Buying investment properties takes a specific set of skills. Maintaining healthy relationships with those who live in the properties takes an entirely different set of skills. If you have been a landlord for any amount of time, you know exactly what we are referring to.
When you have tenants in your rental property, you are not only responsible for maintaining your investment, but you must also work on building a relationship with each other. Sure, you each signed a lease that has a set of rules and obligations to follow. But, life is not that cut and dry, is it? Things come up – employment changes, plumbing breaks, and so on. You and your tenants should be comfortable enough to work together to handle anything and everything concerning the property.
This relationship is not only important to maintain the health of your investment but to also encourage long-term tenancy.
Are you wondering why a relationship with your tenant even matters? After all, you have a lease that states everyone’s obligations – so why build a relationship?
For tenants, this relationship means having comfort knowing that if a maintenance issue arises, it will be taken care of. It means feeling at ease where you live – and the likelihood you can stay year after year.
For landlords, having a healthy tenant relationship means a lower vacancy rate and higher profitability, hearing of minor repairs needed before things get out of hand, and having the confidence that your tenants are caring for your property as if it were their own.
It is a lot easier for everyone, in general, to rest better at night when your settled in your landlord tenant relationship.
You can find yourself with some of the best tenants and still struggle to communicate with them. Why is that?
As a property owner, you take on a ton of stress – and a lot of responsibility. You are constantly on call, with your phone ringing all hours of the day and night for repairs, whether an emergency or not. You have to handle paperwork, inspections, maintenance, rent collection, and more. Sometimes the stress feels so heavy that it can be hard to be available when a tenant wants to chat. And, even harder to be kind about it.
Though no fault of your own, let’s be real – this is not the way to a healthy relationship.
If you are ready to give your landlord tenant relationship a healthy boost, here are a few tips you can try. Keep in mind that you must be consistent.
You will want to be approachable to your tenants. They need to know that if something happens or if they have a concern, they can reach out to you and that you will be available for them. If your tenants are too afraid to call you for a small repair, for instance, you could find yourself with a much larger, more expensive repair down the road.
Encourage your tenants to call you and be available when they do.
It does not matter how available you are for a text or phone call if you do not follow through on your end. If your tenant reports that a repair is needed, has a concern about a neighbor or the like, then you need to act on it. Your tenants need to know they can count on you – or perhaps they will not reach out next time.
If your tenants reach out to you to discuss something, be respectful and listen. They are the ones who are residing in your investment property – so they know the place (and surrounding area) up close and personal – maybe even better than you do. If they want to share some knowledge or concerns, let them – and address everything accordingly.
It may or may not even require action on your part. But, allowing your tenant to feel heard can make all the difference in the world.
Of course, this is not going to be something you do all the time but offering an occasional treat to your tenants can make them feel appreciated. And who does not like that feeling? Give a small token of kindness like a gift card to a local home store or restaurant on a holiday or consider doing an upgrade at the property if they decide to renew their lease.
It doesn’t have to cost much at all – it’s the act that makes the difference by showing compassion and care.
You may have envisioned yourself having a nice portfolio of rental properties, creating a peaceful way to make an income while you enjoy life for a bit.
And then… you become the landlord.
It is a stressful job. And, having to work on nurturing relationships can add even more stress. It is hard to act respectful and kind all the time when you are feeling weighed down and overwhelmed.
Well, here is where the good news comes in. What if we told you that you could focus on what you do best – investing – and allow someone else to handle the rest?
The best way to manage your landlord tenant relationship is by using a property management company. A property manager is like an expert landlord. They can handle all aspects of maintaining properties, including tenant screening, rent collection, maintenance, and evictions. And, yes, they also work to nurture the relationship with tenants.
As a professional in the industry, property managers are ready to handle anything that arises – and they have the means to do so. For instance, having a maintenance staff on call 24/7 and an online software system that makes reporting issues easy. Rent collection is a breeze and – when it is not received on time – there are processes and forms in place to handle that, too.
The relationship between a landlord and a tenant is important on many levels. At RPM Evolve, our property managers can step up and fill this role, nurturing the relationship – increasing your profitability along the way.