There’s a lot more to owning a rental property than collecting checks from your tenants each month. Unsurprisingly, property owners who go the extra mile for their renters generally accrue more favorable reputations than those who regard renters’ needs as an afterthought.
Needless to say, a bad reputation is liable to result in fewer rental applicants and less rental income, thus inhibiting your ability to make money from your property. Property owners who are serious about providing tenants with a comfortable living experience would do well to strive towards the following goals.
Hiring Dependable Maintenance Personnel
Maintenance is an essential part of rental property ownership. Ensuring that the properties you own are comfortably livable and free of pressing issues is among your foremost responsibilities as a landlord.
However, unless you’re well-versed in a variety of handyman disciplines, you may be ill-equipped to tackle most maintenance tasks yourself. Furthermore, even if you are adept at property maintenance, you may not be able to handle every upkeep issue by yourself if you own multiple properties or properties with hundreds of units.
With this in mind, hiring dependable maintenance personnel should be high atop every property owner’s to-do list. The right candidates will possess ample knowledge and experience regarding the maintenance and upkeep of rental properties.
Furthermore, these individuals should be pleasant and personable, as they’re going to be dealing directly with tenants – some of whom are liable to be perturbed by the very presence of maintenance problems.
Dependable maintenance personnel can ensure that you don’t become filled with dread every time a tenant reports a maintenance issue. A dedicated maintenance staff can also stamp out large problems in their tracks by taking care of small issues before they’re able to become more serious. Furthermore, knowledgeable maintenance professionals will assist you in keeping your property up to code, which can prove helpful in any municipality that uses a code enforcement software program.
Maintaining Friendly Relationships with Tenants
Viewing your tenants as nothing more than sources of rental income isn’t going to do your renter retention rates any favors. While it’s true that the relationship between landlord and tenant is business-based, this doesn’t mean that taking a cold, impersonable approach to property ownership is okay.
This isn’t to say that you should strive to be best friends with your tenants, but it’s in your best interest to remain on good terms with them. In addition to increasing retention rates, maintaining friendly relationships with tenants is conducive to positive online feedback and a bolstered professional reputation.
To start with, you’ll need to make yourself accessible to renters. This means providing them with a work phone and email, as well as a number to call in the event of extreme emergencies. It’s also important to provide timely and courteous responses to phone messages, texts and emails from tenants, especially the ones in which maintenance requests are made.
Some maintenance problems can have a direct impact on the property’s livability and cause considerable inconvenience to tenants, so it’s in everyone’s best interest that they be addressed posthaste. Additionally, the longer certain problems are left unaddressed, the more damage they stand to cause to the property – and your finances.
Properly Screening Rental Applicants
As a rental property owner, getting stuck with tenants who are unable or unwilling to keep up with rent is the absolute last thing you want. Fortunately, you can dramatically diminish your odds of taking on unreliable tenants by properly screening every rental application that comes your way.
With each applicant’s permission, carefully examine their credit histories, criminal backgrounds and income situations. No matter how cumbersome you find the tenant screening process to be, it stands to save you a considerable amount of time, money and hassle down the line.
If you’ve never owned or managed a rental property, it’s easy to see why you might view property ownership as a low-effort venture. However, if you’re expecting to simply sit back and let the passive income roll in, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Success is never guaranteed when investing in a rental property, and there are a number of responsibilities that rental property owners need to attend to. So, if you’re looking for effective ways to keep a rental property profitable and ensure tenant satisfaction, prioritize the goals outlined above.