Keeping tenants happy can make for a higher return on investment (ROI) for your investment property for several reasons.
The biggest reason is that happier tenants stay in the property longer and take better care of it. This reduces vacancy time, ensuring that you are receiving rent checks each month and can even reduce the amount of maintenance needed for the property both during and after the tenancy.
Smart real estate investors know that there is more to real estate investing than just finding a tenant. Keeping them happy throughout the time they are living in your investment property will be a benefit for you, both in the short term and for the long run.
Here are seven easy, reasonable ways to keep your tenants happy.
- Offer a beautiful rental property. Time and time again we see it: better properties are better taken care of by tenants. Tenants will reciprocate the effort that the investor puts into the property. Spruce things up, show the tenants that you care and your rental property will most likely be better taken care of.
- Prompt maintenance. Most tenants expect maintenance to be done as quickly as possible. This can be difficult if you are a self-managing investor, but hiring a professional property management company can help with this. With 24/7 on-call and emergency support, the tenants maintenance requests will be taken care of quickly, reducing stress and frustration for the tenant.
- Responsiveness. While tenants value their privacy from the landlord or property management company, when there is an issue, they expect prompt replies. Quick responsiveness is important to tenants, as they always have other things going on in their lives they would like to get back to. Texting is quick and efficient.
- Cleanliness. The best way to start on the right foot with your tenants is to provide a perfectly clean home. The home should be a clean slate, free from dust, debris, trash and personal belongings. If there are certain items included in the lease, such as a lawn mower, these can be left behind.
A standard to keep in mind is “hotel clean.” You would never expect to check into a hotel room to find personal items left behind, dust or trash on the floor. Tenants should move into a property that has been properly and professionally cleaned.
- Reasonable rent. Do not raise the rent to an unreasonable rate that cannot be justified by the market rates or by an increase in property taxes/insurance. Check out our blog about raising the rent.
- Privacy. Unless there is an issue that needs your attention, tenants do not typically like to hear from, or see their landlord. Once in a while, drive-bys are an appropriate way to ensure the upkeep of the property but you should not be driving by or stopping by an excessive amount as this can make the tenants uncomfortable and have a negative impact on their quality of life while living in your rental property.
- Timely updates. If the tenant has been in place for several years and you know there are some items that could use some updating, even if it is just a fresh coat of paint, be sure to offer these to the current tenants at an appropriate time. They will appreciate it and it might keep them in the property longer. For example, fresh paint can last an average of 5 to 7 years.
If your tenant has been a long time resident of your property, offer to repaint around this time. Of course, this depends on many factors, such as if the tenants were smoking, if they had pets, how many pictures were hung on the wall and if any scuffs or damage has occured. Maintain an awareness of the condition of the property so that you can implement these updates as necessary. Carpet lasts an average of 4-7 years in a rental property, so be sure to check on the condition of the carpet to stay on track with timely updates.
Keeping your tenants happy will be beneficial to you as an investor because happy tenants will stay in your property longer. Tenants that stay longer will save you money in the long run because there will be less damage to the property, there will be no need to re-market the property during vacancy, and you will have a more reliable source of income each month.