Every landlord or property management company has faced unhappy tenants. One of the challenges of managing a property is making sure tenants are satisfied with the living experience.
Happy tenants are good for business and can make all the difference in providing a smooth rental experience. When tenants are satisfied with their living situation and the property management company, they tend to stick around longer and refer the company to friends and family.
Loyal, long-term tenants cut down on the cost of tenant turnover and advertising the vacancy for new renters and possibly missing a month of rental income. Happy tenants also tend to take better care of their rental properties because they are proud to live there, which can reduce the cost of repairs and lost security deposits.
Keeping tenants happy also builds the reputation of the property management company and makes it a place people want to rent from. When tenants know they can trust your company to deliver on promises and create a safe and welcoming living environment, they are more likely to remain at your property.
Here are 10 ways to deliver a happy tenant experience:
Provide a Clear Lease Agreement
Set the tone for a good relationship with a clear lease agreement. The document should spell out everything about the lease, including the monthly rent price and security deposit, what utilities are covered, and how to pay rent.
The lease agreement should also clearly state the responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord. In most cases, the tenant agrees to pay rent by the set date each month and follow the outlined rules. The landlord and property management company then agree to provide a safe and well-maintained place to live.
It is better to ere on the side of including too many details in the lease agreement to make sure both parties are on the same page about any issues that may arise. A clear lease agreement shows the tenant that the property management company is organized and professional.
The number one complaint from renters about their landlord is poor communication. It can be incredibly frustrating for tenants to have to work overtime to get ahold of someone at the property management office or to have to wait days for their call or text to be returned.
The best way to keep tenants happy is to be available and responsive through phone, email, text, and in person. If a tenant wants to reach the property management company they should be able to quickly get a response and find the information they need. That includes having a way for tenants to reach you for emergency issues, such as emergency repairs or lockouts. Being responsive can go a long way in creating happy tenants.
Be Fair and Consistent
Property management companies need to set rules to protect their properties and keep tenants safe. Most tenants understand that, but they also want the rules to be enforced clearly without special treatment given to certain people.
To keep tenants happy, have clear policies about the rules of the rental property. Policies may include if pets are allowed, if there are any quiet hours, and if the walls can be painted. Be sure to enforce these rules fairly and evenly to all tenants.
Discriminating against certain tenants because of their race, gender, nationality, or many other factors is illegal. But beyond that, showing unfair treatment of any kind can make other tenants feel left out and unhappy. Aim to be consistent and offer the same experience and rules to every resident.
Be fair but also be reasonable. Tenants are much more likely to be happy and build a good relationship with a property management company that is human and makes a personal connection instead of one that just enforces the rules without mercy.
Follow Through on Property Maintenance
Another common complaint from tenants is when property management companies don’t follow through on property maintenance. The rental agreement should clearly state who is responsible for maintaining common areas, including landscaping and snow removal.
Property management companies need to keep their properties in good condition. This could include updating appliances or other features. Aside from creating a better place for tenants to live, good property maintenance also improves the value of the property, which is a win for landlords.
For best results, perform proactive property inspections to check on the units and perform tune-ups and smaller repairs before things turn into larger issues that are more difficult for tenants.
Quickly Fix Repairs
A big reason many people choose to rent instead of buying a home is that they don’t want to be responsible for repairs when things break. To keep tenants happy, the property management company needs to quickly fix repairs.
Some repairs will need to be fixed right away to provide a safe place for tenants to live, such as if the heater or air conditioning goes out during extreme weather. Other repairs need to be fixed in a timely manner but don’t require an emergency response.
No matter the type of repair, have a process in place for tenants to report an issue and ensure clear communication about when it will be fixed. Property management companies need to stick to their word and show up to make repairs when promised.
Deliver on Amenities
Many tenants choose a rental property based on the amenities, such as a great backyard or outdoor space, access to a grill or pool, or a community room or secure bike locks. It can be incredibly frustrating for tenants when those amenities don’t meet their expectations and they feel like they are paying for a feature they can’t fully take advantage of.
Not every property needs to have luxurious amenities, but the property management company needs to deliver on the promised amenities. That means keeping areas maintained and open and ensuring tenants have access to all the extra features of the space.
Encourage Tenant Referrals
When tenants are happy with a rental property, they likely want to encourage friends and family to live there too. Property management companies can take advantage of this by encouraging tenant referrals and even offering incentives for filling vacancies.
A referral program benefits both parties. It provides tenants a way to refer potential neighbors and get a discount on rent while also helping the property management company fill vacancies, potentially reducing the cost of finding a new tenant.
Offering tenants a rent discount or prize for referring friends and family helps tenants feel valued and like an important part of the rental community.
Incentivize Long-Term Leases
Happy tenants will want to stay at the property longer, which is good news for the property management company, as it cuts down on the high cost of tenant turnover. Retain good tenants who pay rent on time and follow the rules with incentives.
Reward loyal tenants with perks like locked-in or discounted rent or updated units. Offering a reduced rental rate for a one or two year lease provides tenants with consistency. When tenants know they won’t have to move or pay more for rent, it ensures that reliable tenants stick around.
Be Honest and Transparent
Landlords and property management companies often get a bad rap as being shady or dishonest. Break the stereotype by being honest and transparent in everything you do. Provide tenants with updates about the property, especially if changes or maintenance are going to occur.
Being transparent is especially important when raising the rent. Most people understand that rent prices tend to increase over time, but they want to be given enough notice to move or adjust their budget if needed.
The last thing you want to do is a sneaky rent increase, which can turn tenants away and create animosity between tenants and the property management company.
Respect Tenant Privacy
Although the property management company owns the house or condo, tenants are paying to rent the space and consider it their own area. Respect tenant privacy by giving notice before arriving and making sure that they will be home.
Schedule repairs for times that won’t disrupt tenants and be aware of their needs and living situations. Be sure to give adequate notice prior to entering the unit for any kind of inspection or repair.
Property management companies also have access to a lot of personal information. Tenants are trusting the company with that information, and the company needs to respect their privacy by not sharing or selling personal information or talking about tenants to other people.
These 10 ways to keep tenants happy show the impact of a good property management company. When tenants are satisfied with their living experience and landlord, it creates a better experience for everyone.