Many people think that being a landlord is easy and assume the responsibilities can be handled by anyone. But experienced property managers recognize that there’s a lot more to being a good landlord than meets the eye, and tenants have very specific ideas of how their landlords should act.
Typical landlords tend to fall into a couple of categories. First, you have the absentee landlord that never communicates, never answers the door, and only shows up when it’s time to collect rent. Then there’s the landlord that pesters tenants, wants to know everything about their lives, and micromanages their every decision.
Neither one of those is very attractive to prospective renters, but what renters are looking for may seem a little more elusive to struggling landlords. At Green Residential, we want our landlords to excel. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful list of traits landlords should adopt in order to attract and retain tenants.
No tenant wants to find out that their landlord has misplaced their contract, or worse, their rent payment. A good landlord is well organized, with documents on hand when a new tenant arrives. Then, those documents should be neatly filed away until they’re needed. This is the key to a hassle-free relationship.
If you were to poll tenants today regarding their biggest complaints with the place they’re renting, a majority of them will pinpoint the maintenance. They’ll explain that it takes too long for an order to be completed, or the repairs were poorly done. Either way, making good quality, speedy maintenance a priority will encourage tenant retention and attract more responsible renters.
No tenant likes it when their landlord is condescending, rude, or judgmental. Good landlords cultivate an atmosphere of respect by acting with complete professionalism, keeping their distance, and being kind and honest.
Are you honest in your dealings with your tenants? If not, it will show. Your building inhabitants aren’t stupid, and they’ll be able to tell if you’re cutting corners on maintenance or being dishonest in your communication. They need to be able to trust you if they’re going to stay.
Likewise, show that you trust them. Remember that you’re all adults, and you’re all very capable of completing important tasks and staying on top of assignments. It’s not that you should be naïve to think that some of your tenants won’t try to steal or take advantage of you, because some will. But it’s important to show that you trust them to do things like fill out their own maintenance requests and pay the rent on time without being pestered excessively.
A solid presence is more important than you may realize as a landlord. It lets your renters know that they can rely on you. To that end, answer the phone when you’re in the office, and promptly call people back if you’re not.
Perhaps one of the most impacting elements of being a landlord is following through when you make a promise. Let tenants know they can rely on you by keeping your word and not making promises you can’t keep.
You’ve got to make a strong impression on your boarders if you want them to stick around, and unprofessionalism won’t cut it. The way you present yourself, in appearance, word, and action, is essential to being a successful landlord.
Require a dress and grooming policy for yourself and your staff in order to keep up appearances around the property. In addition, be cordial and friendly, but firm in your policies. Showing that you know how to do your job without being condescending or disrespectful goes a long way for tenant retention.
Nothing should be hidden from your tenants. From open communication, to receipts for rent payments, your residents should have a good idea of what’s going on behind your closed office door as you work to maintain transparency.
In addition, don’t try to hide things. If there’s a mold or pest infestation, your tenants have a right to know. Explain what’s going on, and then explain how you’re fixing the problem. Though no one likes to hear that their place of residence has a pest infestation, they’ll respect your honesty and efforts to resolve the problem quickly.
8. Appropriate Distance
Keep a respectful, and appropriate distance from your tenant’s lives. You might live in the same place, but it doesn’t mean you need to nose into their business or micromanage their actions. No one likes a landlord peaking over their shoulders at all times. Keep to yourself mostly, and only intervene if there’s a pressing problem or the tenant asks you to get involved.
It’s important to stick to the contract; that’s one trait tenants look for in a good landlord. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a little flexible and understanding when circumstances get hard. Just remember that you’re all human beings, and a little compassion can go a long way.
If you have a renter with a good payment history who suddenly misses a payment because of a family tragedy or lost job, cut them a little slack until they can get back on their feet.
Tenants hate to be left in the dark more than anything. A good proprietor has mastered the art of communication. They’ll answer questions quickly, address concerns thoroughly, and inform tenants of important dates and maintenance work being performed. Keeping tenants in the loop makes it easy to establish good relationships and keep them happy with your work.
Finally, remember that people are watching you, and they’re probably giving you a review on the internet. Make sure what they’re saying about you is positive. Otherwise, you’ll have a very difficult time filling vacancies. Keep all of these traits in mind and work on honing those skills if you want to gain new tenants and retain existing ones.
Contact Green Residential Today
At Green Residential, we know that being a landlord isn’t easy. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with keeping tenants happy, whether you have one or 100. That’s why we offer our flat rate, comprehensive property management services. We recognize the importance of maintaining strong landlord-tenant relations, and our services can help to boost your image and keep tenants happy. For more information about the services we provide, contact us today!