Here are 5 tips for establishing and nurturing good relationships with your tenants:
As with any relationship, communication is the key to making it work. Make sure there is an established process for communication. Whether it involves routine questions, maintenance, repairs, or emergencies, make sure they know how and when to contact you and vice versa.
Take a very common scenario for example a tenant is expecting someone to come in and fix a broken pipe, but the plumber is running late. You are responsible for letting the tenant know so they’re not waiting around - or getting increasingly irritated. Delays happen. Wait times happen. Inconvenience happens. But you can mitigate hard feelings by communicating clearly and respectfully. People are generally much more understanding when they are kept informed.
- Establishing Reasonable Rental Rates
There may be local building laws that determine how much you can charge for specific property rents. Make sure you are aware of these and follow the appropriate policies. Aside from housing laws, establish reasonable rental rates by watching the local market. Take a look at listing sites to find out what comparable units are going for in your neighborhood. Factor in your unique amenities, of course.
Keeping rents in line with the market ensures people don’t feel like they are being taken advantage of. Retaining tenants is key, and this is a big part of that.
- Be Respectful When Rent Must Increase
Sometimes, rent increases are unavoidable. The market changes, the neighborhood changes, and you have to adjust rents to align with these realities. Make sure to give your tenants ample notice about upcoming increases. Local laws may require 30 - 60 days’ notice, and it is just common courtesy. This gives folks time to look at their options and their budgets.
If you have a great tenant you are really invested in keeping, stay open to the possibility of negotiating a reduced increase or making some other type of agreement.
- Put Yourself In Your Tenants’ Shoes
For you, a building is an investment or income-generator. For your tenants, it is home. When they have an issue, do not consider it an inconvenience to your life. It is a big deal when the washing machine breaks, a pipe springs a leak, or the AC is out, and it impacts tenants’ quality of life. They need a healthy, safe place to live, and if you practice understanding and compassion, it will go a long way in fostering good relationships.
- Have a Team
If you are not going to be hands-on or onsite regularly, you can still take steps to ensure a healthy relationship with tenants. Hiring a property manager is helpful in that this professional can handle the day-to-day aspects of your rentals, including interactions with your tenants.
They have an established network of contractors, plumbers, electricians, handy-people, and other pros available to address problems that are outside of their wheelhouse. Meanwhile, they can take on the tasks of advertising, screening applicants, setting rental rates, handling contracts/rental agreements, collecting rent, fielding service calls and complaints, intervening in tenant-tenant disputes, and much more.
Good relationships with your tenants are critical in ensuring you achieve your goals as a property owner. If you want to take a hands-off approach, live out of the area, or want property management professionals to help you manage the wide array of tasks on your plate, contact Asheville Phoenix Properties. Healthy relationships are our specialty!