The relationship between a landlord and tenant is an important one. It’s a business relationship, meaning you need to learn how to work together- even if your personalities clash at times. Hopefully that’s not the case and you get along great, but that won’t always happen.
To ensure you maintain a great relationship, here are a few things that you, as the landlord (or property manager) can do.
Tip #1: Give Little Extras
Your tenant likely expects you to just do the minimum as a landlord. They probably expect you to keep the house maintained, handle any emergencies and dutifully collect that tasty rent check every month.
But what if you do a little more? For example, let’s say you find out that your tenant is having a baby. Taking them some kind of gift or doing something nice for them is a great gesture that they’ll appreciate. A few examples are
- Prepare a meal for them. This saves them from having to cook, so they can spend more time with the little one.
- A gift card- Starbucks is a great choice. Families with newborns don’t get much sleep!
- Cut the grass (if they normally do the lawn maintenance themselves.)
- Give them a nice baby toy, like a board book.
This applies to more than just having a child though. You can improve your landlord and tenant relationship by doing a number of other gestures, from inviting them over for a cookout to just sending them holiday cards.
Tip #2: Work with Them
Some tenants know they’ll be around for a long time. In that case, why not work with them to ensure they stay at your property and take good care of it? One way to do so is to offer a lower monthly rent in exchange for a longer contract. That’s a win-win because they save money while you can worry less about having to find a replacement tenant soon.
Other options include maintaining the lawn or doing upgrades around the house. Some tenants may be pretty handy and can save you a ton of money on updating the home. For example, if your tenant is a plumber, maybe you can work out a deal for them to update the bathroom for a lower price than if you found a contractor. They get an updated bathroom and money, while you get a more valuable property and save money.
They key here is to think outside the box! They probably won’t come up with these ideas themselves, so it’s your responsibility as the landlord to do the brainstorming.
Tip #3: Invest in Property Management Software
This is similar to giving them a “little extra,” but is more specific. A great piece of property management software will help both parties, as it makes it easy for them to pay rent and report maintenance requests. It also helps them keep track of important property management forms.
Most programs are cloud-based, meaning they can be accessed from anywhere. Even though your tenant probably won’t be logging on while vacationing across the country, they may appreciate being able to quickly take action on something whether they’re at home, work, or running errands.
Tip #4: Practice the Art of Small Talk
Getting along with people you do business with is just part of the game. This often requires small talk. Local sports teams, the weather, family, or big news events are all fair game.
Even though some people don’t like to chit-chat, it’s a good skill to learn. It helps open up the doors for more important things, and helps you stay connected. Even though your relationship may only have you talking once a month, that’s still 12 times a year! I have family members that live less than an hour away that I don’t even talk to that often.
At the end of the day, the landlord and tenant relationship is important to master if you plan on staying in the business for a long time. It does require some effort, but it’s well worth it.