If you plan to invest in rental properties, there are several necessary steps you must take in order for it to be successful. The most important ones have nothing to do with research and sharp negotiations, however.
With practice, anyone can do that. But not everyone manages to keep tenants happy for the duration of the lease. That’s a skill many landlords don’t really have, but it’s one of the greatest secrets of successful investing.
Renters are so common now that the U.S. has become known as “Rental Nation.” There are currently more than 100 million renters across the country right now, which is the highest number in decades.
The market has exploded with rental properties and landlords in every corner of the nation. If you can’t keep your tenants happy, they’ll move to a more competitive property.
Keeping your tenants contented is a lot easier in theory than many people assume. It requires a positive mindset and a little extra effort, but it will be worth it to pay more attention to your tenants right now in order to foster their trust and keep them renting over the long term.
Here are a few tips for how to accomplish that.
1. Share Knowledge
The odds are that much of the interest in your units will come from brand-new and inexperienced renters. They won’t be familiar with the ins and outs of being a renting safety, protecting personal property, or some of the other renting know-how that’s basic to you.
One particularly vital but little-known tidbit you can share with them are the benefits of signing up for renter’s insurance. Many tenants believe the landlord’s insurance will cover them in the event of theft or major accident, but that’s not true.
According to Protect Your Bubble, experts on all types of insurance, “The landlord’s insurance generally covers only the building where you live. There is no coverage for your personal belongings or any personal liability coverage.”
If you share this kind of information, you’ll save both you and your tenant from potentially major hassles down the road.
2. Communicate Consistently
A brief email, phone call, social media post, or SMS message can keep your tenants in the loop about anything that’s going on, and most of them will appreciate being informed. Use regular communication to remind them of upcoming events, fire inspections, maintenance repairs, and the rental due date. A short email can go a long way in reminding your tenants that you care.
3. Complete Repairs Promptly
Sometimes keeping your tenants happy is as simple as performing repairs swiftly and thoroughly. No one likes the landlord who says he’ll complete a repair by the end of the week, but doesn’t whip into action until the end of the month.
4. Enable Digital Connectivity
A large slice of your tenants will likely be millennials: members of the younger generation that’s not ready to make the commitment on a house. Digital connectivity is everything to them, so if you’re willing to provide Internet and cable service within the price of the rent, you’ll already be one step ahead.
The hassle and potential liabilities of setting up these digital features can make it too easy to decide that providing a digital connection isn’t worth it. According to an article from Landlord Talking, however, “Internet connectivity may be the single most important amenity for [the millennial] demographic.”
5. Create a Move-In Kit
Start out the tenant-landlord relationship right by creating a move-in kit for new tenants. A simple card that expresses your gratitude for the new tenants, a small housewarming gift, and a list of useful contacts in a welcome basket will make the renters feel like they’re at home.
Then, continue to impress them with your efforts to communicate and solve issues in a timely and respectful manner. With efforts like these, you’ll definitely have happy, long-term tenants for your investment properties.