“I wish more of my tenants were unhappy,” said no landlord ever. Happy tenants make your job easier. When more of your renters are happy, you get fewer calls, more referrals and more renewals.
These three easy ways to make tenants happy don’t cost a fortune. In fact, the third one might actually make you money in the long run.
Make move-in a breeze
Moving is stressful on everyone. Make moving in easier for residential and commercial tenants by giving them a helpful move-in guide. Here are some things you might want to include:
- A move-in checklist
- Access details for shared amenities
- Contact information for local utilities
- Maintenance contact information and hours
- A copy of their lease and quick-reference guide
- A coupon for local pizza or other eats – unpacking makes people hungry!
Does your property management software include tenant portals? If so, you can store electronic copies of these documents there, so your tenants can reference them anytime without having to keep the paperwork handy.
If you’re managing an apartment community, condos or single family homes, you might want to do a little more to help your new residents’ house feel like a home. Consider including a housewarming gift like a sturdy houseplant, a fresh front door mat or a jar of local jam or honey.
Nothing is more frustrating than being unable to get reach your landlord when you have a problem. It might be unreasonable for a tenant to expect you to be on-call 24/7, but it’s not unreasonable to expect a response the same business day (or by the next morning if they contact your office after hours).
According to Zillow Rentals, 68% of renters leave their apartments because of bad customer service. The best way to prevent communication frustrations is to set expectations from the get-go. Let your tenants know the best ways to reach you and how quickly they can realistically expect a response. Is there an after-hours number they should call for maintenance emergencies?
Also, ask your tenants how they prefer to communicate and see what you can do to accommodate it. Do they like to call, email or text? Texting tenants doesn’t have to be scary. Yardi Breeze lets you text your tenants and keep a record of every SMS message you send. Your text message history is clearly documented on their contact record.
Offer renewal incentives
Once you have a great tenant, you really should try to keep them. Did you know that acquiring a new tenant can cost 5x as much as keeping an existing one? Think of how much time and money you save when tenants renew their leases. You don’t have to market or turn the unit, search for prospects, process applications or absorb the costs while the unit sits empty.
With those savings in mind, doesn’t offering a renewal incentive make sense? Whether it’s a rent credit, percentage discount or something else – like premier parking or extra storage – incentivizing happy tenants to stay with you makes good financial sense.