Investor tip for Landlords – Take care of your tenants!
Look After your Tenants
Most of us at some stage or another, have been in the “renting scene”.
As a tenant, you can come across some really bad deals, when it comes to renting options. What can make it worse, is having a Landlord who doesn’t look after his property or tenants very well.
With the amount of money people need to spend on living expenses including rent, it is getting tougher to find a great renting experience.
Happy tenants = consistent income
My challenge to you is to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
Not only is it sound advice to keep your property in the best possible shape, it also makes it more attractive for tenants. When tenants see that a place is well maintained, it helps them gain a sense of pride when living there. When this happens, it’s a win-win for you and your tenants.
However, this is going to require some effort, and perhaps a little more money than just covering the bare minimum. Remember, everything you spend is a tax deduction. If you have an older property, this could potentially require a lot of work. You may even need to consider a comprehensive renovation, or at least make some improvements to the property.
Some things you may want to consider:
1.Is the carpet/flooring in good condition?
2.Do the walls/ceilings need re-painting?
3.Are the curtains and blinds looking a little worse for wear?
4.Are the kitchen and bathrooms functioning as they should? Eg. Are there any leaks, are taps easy to turn off/on, do cupboards need repair?
5.Installing/maintaining air-conditioning units is highly rated by many tenants and can be the difference between them renting your property or another.
6.Updating/installing internet access – also a highly sought after factor by many tenants.
7.At times, it may be important to consider a new paint colour, or re-surfacing tiles in a different colour just to keep up with the times and be more relevant to potential tenants. The property may be in great condition, but there is only so much tenants can do with matching their favourite modern furnishings/decor to old-time themes.
8.Plus anything else that would make the property more attractive to tenants.
Go the extra mile
We have just bought a new house – it has all new fittings and is close to perfect. But we wanted to go a little beyond that and give the tenants something more. So we decided to install solar panels. This is a major advantage for them, as it saves them money on electricity.
This is a BIG advantage to me, because now my house is more desirable. When tenants are looking for a house in a marketplace that generally offers basically all the same features, our house will stand out – free/cheap electricity.
I had to lay out a few thousand dollars in installation, but my tenants are more likely to decide to stay year after year, knowing that moving elsewhere could potentially increase their living costs. They will enjoy summer with the air conditioner blasting away, and live as comfortably as they want.
The goal is Win-Win
There are upsides to looking after your property and your tenants:
1.You will find tenants quicker – you need that rent coming in.
2.Tenants will sign again year after year, thus increasing your rental income.
3.There will be no gaps in between tenants.
4.You will not have to pay agent fees for every new tenant – usually 1 week’s rent. For example, if your tenants move out and it takes three weeks to find a new tenant, you lose four weeks rental income.
5.Peace of mind – your property is in its best possible shape. Maintaining as you go along can save some big expensive bills when jobs become urgent and have caused more significant damage that could have been avoided. Also, if you ever need to sell the property, you can rest assured that you are up to date as possible with any potential issues.
6.Your tenants will look after your property more. If they can see that it has been well looked after, they will continue to look after it for you. Tenants are also likely to feel frustrated if they feel they are not heard and their requests are not responded to within a reasonable timeframe. This can also lead to tensions in the relationship, which you really want to avoid wherever possible. Do not believe all the hype in the media about bad tenants. Yes I agree that there are some bad tenants out there. But mostly they are good people just getting by in life.
7.Look after your tenants, and they will look after your property, your biggest investment and your future wealth.
My wife and I decided that it would be a wonderful idea to leave a welcome gift for every new tenant. This is a small house-warming gift – a set of wine glasses, a plant, a picture frame or some other homely gift. We usually leave a welcome card as well, encouraging them to make the place their home.
We also let them know to contact the Real Estate agent as soon as there is a problem that needs to be fixed. We want them to know that we are there for them. This makes the whole experience for the tenant more welcoming. It can also, on some levels create a bond between the tenant and landlord. The tenants will appreciate the gesture and feel valued, thus more inclined to look after the house.