Happy tenants lead to happy rental property owners. When you have good tenants in place who are pleased with where they live, you can expect a better and more profitable rental experience. When your tenants are displeased, they are more likely to become difficult.
You want to establish and maintain a good relationship with your residents. Retaining great tenants increases what you earn because it prevents vacancy and turnover costs.
Smart landlords will establish expectations with their tenants before the keys are handed over and the lease agreement signed. Once you have your tenants in place, work on the relationship throughout the tenancy. Be responsive and available, and let them know you value their business.
Historically, landlords and tenants have been seen as opposing forces engaged in a constant struggle.
It doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.
Here’s how to build a better relationship with your tenants in New York City.
Good Tenant Relationships Lead to On-Time Rental Payments
Tenants who are pleased with their rental home pay rent on time.
Tenants who are disgruntled with their landlord or their ignored maintenance requests or their lack of amenities and attention will not be in a hurry to pay rent on time.
If you have a good relationship in place, you’re more likely to have rent paid on time.
Good Tenant Relationships Lead to Better Maintenance Teamwork
Let your tenants know that you want to have even minor issues reported right away. If you have a good relationship with your residents, they won’t hesitate to let you know when something is wrong. Tenants who are nervous about their landlords will not want to be forthcoming when something breaks or needs to be replaced. You don’t want to put your property at risk this way.
Less Tenant Turnover With Good Landlord/Tenant Relationships
You want to keep your good tenants in place, renewing their lease agreements year after year.
A good relationship will enable you to talk about this without any pressure. Your tenants will appreciate the open dialogue and they’re likely to consider staying for longer than tenants who have no relationship with you at all.
Make Your Move-In Process Easy
So, now that you understand the importance of a good tenant relationship, how do you establish one?
Provide them with as much information ahead of time as possible. Discuss the lease agreement and answer all their questions. Make sure they are prepared for their responsibilities and give them a brief introduction and orientation to the building and the neighborhood. Show them how to turn the appliances on and where they can find laundry, trash, and parking.
Your residents need to know how they should pay rent and what they’re responsible for in terms of maintenance and landscaping. All that information should be in the lease, but if you talk about it, you can reinforce those things and demonstrate your willingness to communicate.
Good Communication Leads to Better Tenant Relationships
You can’t have a good tenant relationship without good tenant communication. Improve how you communicate with your residents by being available and accessible to tenants when they have a question or a problem. Answer your phone. Return your emails. Be willing to respond.
This starts during the marketing of your apartment unit. When someone gets in touch about your apartment listing, don’t delay getting back to them to schedule a showing.
It’s also helpful to communicate with your tenants in ways they prefer. You might have tenants who prefer texting and instant messaging to phone calls. Property managers have the advantage of providing online portals, which makes communication easy and well-documented. Be willing to communicate in whatever way works for your residents. There will be fewer communication failures.
Maintenance Always Matters With Tenant Relationships
Set up a system for reporting maintenance so your tenants know how to reach you. For emergencies, ask them to call you right away, or as soon as it’s safe for them to do so. When it comes to routine maintenance, a written request is better because you have something in writing that establishes when the request came in.
Make sure your vendors are willing to invest in good tenant relationships as well. You want them to be respectful of your tenant’s time and property.
Good Technology Helps with Tenant Relationships
Technology is at the front of everything we do these days. Tenants will expect a tech-driven rental experience. They’ll want to pay rent online, they’ll want to submit maintenance requests online, and they’ll want to be able to access lease documents and other information electronically.
Online rental payments are the preferred method of payment for most tenants today. Talk to them about how to pay rent and when it’s due and ways they can pay.
Improve Your New York Rental Property
Your tenant relationship will improve when your property does.
While preventative maintenance is always important, going a step further will get the attention of your residents and keep them in place. Your tenants want to live in a property that’s attractive and comfortable.
Replace out-of-date appliances, for example. If you’re called to fix a refrigerator or a dishwasher, consider replacing instead of fixing it again if it’s due to be replaced. Your residents will appreciate a new, energy-efficient appliance. Make sure the walls have fresh paint, and consider your tenant’s requests when they ask for something like new carpet or pest control.
Make Reasonable Rental Increases
As we said earlier, moving can be a pain. No one wants to do it unless there’s a good reason to.
If you’ve provided a good rental experience and you have a good relationship in place with your tenants, you can likely expect them to renew their lease agreement when the tenancy is over.
Most tenants in New York understand that their rent will likely go up every year. But, you don’t want to chase your good tenants away with an unreasonably large rental increase.
Losing a good tenant is going to cost you more than keeping the rent the same or raising it less than you need to. Pay attention to the market and prioritize retaining your best residents.
If you’d like to hand over the entire tenant relationship to an experienced property manager, we can help. Please contact us at Krieger Property Management. We’re a full-service property management company in New York City.