During these uncertain times, more and more people are being forced to work from home. And whether you like it or not, some of those people are your tenants. How can you be supportive of their needs during these trying times? And more importantly, how can you make sure your great tenants want to stay with you when all of this is over? Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
Be Available for Tenant Needs
One of the most important things you can be as a landlord is available. If a tenant has a problem or a question that they need your help with, it’s your job to be there to provide answers. your tenants want to feel valued. They won’t feel that way if you’re unavailable when they have an issue or question. Fortunately, being available for tenant requests is mutually beneficial. It’s probably good for you to know if there’s a problem with your property, after all. For example, if there’s a toilet that won’t flush or a leak in the ceiling, those are issues that you need to be fixed just as much as your tenant does.
And if you like your tenants, you have all the more reason to be available for their requests. Make sure all of your contact information is updated and available to your tenants in the event that a problem arises. Make sure you have all of your tenants’ contact information in case you need to perform some scheduled maintenance in their homes. Maintaining open lines of communication is key to supporting your tenants. When the average American has almost $38,000 in debt, the last thing they need is an absentee or neglectful landlord.
Understand What Your Tenants Want
No matter what demographic you mostly serve, it’s important to take into account what your tenants want out of their space. More often than not, tenants just want their space to feel like home. This is especially true for younger tenants, who above all typically value lifestyle quality. At the end of the day you may own the property, but allowing your tenants to customize their space to a reasonable extent can go a long way in keeping them around.
Another factor that most tenants take into account when renting is pet policies. In the vast majority of cases, tenants might want to be able to have their four-legged companion with them in their home. Again, this is all in the interest of making their space feel like a home. Some other good updates to include might be bathroom and kitchen upgrades, newer appliances, and updated hardware. When you consider that roughly 69% of entrepreneurs start their business at home and spend most of their time there anyway, a few simple upgrades can make working and living in that space more enjoyable.
Make Note of Which Tenants Work from Home
During the last few years, more and more people have started freelancing from home. If you have tenants who do this, make a note of who they are! If you’ve already been doing this, then you’re probably in a good place to handle the current climate. But if you’re considering bringing in tenants in the future, knowing who works from home can have a multitude of benefits. First and foremost, you’ll know who you need to inform if you’re planning on performing loud work (construction, renovations, lawn maintenance, etc.) during working hours. Not only is this a common courtesy, but you’re more likely to keep your good tenants happy and start building a relationship with them.
Take a Personal Interest in Tenant Happiness
Maybe you have a strict visitor policy on your property, but a single mother working from home needs a babysitter a few times per week to help out. When families can spend up to 20% of their income on childcare, it pays to know why your tenant might have a babysitter visit. And when you build up relationships with your tenants, you’ll be able to better understand their needs and better accommodate them.
Taking a personal interest in your tenants’ happiness goes the extra mile to show that you care about their livelihood and you’re grateful they’re living on your property. When you start building relationships with good tenants this way, you can learn to support them in small ways. They might be more inclined to tell you when they’re between jobs or celebrating a new success. In turn, you may be able to negotiate a longer lease and keep your best tenants around.
Stay on Top of Routine Maintenance
One of the best things you can do as a landlord is to stay on top of regular maintenance. If you haven’t had HVAC work done since autumn, it’s time for your spring inspection. Keeping up with things like HVAC inspections, appliance updates, and outdoor maintenance on your properties can make all the difference in supporting your tenants. Maybe the windows in one of your rental properties are old and falling apart. Taking the time to update that feature can make a world of difference in keeping your tenants happy and building trust with them. Not to mention all of this routine maintenance can help ease some utility burdens on your tenants.
Being a good landlord doesn’t have to be a challenge. Remember the human factor that connects all of us. When you think about your tenants as people just like you, it’s easy to support them and build trust. And when you do that, you’re more likely to keep your good tenants around for a long time.