If you own a property or are a property manager, you’re already aware that good tenants can be hard to find. All the more reason for you to look after the good ones to ensure they stay in your property longer.
It's not unusual to hear landlords and property managers bemoaning renters, but there are compelling reasons why you shouldn't.
After all, your tenants are a crucial part of helping you pay off your investment mortgage and secure your financial future – if they’re paying their rent on time, looking after your asset as if it were their own and helping you build equity and cash flow you’ve got some serious motivation to keep them happy.
- Good tenants save you money. It’s far less costly to maintain a longterm relationship with excellent tenants than finding new ones at the end of every lease. Each time you need to re-lease your property, you'll need to pay advertising costs, letting fees, agent fees, and admin fees. You also have to weigh up the cost of covering your mortgage payments if the property is empty for some time. All these elements add up to a serious dent in your bank balance that you could have avoided by making your tenants feel so comfortable in the rental property they didn't want to leave.
- Good tenants save your sanity. Finding the right tenant can be a time consuming and anxiety-producing process. If your property’s empty, you might be tempted to take the first likely option that applies just to keep payments coming in – and that can lead to disaster. When rental properties are at a premium, it pays to offer incentives to good tenants to discourage them from moving on – consider waiving a rental increase for another year if they renew, or offsetting a hike with a property refresh, like a fresh coat of paint, carpets or fixtures. You could also throw in extra services that save them leisure time, like getting a gardener in regularly to take care of the lawns.
- Good tenants save you in maintenance fees. When your tenant is happy with the state of your property, they're less likely to look for somewhere else to live. Make sure the home is well maintained, and all appliances work correctly – if your tenants feel they can get a better deal elsewhere, they will. Keep lines of communication open, ensure you get on top of urgent repairs quickly and schedule regular inspections (but not too many or you risk making your tenants feel uneasy in their personal space. Twice a year is adequate.) where they can raise issues easily. This shows the tenant that you’re proactive in keeping them happy and maintaining the home in which they’ve chosen to live.
With real estate rising beyond what would-be homeowners can afford, more people are renting than ever for the long term. When you find a great tenant, nurture them – they can be worth their weight in gold by decreasing your investment costs and helping to set you on the road to wealth creation.