Provide Good Customer Service
Remember, the tenant is your customer and they’re buying a service from you. Providing good customer service is the key to retaining good tenants and making sure they renew their leases.
Before the tenant even moves in, one good thing you can do is take good quality pictures and video of the unit. When the tenant is about to move in, bring a checklist and do a walkthrough with the tenant so that you’re both on the same page about its current condition. They’ll appreciate the attention to detail, and you’ll be able to better protect your investment. Have the tenant sign the checklist at the end and give them a copy.
After move-in, stay on top of maintenance requests. Set up a time to come and inspect damage if it’s not an emergency—many states have a required notification period—and make repairs as soon as you can. Not only does this show you respect your tenants’ needs, but it’s also good business. You don’t want to alienate good tenants by ignoring them when things are broken in their unit. Some states will also allow them to withhold rent, have the problem fixed themselves, and then deduct the repair cost from your rent. Even if you’re not in one of these states, you have a much better chance of keeping good tenants if you pay attention to maintenance issues.
Maintain good communication with your tenants, as well. You don’t need to smother them with attention, but you should be there if they need to contact you. Everyone should have your phone number and email address in case they have a problem. Include contact information for nighttime and outside business hours in case there’s an emergency. When someone does contact you, respond to them as soon as possible—remember, these are business interactions and require quick responses. Let everyone know ahead of time if you won’t be available for a period of time.
Not sure how to handle a tenant issue? Consult the lease first. Always follow the lease; it’s the one set of guidelines everyone involved has agreed on.