Last modified on January 14th, 2016
By Aimee Miller
Keeping clients happy and satisfied is critical to the success of any business. In property management, your business is “closer to home” than many other businesses and consequently the importance of happy end-clients—your tenants—is amplified.
There are various reasons why a tenant may leave a building, and it’s your job to proactively keep them satisfied and guide them to staying for as long as possible. Holding on to tenants is more cost-effective than having vacant units, spending your time continually filling vacancies, and dealing with all the associated turnover costs. In addition, happy tenants tell their friends, family and co-workers, and they post positive reviews online. Prioritizing good relationships with your tenants is not just good business sense, it’s GREAT business sense.
To that end, the following are some tips to creating a great, lasting relationship with tenants:
Be responsive, courteous and attentive when tenants have inquiries. This is a simple and reliable way to have great relationships, and it’s what many of your tenants want most.
If a tenant has a problem or complaint, address it quickly or at the very least let them know right away when you will be addressing it. Tenants can become easily frustrated if their issues are not responded to in a timely manner, making their attitude towards the situation increasingly antagonistic as they wait to hear from you.
Amenities are viewed as key benefits by many tenants. Make sure your tenants are aware of all the benefits of living in the building, from free WIFI to upcoming neighborhood plans for new restaurants.
Everyone likes to be treated fairly, and renters soon become aware of the going rental rates in the area. Giving your tenants value with a rental price that is slightly below market value can be a powerful retention tool. If you need to increase rental rates, give your tenants the respect of an explanation as to the underlying reasons for the increased rates.
Respect Their Privacy
You may on occasion need to access a tenant’s unit for one reason or another. If you do, give them plenty of advance notice and make sure they are aware of the specific time you’ll need access. Do your best to limit this type of access to once annually.
Aim to continually improve the property with cosmetic improvements that enhance aesthetic appeal. This helps the tenants have pride in where they live, and shows your attention to detail. Even something as simple and easy as fresh flowers in the lobby can make a difference. For longer-term tenants, remember to offer a fresh coat of paint or a professional carpet cleaning every few years.