Tenant management issues drive people like me out of this business every day. Sometimes, investors get into the rental business and find they don’t have the time or personality to be a landlord. Sometimes they hand the management over to someone else, other times they just get out altogether.
For those who stay in, tenant issues can be a nightmare. Moving them in, getting them out, again and again. It can be tedious and frustrating. We all have a certain number of tenants, however, who are totally delightful people who pay their rent on time, and keep their house and yard clean. So the question becomes, “How can I attract and keep great tenants?” Here are a few tips:
ATTRACTING GREAT TENANTS
- Curb appeal — make sure your home looks great from the outside. Add a couple inexpensive additions like a wreath on the door or a couple pots of flowers on the porch.
- Be pleasant — when you get calls and/or meet an applicant, be friendly and informative. Leave them thinking they’d love to have you as a landlord.
- Advertise smart — in nearby businesses, churches and other venues you feel might be frequented by desirable applicants.
- Get referrals — use your current fantastic tenants as sources for additional fantastic tenants, and reward them for referrals that work out well. Gift cards, discounted rent, a perk for their home, i.e. new carpet for a room, or a new appliance are some ideas.
KEEPING GREAT TENANTS
- Rewards — Do a monthly news letter and include, occasionally, a “Tenant of the Month” section. Praise and recognition are meaningful forms of thanks.
- Gifts — I always give my wonderful tenants a small gift of appreciation at Christmas time with a short note. Again, they need to know how much I enjoy having them with me.
- Ask for referrals — when I have an empty apartment I always let my great tenants know about it. Maybe they have a friend or relative who might be interested.
And to keep your stress level at a minimum, always do apartment checks! Make sure your tenants are maintaining the home in a satisfactory manner … and if they’re not, put it in writing (documentation!) and make sure they correct the problems.
Following the above advice can improve your tenant mix. The ultimate goal is to fill our homes with fantastic tenants who love the way we manage them and our properties.
Onward and upward! 🙂