It is important to build the best relationship you can with your tenants – they are so valuable, they are the people providing you with your business and income
Building better relationships will mean that your tenants will be more likely to care about your property and want to keep it in a good condition.
If something does go wrong, your tenants will feel they can report issues straight away. If a small issue was to go unnoticed and later developed into a bigger issue it could prove to be a costly fix in the future. We have put together a list of considerations when looking at building positive tenant relationships.
The beginning of great tenant relations: Tips that will build better relationships
Ensure your tenants feel wanted: Small things like a card at Christmas and on their birthday may seem obvious, but they can make a big difference. Similarly, making a note of things that crop up in conversation so you can address these in the future will let them know they are more than just another tenant. Going the extra mile for your tenants can make all the difference in the world, good tenants are hard to find so you want to try and keep them on your side.
Put yourself in their shoes: For landlords the property in question is seen as an investment, tenants on the other hand see it as a home. The difference between the two is stark and failing to recognise the disparity can lead to other problems, be compassionate and understanding. Take a step back and consider how you would feel if you were in your tenants’ shoes.
Tenants may have different values: It’s important to remember that the things important to you may not be important to your tenant. Your tenant could be in any number of difficult financial situations, we’ve all been a day or two late with bills before. Keep in mind that your tenant is human, but be careful not to allow irresponsible behaviour to become a habit. Being understanding and being taken advantage of are very different things – being able to empathise more with tenants is something all landlords would benefit from.
Find better ways of communication: Communication is definitely key in tenant relations, but getting the balance right between being available and coming across as overbearing and interfering is the most important factor. Your tenant will want to feel at home in your property, so that means leaving them in peace. That being said, you don’t want to come across as disinterested or uncaring, so a quick call or text every six weeks or so to check that everything is okay is usually a safe bet.
Take charge: Waiting for tenants to come to you with problems can be a misguided strategy in terms of protecting your investment, and it’ll also do very little for the relationship with your tenant. Instead, why not be proactive and take charge of the situation? We’ve already touched upon the regular call to ensure everything is as it should be with the tenant and it’s this short conversation that’ll allow you to ask if anything needs attention in the property. You’ll give your tenant a green light to ask about a minor repair that could, if left, become a big problem. This will build confidence between you and your tenant, and could save money.
Listen to and act on feedback: Asking for feedback is something all big corporations do these days, and you should do the same with your tenants. Getting honest observations and constructive criticism from those who matter is vital if you want to improve your business, but you need to act on what’s being said.
Remember not to take negatives personally: They are there to help you get better and grow your business, so assess all comments and act accordingly. You’ll be amazed how dramatic an impact this one simple step can have.
Share some of the responsibilities: Regardless of standard policy or rules, try to share responsibilities with your tenant. For example, if your tenant needs extermination services consider paying for the first round of services. The output cost is low, but the value to the tenant is high.
Let your tenants know if you are planning to go on leave: No tenant will ever be upset about over communicating. Talking openly with your tenant will help them realise that you are available whenever needed, which will avoid awkward situations like waiting to raise any minor issues. If your tenant contacts you about something that needs repairing, give a response even if there is no immediate solution. Let your tenants know that you are working on the situation and that you will touch base frequently until the problem is solved.
If you have great tenants – keep them happy! Good tenants are hard to find, the cost of finding new tenants is often greater than doing the smaller, thoughtful things.
If you are a landlord and all of the above has got you excited, great. If not, and it all seems a bit daunting, you might want to consider hiring a property manager to handle the relationship with your tenants for you.
If you would like to speak to an experienced member of our lettings team for let property in Cornwall, please get in touch.