As a landlord, your goal is to attract long-term tenants; long-term tenants mean you’ll have a steady income and less trouble. Listing units, time in between renters, and running background and credit checks for new applicants, is not only time consuming, but it can also get expensive. As a landlord, there are a few different ways to both attract and keep your tenants.
Make the Price Right
The first thing a potential renter will look at is the price; know the rental prices in your area and set yours accordingly. Setting your rent slightly lower than similar units could pay off in the long run, if it attracts a long term tenant with a good job.
Maintain Your Property
If your property is dirty, smelly, and falling apart, you won’t attract good tenants. People with good jobs want to come home to a safe, clean, and secure home.
Before you start showing the place, do a deep cleaning. Clean the carpets, paint the walls, fix any damage, and get rid of any bad smells. While you’re at it, make sure the exterior looks well kept, too. Keep the outside of your property clear of trash, mow the lawn and water the plants. Maintaining your property will also inspire your tenants to keep it up too.
Build a Good Relationship with Your Tenants
While your renters are not your family or friends, they aren’t your adversaries either. They’re simply people looking for a comfortable, safe home. You want to have a good reputation as a landlord.
Always be friendly, but more importantly, respect your tenant’s privacy. Don’t pull surprise home inspections; always give prior notice. Listen to your tenants and be open to negotiations when it comes to rent or repairs.
You can also offer long-term tenants some a bonus when it comes time to renew their lease, such as a free month of rent. Convenience amenities such as enabling your tenants to submit work orders or pay rent online can also go a long way in keeping your tenants happy.
Make Your Property Pet Friendly
In many places, pet-friendly rentals are hard to come by. People are loyal to their pets, and if your rentals are pet-friendly, your tenants will be more devoted to you. Likewise, charge a reasonable amount as a pet deposit; charging $1,000 per cat or dog may make you look unreasonable.
Ease Up on Cosmetic Changes
While you don’t want the renters painting the walls black, little things like hanging pictures should be OK. Your tenants are paying you a significant amount of money every month for a home, and it needs to feel like home. Little things like hanging up a few pictures can make all the difference.
Keep Up on Repair and Maintenance Issues
Not only will attending to repairs keep your tenants happy, but you also need to maintain your property to retain its value. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it is also your legal responsibility. You can also ask your tenants about any changes they think could improve the property.
Pay Attention to Security
Installing security cameras in the parking lot and communal areas will make your tenants feel more secure, and it’s also a crime deterrent. No one wants to live in a place where “porch pirates” steal their packages while they’re at work, or where strangers feel free to roam. Installing peep-holes for each unit will allow your tenants to see who is knocking at their door before they open it. Your tenants will appreciate it if you help provide security on the property.
Some of these tips require an investment of time and money on your part, while others only require a little effort. By paying attention to the little details, you can attract long term tenants. When your tenants are happy with the way you allow them to live on your property, they’ll be much more likely to stay.