The best approach to being a property manager is often debated. Some still side with playing bad cop — the stern warden who doesn’t care what the story is. Others have found amazing success in being incredibly generous. The truth is that you do have to be a professional and responsible rental property owner. You need to protect your assets and family finances.
At the same time, many real estate investors are finding the greatest success in going all out to deliver incredible service to their tenants. In fact, it is really a must for those investors who want to maximize their potential and sustain their success. Renters are finding more and more choices of places to live and will seek out those landlords who are reputable. Financially, landlords win the most when they treat renters well and win their loyalty. In fact, once you start taking a generous approach to property management, you might find that this is one of the best rewards in itself.
Here are 7 ways to help landlords come out on top.
Perform proactive maintenance.
Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference. You are going to have to make those repairs or upgrades sooner or later anyway. You also know that it is cheaper and more efficient to tackle things early. Too many landlords don’t — with disastrous results. On the other hand, being proactive tells renters you care about offering a quality property. This in turn helps to make them feel great about where they live.
Remember those special dates.
Send birthday cards for the whole family. Give holiday cards and gifts. For some, this may be the only love they get on these special occasions. Send a gift card for them to go out to dinner or a movie. I have even offered tenants gift cards on renewal of leases. Work towards avoiding those turnover costs associated with tenant move-outs by utilizing this method.
Cut them a break.
Some people haven’t learned to be great renters or money managers yet. That’s often why they are still renting. But everyone runs into life challenges. Family members get sick, workers get laid off, and emergencies come up. When you can, cut them a break.
Return deposits fast.
The majority of tenants count on getting their deposit back in order to move on to the next place. That makes it really difficult for them when landlord’s stretch the limits of the law in sending deposit refunds weeks or months later, or find any excuse to keep their money. Do the opposite. Hand them a check on move-out day (if the unit is in reasonable condition, without any damages).
Offer discounts for friends and family.
Don’t just rely on your good efforts above to win you referrals. Give them more motivation by offering small discounts on your other rentals to their friends and family members.
Give them a chance to buy it.
Instead of losing tenants when they are ready to buy a home, why not give them a chance to purchase the one they have been living in? You can still structure the deal to be a win-win for you and them, while giving someone the life-changing chance to be a homeowner.
Ideas taken from an article by Sterling White