Becoming a landlord for the first time comes with a lot of excitement. Perhaps you have waited for this day for many years. It may have involved saving up a lot of money, improving your credit, or an exhaustive search for the right properties. Either way, you are going to want to do your best to get the process of being a good landlord right. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and each one comes with a long list of options. Check out the following ideas for how to make sure you are the best new landlord you can be, as well as some mistakes that some landlords make that end up costing them real money.
Communicate Clearly With Your Tenants
Communication is the foundation of any good relationship. Often, when a person engages in simple business interactions, sufficient communication is overlooked. The exchanges are basic, rudimentary and purely functional. However, communicating with your renters in this manner would be a big mistake. In order to understand the importance of genuine, sympathetic, effective communication, it would be helpful to look at the relationship from the perspective of your tenants. For them, there are certain expectations that they have and, for the most part, these tend to be reasonable. Communication that happens frequently enough for their needs is one of the things most renters expect. They have put a lot into choosing the right place to rent. This may have involved asking other renters, checking out rent statistics in the area, using a rent estimator tool, and the list goes on and on. All of this represents an investment in time and energy. Most renters expect this investment to pay dividends in the form of reliable communication that doesn’t require them to wait too long for an answer to an email, text, or phone call.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to communicating with your renters is the way renters see the transaction process. It could be argued that the renter is in dire need to the rental services of the landlord. This is somewhat true because the landlord is providing a roof over the renter’s head, after all. However, in today’s market, there are more and more options for renting, whether long term or short term. So you can expect your renters to have at least a slight sense of entitlement when it comes to communication. Do not make the mistake of thinking, “Well, they need me, so I’ll respond whenever I feel like it.” Renters can sense this kind of disrespect, and may start shopping for a new place if they are made to feel this way.
Go the Extra Mile With Little Things
Contrary to popular belief, rental income is not passive income. Yes, as a landlord, you’re not going to be working your properties like it’s a 9:00 to 5:00 job, but you should expect to be doing little things that tell the renters that you care about their business and their personal well being. For example, you can make sure the areas near their vehicles are kept free from debris. You can also be sure to get their opinions about small changes you are considering with regard to the property. This can be anything from using a different type of air freshener to employing a new landscaping company. While the renter shouldn’t be made to feel that he or she is the decision-maker, you can send out a brief survey to grab opinions and then say you will earnestly take their opinions into consideration.
Get the Right Meter
A rental meter needs to be individualized. Sometimes, the setup of a rental meter becomes obsolete due to expansions or renovation of the property. The rental meter may need to be changed if another apartment is added. Changing a rental meter in a timely fashion is going to help erase tenant anxiety about whether they are being charged too much for their utilities. There are also local regulations to keep in mind regarding a rental meter. It needs to be properly associated with the area of the property it is supposed to be reading. Its better to be safe than sorry. Keeping these tips in mind will help strengthen your relationships with your tenants.