It seems so simple, but somehow landlords and their property managers often forget that the tenant is the customer in this business. How many businesses treat their customers with disdain and expect to be successful?
Treat your tenants with respect; be considerate of the fact that the property is their home, and they will generally show you the same courtesy in return. Remember, these are the people you rely on to sustain the asset that pays everyone’s wages.
Happy tenants are more likely to look after the premises, pay their rent on time and allow random strangers to wander through their home at the end of a lease.
Communication equals cooperation, so you need to be amicable, approachable and professional in all dealings, and most importantly in 2018 you need to have access to the latest automated systems.
If your using either a standalone old-style server based trust system or a lightweight cloud product to manage property then you’ll be struggling. At present the best solution is a Trust Product (like REST or Console) backed up by a comprehensive system like the Cloud hosted OurProperty platform.
The following five things are what US based expert Michael Yardney believes that tenants hate the most when dealing with landlords and property managers.
1. Being treated like a 2nd class citizen
No one likes to feel disrespected. If a tenant believes the property manager they’re dealing with treats them badly, problems are more likely to occur during the tenancy as the lines of communication start to disintegrate.
Many landlords these days will find out how the property manager handles conflict and complaints by throwing a few examples their way and measuring their response. Landlords want a property manager who solves conflict not creates it.
2. Left to hang
Being ignored is another common bugbear. Let’s face it, we all hate being told ‘someone will get back to you’ and that just never eventuates.
Even if the response is, ‘We’re sorry but the landlord isn’t agreeable to your request,’ every query presented by your tenants deserves a timely response.
Here’s the tip. People forget things no matter how good they are at their job, you need solid automated systems and processes in place if you want great communication.
3. Bad management of maintenance requests
Quick and efficient processing of all maintenance requests received from tenants should be your number one priority.
If your trying to run maintenance using a manual or old server-based system then you have no hope of getting this right.
You need an established protocol around how to proceed in addressing different issues, along with specific instructions with regard to the extent of your delegated authority.
You need a system that brings the tenant, landlord and property manager together, so everyone is in the loop and decisions can be quickly made and executed.
Remember, you are legally obligated to maintain the property investment in safe, liveable repair, so this is an area you literally cannot afford to ignore.
4. Being kept in the dark
In this day and age, it’s inexcusable to not be advising the progress and approval of a repair or other type of tenant request. You need automated systems that ensure this happens, every time.
This is an area where renters experience significant frustration in many instances.
If something is taking a little longer to organise than anticipated, or requires multiple visits from tradespeople to obtain quotes, it’s essential that your tenants be kept in the loop and informed as to what’s going on. Again, you need automated systems in place.
5. Rent rises
While you’re entitled to increase the rent in line with market fundamentals, how the property manager approaches an increase can either make it more palatable to tenants or alienate them entirely.
By the time the question of an increase arises, a professional property manager will have established a good rapport with the tenants and have sent out a detailed CMA justifying a rent review that explains comparable rental prices in the area, making your tenant more likely to sign on for another year and less likely to pack their bags and head out the door, feeling hard done by.
The bottom line is, treat your tenants how you would like to be treated and make sure your property manager is doing the same. Most of us have all been tenants ourselves at some stage, so use that experience to display a little empathy for your residents and you’ll find it goes a long way in maximising your portfolio’s returns.
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