- Provide a Stress-Free Move-In Process You know what it’s like to move. There are a million details to manage and it’s stressful. You can help eliminate some of that stress for your new residents by providing a move-in process that’s transparent, easy, and effortless. Answer all their questions about the lease and their responsibilities ahead of time. Make sure the home is clean, functional, and ready for them. Provide an introduction to how things work – show them how to turn the appliances on and where to find the air filters. These things will make a big difference during the early part of the tenancy.
- Talk About Expectations Early and Often At the beginning of the lease period, talk to your tenants about what you expect. Discuss the lease and answer their questions. Your residents need to know how they should pay rent and what they’re responsible for in terms of maintenance and landscaping. All that information should be in the lease, but if you talk about it, you can reinforce those things and demonstrate your willingness to communicate. Keep talking about these things. Reinforce the things you assume they already know. Tenants want to hear from you, and they want to feel secure in what their responsibilities are. No one likes surprises or misunderstandings.
- Say Thank You and Maybe Give a Gift Thank you is a phrase that goes a long way. When they pay rent on time every month, thank them each time you receive the payment. Thank them for reporting maintenance issues promptly and for being home when vendors need to get inside. Showing your appreciation will make them feel like valued customers. Your residents will appreciate feeling appreciated. Consider small gifts. If you have a resident who is renewing a lease agreement for the third time, a small gesture is appropriate. Maybe it’s a gift card to a local coffee shop or restaurant.
- Respond Promptly to Maintenance Responding to repair needs with a sense of urgency keeps tenants happy. It also protects the condition of your property. Don’t make promises that you have no intention of keeping. If you say you’re going to fix something, fix it. After the work has been done, follow up with a call or a text to make sure the tenants are pleased with the results.
- Provide Local Information and Useful Education Let your residents know when something is happening in the neighborhood. They might want to know about farmers markets, concerts, school start dates, and festivals. Keep in touch so they know they’re not only going to hear from you if there’s a problem.
- Respect Your Tenant’s Privacy and Space Don’t show up at the property every few weeks. It’s annoying, even if your intentions are good. Your tenants want to be left alone to enjoy the privacy and quiet of their home. While conducting an inspection during the course of the tenancy is reasonable, schedule it well in advance.
- Be Smart about Rental Increases When you have a tenant who is performing well and paying rent and taking care of the home, you want to keep that tenant. Most tenants expect a modest increase when the lease renews, but don’t be unreasonable. Raising the rent 10 or 15 percent is a good way to turn a happy tenant into an unhappy tenant.
Happy tenants lead to happy rental property owners. Why? Because happy tenants are more likely to pay rent on time, communicate with you when things need work, and help you take care of your property. Most importantly, happy tenants renew their lease agreements and stay in place, leading to lower vacancy and turnover costs, and better investment income for you. We put together a quick list of seven things that will keep your Big Island residents happy with you and with their property.