Don’t you love a good THANK YOU from someone? Thank yous can uplift your tenant, keep them smiling, and possibly maintain a loyal renter for years by showing appreciation for their business. After all, managing a rental property is a business whether you do it yourself or hire a property management company so customer service must be up to par if you want to keep happy renters and a well-kept rental.
It feels good to be recognized and appreciated. Simple gestures go a long way that results in trust, respect, loyalty, and partnership that can easily be exercised by you as a landlord.
As busy as everyone is today, showing appreciation and gratitude may seem like a task within itself, but it doesn’t have to feel like one. Here’s how you can build a solid relationship with your tenants that’ll have THEM saying thank you and the gestures returned.
It’s easy to harbor bad feelings about prior tenant experiences for most landlords. Managing your property and acquiring ideal residents is not an easy task. Make-readies for destroyed carpets, holes in the walls, unpaid rent, and multiple HOA lawn violations tend to never be forgotten affecting future tenancies.
However, one bad apple doesn’t have to spoil the bunch. There are good tenants out there and when you have one that pays on time, takes care of the home, and adheres to the terms and conditions of the lease agreement, it’s worth taking the time to recognize and acknowledge them. Because if it wasn’t for your tenants, you wouldn’t be in business so it’s valuable to reward which also builds rapport and appreciation between you two.
The good news is that showing appreciation doesn’t have to be hard- or even time-consuming. Most people like the simplest things. It’s the thought that counts and goes a long way with having a good relationship with your tenant.
Here are 10 ways you can show gratitude and keep awesome tenants
1. First impressions count. Establish a good relationship from the start
As a landlord, you take the lead. Be polite and professional from the beginning by providing ways to reach you should they need to contact you at any time for questions or concerns. If you don’t want to deal with the hassles of phones calls, consider a property management company to handle managing the home for you- which provides your tenants a seamless professional experience as well.
When residents feel they’re respected and appreciated, it sets a positive start encouraging them to care for the home and ultimately renew their lease.
2. Be available
Just like all of us, tenants want to be responded to right away. Time is precious. When a tenant calls or sends an email with a question or problem, a good landlord will always strive to get back to them as soon as possible. Addressing matters promptly help to alleviate concerns and shows you care. If you’re going to be off the grid for a bit, providing a heads-up goes and alternate contact goes a long way in building trust and ease with your tenants.
3. Respect their privacy
Respecting privacy is one of the best ways to build trust and show gratitude to your tenants. Respecting privacy means to provide a courtesy notice before any visits by you or a contractor. If you have to enter the home, scheduling it around the tenants time goes above and beyond and shows great consideration for their privacy.
4. Fix things in a timely matter
There are no avoiding repairs. Homes need maintenance just as cars do and by putting things aside or band-aiding needy repairs can break your wallet in the long. Treat your rental property as if you were living in it yourself. For instance, HVAC units last longer with regular maintenance. If a tenant complains of the AC not working on a consistent basis, getting to the heart of the matter and fixing it timely shows you care for their well being providing a good tenant experience when repairs are needed.
5. Be realistic when raising the rent
Every landlord wants to maximize their rental income. It’s normal to raise the rent each year with those rising taxes and property values increasing. It’s important to have done your homework with market values and recent rental averages for your home’s area so you want to take discretion prior to sending out renewal or rental increase notices. Make sure you’re within the terms of the lease agreement regarding increasing rent and offer a competitive amount. Normally, notices should be provided at least 30 days of the increase but check your state lease laws as they vary. You’re most likely guaranteed to have a disgruntled tenant if you have an increase around the holidays- a time when most people are strapped for money so timing should be considered.
6. Reward tenants with small tokens
The holidays are an opportune time to say thanks and go a very long way to keeping a happy tenant. You could send a gift basket, birthday card, or a gourmet treat. If you really want to feel like a hero, you could surprise them with a friendly discount off rent which would be well received.
7. Renewal Incentives
Let’s face it, we all love bonuses or a free gift when renewing or signing up for something. Same goes true for tenants. By giving a gift for pest control, maid service, free lawn cut, or carpet cleaning upon renewing can be both a win-win for you and the tenant. A fresh coat of paint is also a great gesture which keeps both a tenant happy and the home looking good. Showing you care about the upkeep and condition of the house motivates tenants to look after it better themselves. An ideal tenant attribute every landlord dreams of.
8. Be thoughtful
A simple way to show appreciation for your tenants is sending an email or calling on their birthday. People love to feel special and personal message handles just that. Spreading joy and celebrating a part of someone’s day makes your tenants feel like family. When they feel like family their likely to stay longer which costs you less in the long run.
9. Consider upgrades
Renters not only like convenience but they like modern up to date furnishings and amenities. This doesn’t mean you have to renovate the whole house to show how much you care, but having updated appliances, countertops, flooring, blinds, and ceiling fans mean a lot in value and what tenants are getting for their rent. By having up to date amenities and renovations, you will attract ideal tenants during turnover as well keeping your current residents out of the old and into the new.
10. Keep your promises
Just as landlords pray for ideal tenants, tenants pray for ideal landlords. Landlords how not only are fair, honest, and appreciative but also those that keep their promises. There’s nothing worse to a tenant than having been told a new fence will be put up or hints of new wood flooring plan to be installed and nothing happens. Not following thru on promises can quickly deflate a good landlord-tenant relationship and risks churn costing more money in the end. Deliver on your promised and your tenants are guaranteed to be most grateful.
Remember, treating tenants like family makes them feel respected, appreciated, and special which will encourage them to do the same when taking care of the home, paying rent on time and possibly become your best tenants.