Three Golden Rules to keep your Investment Property Tenanted.
by Daniel Morgan Part 1/3
Remember! Your Tenant is your Customer - and potentially your Best Friend!
“Treated fairly and with respect, your tenant will remain loyal and happy…and spread the word!”
In today’s world, the click of a mouse can provide access to information, products and services – ensuring that competitive pricing, customer care and quality of service dictates success. Loyalty becomes less of an issue with many people – and many property investors forget or don’t realise that tenants are such customers!
The current economic climate determines to many people ‘value for money’ with the biggest monthly ‘purchase’ a tenant is likely to make is with you, their landlord.
Now put yourself in their shoes - think about your biggest monthly expense... mortgage, car, and children’s education, etc… and regardless of what that expense is you expect to be treated fairly and responsibly. Imagine if, for example, your mortgage lender sending you a letter stating that in 2 months time they will increase your payments by £50! Would you accept the changes or shop
Of course I'm not saying you should never increase rent (In fact I recommend you review your rents every 6 months) but what I am saying is my first golden rule is to think of your tenants as clients! The longevity of your tenant is crucial to success and financial security in your property investment – and could also ensure prospective tenants in any new property purchased! Don’t forget ‘word of mouth’ tends to be the best advertisement!
As a company we treat our clients fairly and with respect. We can’t always give our clients what they want but by providing and maintaining regular contact I find they remain loyal and contented.
We contact our customers every month regardless of rent being paid - it only takes around 10-15 minutes but it provides 2 really important benefits:
1) It makes the tenant feel you care!
I have found that by treating tenants as individuals we get a much better understanding of their needs, and it also provides a good & friendly rapport, which also ensures a mutual respect and consideration of the property services you provide! For instance, we have some elderly widows who appreciate a call just to say “hi” or “How are you today?” Many landlords fear asking “is everything OK?” in case they get a long list of maintenance issues, but if you really fear these responses then maybe you need to look closely at your maintenance list! It’s quite easy to respond to these questions ‘diplomatically’ - if it’s a non-essential issue you can make an instant judgement for the benefit of good will, or politely state that it’s not a matter you can deal with right now, but will look at it within a few days. It doesn’t take much to satisfy your clients – just ensure they are dealt with respect and understanding!
2) It provides you with information on any potential problem(s) to come!
Forewarned is Forearmed! Tenants, like other people, ignore potential problems until they become big issues. Finding out, for instance, that a tenant has had their housing allowance stopped for a minor issue will provide you, the landlord, of an opportunity to try and put things right. Even by providing some advice, even if you can’t physically help in this matter, relates your concern to your client about them as individuals. It doesn’t take much to provide a solution to any problem!
Following these tips, and remembering who the client is, will make a big difference in the number of properties you need to replace tenants for. With responsible handling and understanding, your investment will be secure, healthy and profitable in the hands of tenants that feel you care. Always remember, like in all businesses, it’s harder to find new customers than keep existing ones!
It can be a difficult challenge finding good tenants so when you have them make sure you keep them as long as possible!
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