Get More From Your Tenants
A key aspect of successful property management is the ability to efficiently secure quality tenants. One proven method of doing so, is by using a background screening company to evaluate risk factors like ACUTRAQ Background Screening. Failure to pay credence to warning signs could prove detrimental, for both parts.
After you have obtained quality tenants, it now becomes just as important to ensure that those tenants are happy with your property and intend to stay. The steps for maintaining good relationships aren’t difficult, however it does require some strategizing and top-notch customer service. The worst mistake you can make is to assume that just because your tenants pay on time and behave themselves, that they are happy with their current situation.
Poorly Written Lease Agreements
Like any other company, property managers get a bad reputation sometimes, as the less involved landlords tend to avoid being proactive with their contracts. A common practice, and bad habit, that a lot of property managers fall into, is waiting for a tenant’s lease to renew. Often, lease renewals come with higher rent that may catch the tenant off guard. Some lease contracts even include a clause that automatically renews if the tenant fails to opt out within 30 days.
This practice causes tenants to feel blind-sided. Additionally, if you are not actively updating rent prices according to the market, you could find yourself locked into a lease priced well below market value. Avoid clauses of this nature, as they are unfair to all parties involved. Furthermore, the resentment and backlash you may receive from your residents, may result in negative marks against your reputation, and the hassle of recovering from those bad reviews is simply not worth the effort. If you want to keep your quality tenants, this is not the high level of customer service you should be offering.
Start at the Beginning
Rates on your property will inevitably increase at some point or another. You know this and the tenant knows this, as well. However, just because both parties know it will happen at some point, neither of you should make any assumptions. The best way to avoid any surprise, is to be as transparent as possible from the very beginning. From the moment you obtain a new tenant, you should already be planning on how to smoothly execute their lease renewal. During the initial contract agreement, establish what the tenant should expect at the time of renewal.
Keep the First Impression Vibe Going
Once you obtain the lease, you can’t allow yourself to get lazy just because you “made the sale.” Continue to grow rapport with your tenants; strengthening your relationship with them builds loyalty when renewal time comes around. This part doesn’t have to be hard and can actually be fun. Organize events, like quarterly potlucks or holiday parties; engage your tenants on social media and encourage them to participate in monthly contests, use your imagination.
While the above can be a fun way to get to know your tenants and allow them to know you a little better, don’t push aside the obvious duties, such as regular maintenance and ensuring that the property is a safe and secure place where everyone feels comfortable.
Renewal Time Approaches
Start making your plans for renewal about 6 months prior to the lease expiration. This is your opportunity to get an idea of what your tenants are thinking, and it’s not too soon to ask for a commitment. Keep in mind, however, that you will need to provide some sort of incentive that the tenant will find beneficial to them, such as ensuring a locked in rate if they make a commitment now. As most contracts require an obligation at least 30 days prior to the expiration date, make sure to reach out to your tenant a couple weeks prior to those 30 days to discuss what options and promotions you can offer them in order to help them make the decision to stay.
Another mistake that property managers tend to make, occurs when a tenant has made the decision to leave. Many landlords assume that since they are no longer going to be tenants, they don’t offer much value. This mistake can prove itself fatal. Out of town job transfers, buying a house, or downsizing could all be valid reasons for someone to move, even if they are happy where they are at. In situations where your tenants will not be staying, you still must treat them with respect and excellent customer service. Now is the time to solicit a good review on social media. Much like any customer focused business, reviews have a huge impact on the decisions made by prospective new clientele.
It Really is That Easy
Managing property doesn’t have to be hard work. The main point is to provide continuous support to your residents, and always provide exceptional customer service. Choosing the right background screening company is the core of success in the property management world; great tenants lead to constant renewals, renewals lead to fewer vacancies, fewer vacancies lead to higher profit, higher profit makes you a happy property manager. ACUTRAQ Background Screening, providing quality reports since 1998.