Love and respect are the building blocks of all healthy relationships, even when it comes to your relationship with your tenant.
Of course, it’s a two-way street, but you can take responsibility for your part by actively fostering a healthy relationship with your tenants. It’s a worthwhile investment that has the potential to improve everyone’s quality of life, and your bottom line.
Your Tenants Will Love You If You…
1. Remember their birthdays
Lots of online services will send out birthday cards from you automatically. People want to feel special, so this might be the best client retention money you can spend.
2. Share their sorrows
If you hear about someone getting injured or passing away, it’s time to say more than, “My condolences.” Send some flowers, a gift card, or do something else to comfort the bereaved.
3. Help them belong
One result of the last housing bubble was that people started to realize they weren’t just buying a house, they were becoming part of a community. Everyone wants to feel like they belong, and you can help make that happen. Introduce neighbors to each other, by helping your new tenants get to know previous ones. With the right kind of introduction, you can help create community.
4. Follow up on repairs
One of the biggest perks about being a tenant is not worrying about repairs. After you get a maintenance request, call or email to see if your tenant is satisfied. This will remind them that they have a responsive landlord who makes improvements easy.
5. Get their input
Mr. Landlord, Jeffrey Taylor, teaches that you should present your tenant with a few lease renewal options. Asking for their input and giving them choices reinforces that they live in a “custom” situation and that you appreciate them.
Your Tenants Will Respect You If You…
6. Enforce the rules
If you enforce your house rules, you help your tenants understand that you have a business relationship with them. Don’t let your familiarity override your ability to enforce your own rules. A wise landlord once said that either you’re training your tenants or they’re training you.
7. Provide resources when you post a notice
Never hesitate to issue pay or quit notices. The posting should be a standardized so it meets legal requirements. Many landlords shy away from posting these notices because they don’t want to be mean. But if you provide a list of resources, such as those on Need Help Paying Bills , you help your tenant to get the support they might need.
8. Exercise your civic leadership
Most tenants won’t engage with the community more than the property owner. Landlords can build equity in the neighborhood by participating. Most neighborhoods suffer from lack of leadership. You can help by attending critical meetings and spreading news to the community’s benefit, when needed.
9. Keep their personal info private
It’s important to protect certain info. If you share one tenant’s personal information in front of another tenant, they’ll assume that you’ll share theirs. I’ve found it best to be careful about what I say in front of my tenants and guard their privacy. Further, you shouldn’t leave their personal information out and visible to prying eyes. You could use a locking file cabinet, or better yet, collect online rental applications so all the information is stored in the cloud.
10. Increase security
On a deep level, people want security. When your tenants see you doing things to increase their security, they will appreciate it. If you show them you care in a tangible way, they’ll respond to you in a similar manner. Upgrading night lighting and locks, reinforcing door jams, supporting Neighborhood Watch programs, and adding an alarm system will go a long way.
A Collaborative Economy
Adversarial relationships between landlords and tenants still exist, but we’re moving into an era when potential tenants will read your third-party internet reviews before visiting your rental. We live in an age when tenants will collaborate with each other just like landlords collaborate on Landlordology and BiggerPockets. The way you treat your tenants is more important than ever.
Try a few of these tactics to prevent problematic relationships, and you’ll be prepared for landlording in the collaborative economy.
Please share your love and respect tips in the comments below.