While being a landlord comes with its demands, it’s not as hard as you might think. Plus, it’s a great way to make an income, whether you’re doing it as a side gig or a full-time job.
But if you’re new to the industry, you probably have a few questions. In addition to screening prospective tenants, creating lease agreements, and marketing rentals, successful landlords need to be able to handle tenant complaints and work well under pressure, should an emergency arise.
The good news? All it takes is a few small adjustments to turn a not-so-good rental situation into a thriving business. Here are a few tips that’ll have your tenants smiling in no time.
Respond to complaints in a timely manner.
Speed is important when it comes to customer complaints. Failing to deal with an issue sends a negative message to your tenants about their value. Even if you’re running a cheaper establishment, you should still treat your tenants with courtesy. If you can’t get a broken dishwasher fixed right away, don’t ignore your tenant’s email. Send a professional response apologizing for the delay and a time estimate for when the tenant can expect the issue to be resolved.
Get to know your tenants.
Learn your tenant’s names. It’s that simple. We’re not saying you need to host a dinner party, or anything. But noticing the seemingly small details will put your business on the map, no matter what industry you’re in. If your tenants feel welcome, they’ll be more likely to tell their friends and so on.
“It should be crystal clear to all of us that thoroughly knowing and understanding our customers and delivering what they want is the ultimate key to success,” Forbes contributor Alan Hall writes. “Whether our sales are increasing, are flat, or declining, we should, without fail, spend quality time with our buyers to understand what’s on their minds and respond appropriately.”
Switch to digital.
If your rent checks need to be mailed and your applications require paper and pen, that’s a problem. Going digital makes like so much easier for you and your tenants. So forget the paper trail, and embrace all the 21st century has to offer, like online rental applications, tenant screenings, and other specially-made landlord software programs.
Do what you can to keep things spotless.
In the restaurant world, there’s an old saying: “People don’t judge you by your food, they judge you by how clean your bathrooms are.” And while that statement is probably used to encourage the janitor, it’s true. Imagine enjoying a big, juicy steak, only to walk into the bathroom to see grease stains and cockroach remnants. If the bathroom looks like that, then what does the kitchen look like?
When you run an apartment building, or any building for that matter, your hallways should be clean and well-lit — greasy carpets and stained walls give a bad first impression. Just because your units are nice doesn’t give you a free pass to skip on other rooms in the building. All common areas should be spotless, too.
There’s no doubt running a rental property can be stressful. Like other management positions, it has its ups and downs. Thankfully, the internet has made things much easier. (Could you imagine keeping track of everything on paper?) But if you do it right, you could get your hands on a consistent cash flow and a long-term investment turnaround. So go out there and learn a few names, address complaints like a boss, and revamp those rough spots. Once your tenants realize you care, the value of your building will increase and they’ll be inclined to stick around for the long term.