner. The challenge is knowing how to do that. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top tips for ensuring your tenants are happy and satisfied!
The Benefits of Happy Tenants
Happy tenants are highly beneficial (and something you should be seeking to produce on a regular basis). When tenants are happy, you enjoy benefits like:
- Lower turnover
- Steady rental income
- Lower vacancy rates
- Positive word of mouth
- Improved property care
- Less stress
- Better cash flow
While it takes some work, energy, and effort to consistently cultivate happy tenants, it’s work that comes with a pretty robust ROI. The more you pour into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Tips for Happier Tenants
As you look for ways to make your tenants happier (and therefore more loyal and less problematic), here are some helpful suggestions:
- Be Transparent
If you want to know the real truth, open and regular communication is the cornerstone of tenant satisfaction. When you’re forthcoming with your tenants, they see you as a transparent and honest person (rather than a dodgy person trying to collect a quick check).
Transparency means not hiding behind excuses. It means actually getting on the phone with people, responding to emails, and even interacting with people face-to-face to build that relationship and trust. With that being said, professionalism is still necessary in all interactions.
- Be Responsive
Nothing is more frustrating for a tenant than to have issues with the property that go unaddressed. When a tenant files a maintenance request or asks for a repair, don’t make them jump through hoops to get it done. Be as responsive as possible. Pretend like it’s your spouse or child living in that house. Move with urgency that shows you respect and care for their needs.
If you don’t have the capacity to respond to repair requests quickly, hire a local property manager. For example, if you’re in Houston, a Houston property management company like GreenResidential.com can oversee the entire process for you. They have connections with local contractors and service companies that can respond on the same day – often within hours. If you’re in another city, you should be able to find a company that offers similar capabilities.
- Set Clear and Fair Lease Agreements
Transparent lease agreements are crucial for a positive tenant experience. Clearly outline all terms and conditions, including rent, security deposits, and any rules or policies.
Always avoid hidden fees or unexpected surprises, as they can lead to tenant frustration. Also, maintain fairness when considering rent increases, adhering to local laws and providing advance notice. Start seeing your tenants as being on “your side” as opposed to an opponent. You should be actively working to help them succeed. That means being forthcoming with lease agreements and not trying to pull a fast one on them.
- Respect Tenant Privacy
Your tenants are people with personal lives, careers, families, challenges, hobbies, hopes, dreams, etc. With no ill-intent, we often forget this. Because we only know one side of their lives, we tend to view our relationship with them through a transactional lens. In doing so, we fail to fully respect their privacy.
If you want to make tenants happy and show them respect, honor their privacy. Never show up unannounced. (And certainly never access the property without adequate warning – something that is almost always illegal anyways.)
This also means paying attention to the property and ensuring it’s set up in a way that gives your tenants maximum privacy from others. Secure door locks, blinds on windows, and even privacy fences can all be useful tools to help your tenant feel safe and sound.
- Invest in Upgrades and Amenities
What would it look like if, every year, you made a small upgrade to each property you own? And instead of just doing random projects here and there, you actually asked each tenant what they would like done? Keep it reasonable – maybe $500 to $1,000 – but let them dream.
One tenant might want the bedroom painted a different color. Another tenant might want a TV in the living room. Some tenants might opt for some landscaping. Whatever it is (within reason), oblige them! Not only will it keep them happy, but it’ll most likely raise your property value in the process.
Adding it All Up
Every tenant is an individual with unique wants and needs, says Gov.uk. However, if you apply the tips outlined in this article, you’re going to increase your chances of keeping your best tenants happy and satisfied (which leads to the benefits alluded to above). Start implementing them today for best results!