While you’re relieved to have good tenants, your tenants are happy with a landlord they like and trust.
But being a good landlord to your tenants won’t just keep them happy – it’ll likely help you as well by allowing you to keep long-term tenants in your properties and avoid the costs that result from high tenant turnover rates.
Sounds good, right?
If so, we’re here to teach you how to make it happen. Check out the following tips from our Howard County property management team to learn how you can turn your tenants into raving fans of your landlord business.
How to Make Tenants Love Having You as Their Landlord
1. Be a great landlord from day one.
According to Forbes, you only have seven seconds to make a first impression. That means it’s important for you to smile, make eye contact, and make tenants feel confident that you’ll be a great landlord for the duration of their stay in your property.
Here are a few other ways you can show that you’re a great landlord from the start:
- Give them a welcome package. Consider including a local map of Howard County, some essentials (like cleaning items and toilet paper), and bottled water.
- Connect and build rapport. Without being intrusive, get to know your tenants a bit when you first meet them.
- Explain their lease terms in detail. Doing so will clear up any confusion your tenants may have about renting from you and help prevent miscommunications in the future.
Also, make sure you ask if they have any questions about your rules, the property, or their lease terms. That way, they have all of the information they need to follow your rules and be a good tenant.
2. Communicate the right way.
Try to accommodate your tenant’s communication preferences if possible. For example, if your tenant is a millennial, he’s likely to prefer text messages and emails to face-to-face meetings and phone calls. If that’s the case, you should consider communicating via those methods whenever the situation allows.
Another way you can communicate effectively is by responding to tenant requests as quickly as possible. You don’t have to wait until you have a resolution to respond – just letting them know that you’ve received their request and are working on attending to it will make them feel like you care.
3. Keep your properties in good condition.
If you’re unsure of whether or not your property is in good condition, ask yourself this question:
Would I want to live in this property?
If your answer is no, think about why you wouldn’t want to live there. Is it because the lawn has not been mowed, the appliances are old and unattractive, or some other reason?
Whatever the problem is, try your best to address it in a timely manner. If you wouldn’t want to live in your property because of its condition, there’s a good chance that your tenants don’t see themselves living there long-term either. That means they’ll be more likely to move out, and you’ll end up spending money on advertising the property to find new tenants.
4. Set up a rewards program.
Creating a rewards program is a great way to keep good tenants in your properties for a long time. Consider rewarding tenants for things like:
- Living in your property for a specified amount of time
- Maintaining the property to your standards
- Paying rent on time every month for a specified amount of time
- Referring a new tenant to your rental property business
Here are some ideas for ways you can reward your tenants:
- Paint a room in the property a color of their choice.
- Clean the carpet throughout the property.
- Hire a professional cleaning company to deep clean the property.
- Offer a temporary discount on their regular monthly rent rate.
While the reward program may seem a bit costly, keep in mind that keeping good tenants around helps you avoid high turnover rate costs. Plus, paying for tenant rewards is definitely worth avoiding the hassle of trying to find new tenants later on.
5. Keep your relationship with tenants professional.
If you communicate with your tenants often, you may find it tempting to establish a friendly relationship with them. While being friendly is nice, you must remember that the tenant/landlord relationship is first and foremost a business relationship.
Keep some emotional distance from your tenants to avoid problems later on. You never know – you may end up facing them in court one day or needing to evict them, and having a close personal relationship with them will make that process even more difficult.
6. Send gifts for birthdays and/or holidays.
Sending a tenant a small gift on their birthday or during the holiday season is a great way to show your appreciation for them. Here are a few inexpensive gift ideas you may want to try:
- $25 gift card to a local movie theater (try AMD Columbia 14 in Columbia) or restaurant (try Mango’s Grill Restaurant in Laurel)
- Small gift basket that includes snacks (if it’s cold outside, hot cocoa is a great item to include!)
- Potted plant or bouquet of flowers
Don’t forget to include a simple card letting your tenants know that you’re thankful to have them living in your property. This small gesture could mean a lot to them.
Tip: These small gifts can add up to a significant expense if you have lots of tenants, but don’t worry – tenant gifts are usually tax deductible as long as they don’t exceed $25 per person!
Although pleasing your tenants is an important part of becoming a successful landlord, remember that you’re running a business. That means you shouldn’t let tenants take advantage of you. If you constantly excuse late rent payments, waive security deposits, and show that you’re flexible on your rules, you’ll set yourself up for more of those situations in the future, which could cost you money and place a strain on your relationship with your tenants.
Of course, you may want to make an occasional exception for a good tenant since unexpected financial circumstances (divorce, medical problems, etc.) can happen to anyone. Use your best judgment, and make sure you’re strict about your rules the majority of the time.
Bottom line: you can (and should) enforce your rules and still be liked by tenants – that way, everybody wins.
But what if you aren’t interested in handling property management tasks like tenant screening, maintenance, and rent collection?
You may want to consider Howard County property management services from Bay Management group. We handle your unwanted rental property business tasks so you don’t have to – that way, you have more time for the aspects of your business that you enjoy.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today.