Anyone who has owned rental property or been in Grand Rapids property management knows that landlords can get a bad rap. Why is that? Tenants have a lot of needs. It’s the landlords job to meet those needs. Even if you do fix the broken toilet, or try to get the next door neighbor to be quieter at night, you might still be left with an unhappy tenant. What can you do to try and make your tenant’s experience at your rental property enjoyable? Let’s start with just having a good attitude.
When we are working with our tenants, let us remember that we are dealing with their most basic need and that is shelter. It’s so important to keep in mind that when someone has an issue with their home, to them, it is a big deal. It’s in a landlord’s best interest to respond to these needs promptly and with a good attitude. Good attitude? Yes, that’s what we are saying. Treat your tenant with respect, and be empathetic to what is going on with them at that time.
Let’s say a small piece of fencing fell down during a storm and they called it in for repair. To you, it’s just a little piece of fence. To the resident though it means that their toddler or maybe their dog can now escape from the yard. They choose your home because of this amenity. The home down the street was a similar price but had no fence. This is why you have them as a customer. They will expect this repair to happen in a timely manner. Make it happen. Communicate the process, and explain it to them. Open communication is key here. Let them know what to expect. Don’t make you tenant call back three times to find out when the repair will be made. Let’s say it happened on Friday night and you don’t get the maintenance request until Monday. We’re already three days without a fenced in yard. Your repair tech won’t get it on the schedule until Friday. Let them know. If they know it will be done in four days, they won’t be anxiously awaiting a call or thinking their request has been forgotten. Being a little proactive here will make your life easier, and make your tenant happier.
Your goal is to keep the property maintained and a good paying tenant in the home. Your attitude towards your tenant is key here. Don’t be snippy, or rude. Tone matters. If you’re sarcastic or patronizing, your tenant won’t forget that. Everyone remembers how you make them feel. Be kind, and helpful and you will do better with your business. Yes, I said business. Owning a rental is a business. Tenants are your customers.
At lease renewal time, I want my residents staying for another year. I don’t want to give them any reason to move. A renewing tenant saves you money. It saves you work. Vacancies are expensive not only because of lost rent but also because of home turn over costs. Skip painting your house this year by keeping your current tenant happy all year. When you take care of your tenant, they are more likely to take care of their house.