A good landlord is like a good tenant—highly desirable. If your goal is to become the type of landlord tenants love, it’s as easy as following the golden rule. In other words: respect tenant privacy, respond in a timely manner, be a problem solver, and show compassion.
1). Respect the Privacy of Your Tenants
Tenants love landlords who respect their privacy. No one appreciates an intrusion, especially when unprepared (hamper full with dishes in the sink), disheveled (housecoat and bedhead), or irritable (missed that first cup of coffee).
An unannounced visitor may also create security concerns. What if valuables were out but the tenant wasn’t present? In a poll of 1,100 respondents to a renter insight survey, 65% chose safety and security as the most important factor when choosing a rental property. If you aren’t already, make sure to communicate more with your tenants about what to expect.
2). Respond in a Timely Manner
You don’t always need to be available, but you should respond within a timely manner. Here are several ways to ensure tenants never wait too long for a reply:
- Create a List of Contacts: Maintain a list of plumbers, electricians, maintenance workers, and similar contacts–include 24/7/365 options for emergencies.
- Write an F.A.Q: Create an F.A.Q to reduce inquiries, prevent burnout, and improve your response rate to messages and calls that come through.
- Ensure Tenants Reach Someone: Murphy’s Law guarantees tenants will require assistance the moment you’re unreachable. Show tenants how to proceed if you’re unavailable and an inquiry is urgent.
3). Show Compassion
In Spiderman II, Peter Parker discusses rent challenges with his unsympathetic landlord. While your tenants’ life challenges won’t include donning superhero costumes and fighting crime (to your knowledge), they deserve empathy. You’re in a position to address a hardship for the renter, and in some cases, a tenant may be willing to pay more if you can accommodate their request. In a Motley Fool survey, over half of 1,500 renters said they would probably or definitely pay more for flexible payment options.
Whether a tenant is asking for a friend to stay with them temporarily, additional guest parking, or an extension on the rent due to car trouble, try to put yourself in their shoes.
4). Be a Problem Solver
When there’s an issue with the home, whether it’s a broken appliance or water pipe, repair it. Waiting until the last minute of legal requirement may net you a reputation as the other kind of landlord. Once repaired, you own a better rental property and can justify a price increase in the future.
While there’s no pleasing everyone, you can improve the pool of good landlords in your community through respect, availability, compassion, and responsiveness.