Landlords need to think of tenants as customers. While some landlords don’t want to think of them that way, we really should.
5 Things Landlords Need To Know About Tenants
Veteran landlord and investor Larry Arth writes, “Having an investment property business and managing tenants as a landlord is no different than any other business. We need to work hard to obtain customers and treat them well so they will return.”
No. 1 – They want to feel important just like you
So treat them with the respect they deserve. Even small things like responding to their email or phone call quickly can make a world of difference. If your tenants feel respected and important those feelings will translate into how they treat you, your staff and your property.
No. 2 – Your tenant has worries and concerns just like you
It is your job to find out what they are and address them. Maybe your potential tenant is a first time renter, maybe they have never rented a single family home and are used to apartments or maybe they aren’t sure about their new neighborhood. Be on the lookout for signs of worry or unhappiness. Not addressing them could mean a vacancy down the road.
No. 3 – Tenants will have a past just like you
Maybe they are recently married or divorced. Maybe they have had an eviction or have crappy credit. Perhaps they have poor employment history. Be upfront with them about your expectations and use your rental standards to support you. There might not be wiggle room or exceptions to be made regarding credit or criminal history but you can be honest from the get go.
No. 4 – Renters face challenges just like you
Re-read number 3… go ahead. I’ll wait.
Okay—so all those things in your tenant’s past are things they still have to face. And the way they deal with them and their honesty with you will say a ton about their character. Run your background and credit check, call references and compare an applicant to your rental standards. Then take a moment to listen to your tenant and your gut.
No. 5 – They will fight for what they really want just like you
Does your tenant really want this property? If so, you need to know how far they are willing to go to get it. Will they pay a little more for it? Will they sign an 18 month lease vs. a 12 month lease? Are they willing to get rid of their pets (probably not… but that is still important to know)?
Go to the table with a reasonable offer and see where the tenant is willing to go.