In order to make your rental property investments a success, you must attract fantastic tenants. To do this, you need to be a wonderful landlord.
But what are the qualities of a good landlord? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as having someone sign a rental contract and handing them the keys. Being a great landlord entails communication, professionalism, organization, and the ability to provide great customer service.
Whether you’re renting out vacation properties or working with long-term tenants, the people who rent from you want to feel as though they’re working with someone who cares about their experience. If they have questions or a problem, they want to know that they’re renting from someone they can communicate with and get answers. Set a positive tone from the start so that potential renters know that you’re thankful to have them as tenants. Little things like an information package with directions to the nearest grocery store or instructions on trash disposal/pickup can make a new tenant feel welcomed and more at home.
Keep in mind that your relationship with your tenants is a business relationship and treat it as such. When you meet with them in person, always be dressed in a neat and professional manner. Keep conversations friendly, but avoid delving into topics that are too personal. You’re not there to befriend them, but to be their landlord. While you want to do your best to accommodate any issues that may arise around rent payments (such as an illness or time out of work), remember that you are running a business for the purpose of making money. You also want to avoid becoming overly friendly in case problems arise and you’re forced to take legal action in the future.
Document everything in writing and keep it filed away where you can access it at a later time if need be. This goes for lease agreements, receipts for new items purchased for the property, as well as records of repairs completed and maintenance work done. Also keep records of anything unusual that happens such as neighborhood complaints about noise or aggressive animals belonging to your tenants. While every landlord hopes that their tenants will be problem-free, being organized from the beginning will help you better deal with problem tenants.
One of the best qualities of a good landlord is to be accessible and available without encroaching on your tenant’s privacy. This simply means that if they need to know something, make sure to tell them, and if they need to contact you about something, make sure they can reach you. For instance, if you plan to bring a plumber in to install a new garbage disposal, give your tenant plenty of notice so that they’re not lounging around in their boxers when you show up with the technician. Similarly, if the kitchen sink springs a leak, your tenants need to have someone they can contact at all times and have a clear understanding of when the problem will be addressed.
If you’re not able to devote a lot of time to being an excellent landlord, the best way to be a great landlord is to hire someone to do it for you. An experienced property management company is able to be there for your tenants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even when you can’t be. They handle all aspects of the rental process, from managing rental payments, scheduling repairs and maintenance work to handling tenant complaints.
Using a property management company takes the guesswork out of owning rental property. They’re familiar with all of the laws and contracts that need to be considered when renting a property. They also understand what procedures need to be followed should a tenant become problematic. If you don’t have the time to be a good landlord, let an experienced and professional property management company take care of your tenants for you.