Want to improve your experience as a landlord? It starts with making sure your tenants are happy. Because as superficial as this may seem, it’s the crux of the relationship. Ignore tenant satisfaction at your own risk.
Why Happy Tenants Matter
The objective business side of you might try to discount softer aspects like tenant happiness. However, when you push past the fluff, it becomes apparent that happiness has a much deeper connection with rental property ROI than most realize. Fewer problems. Happy tenants don’t act out nearly as much as dissatisfied tenants.
They’re much more likely to protect your property and respect the rules. This creates fewer headaches on your part (and frees you up to focus on important matters). Greater loyalty. When a tenant is happy, they’ll reward you with their loyalty. This can play out in numerous ways. For example, a loyal tenant is likely to prioritize their rent payment over the rest of their bills. (On the flip side, an unhappy tenant might move rent to the bottom of their stack of bills.)
Less turnover. Turnover is a natural part of being a landlord. But while some turnover is expected, you want to avoid it as much as possible. And the happier your tenants are, the less likely that they’ll leave for greener pastures. When you have fewer problems, greater loyalty, and less turnover, you’ll never have to worry about generating a positive return on investment. By continuing to nurture happy tenants, you’ll see your profitability increase over time.
6 Tips for Happy Tenants
Most landlords intuitively understand the importance of having happy tenants. The bigger question is, how do you make tenants happy? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Be Proactive With Maintenance
Few things frustrate good tenants more than a lack of attentiveness. If the property is constantly experiencing breakdowns, they’re going to lose their patience and become frustrated with you. You can prevent these issues by getting ahead of maintenance issues and proactively addressing small issues before they become major problems.
Every landlord should have a preventative maintenance schedule. As part of this schedule, we recommend scheduling regular inspections with HVAC professionals, plumbers, and pest control services. You might also want to schedule a full property inspection every two or three years.
2. Resolve Issues ASAP
Even the best preventative maintenance strategy can’t fix everything. Sometimes breakdowns and other problems occur. When they do, it’s your job to deal with them as quickly as possible.
Lingering issues make a tenant feel neglected. If you can’t address maintenance and repairs swiftly, partner with a property manager like this one here to streamline this process. A good property management company will offer a 24/7 hotline that your tenants can call when something is wrong.
3. Respect the Tenant’s Privacy
It might be your property, but that doesn’t mean you can enter the unit whenever you want. In fact, entering without the proper notification and approval could be illegal. (At the very least, it’s rude and annoying.) If you need to enter the unit for any legitimate reason, make sure you give the tenant plenty of advance notice.
4. Under Promise and Over Deliver
Proper expectations are everything. And when it comes to any sort of commitment, we always recommend underpromising and over delivering. Doing so ensures your tenant gets what they need, while simultaneously framing you as the hero.
5. Show Your Appreciation
Show your tenants that you appreciate them. Let them know that you couldn’t run your business without them. Say “thank you” when they pay their rent on time. Praise tenants for making you aware of maintenance issues that could damage your property if left unaddressed. You can even send holiday greeting cards and well wishes. Don’t overthink this – sometimes the smallest tokens of appreciation go the farthest.
6. Reward Loyalty
Loyal tenants should be rewarded. In fact, the mere act of rewarding them for their loyalty makes them happier. In turn, this amplifies their commitment to you and lessens the likelihood that they’ll jump ship. It’s one big, self-feeding cycle.
Adding it All Up
Happy tenants don’t materialize out of thin air. They require an investment on your part. However, if you’re willing to implement some of the tips outlined above, you’ll discover that it’s not as tricky as most landlords believe. Go above and beyond, and good things will happen.