Looking for tenants can be stressful, but so is looking for a new place to rent. Property owners who put extra effort into welcoming new tenants and responding to their concerns will come out on top in online reviews. With experience and the right property management, property owners soon learn how to ensure a perfect rental experience for your tenants.
Your tenants form an impression of your property and your services as a property owner from the moment they first contact you to express interest. Make sure the first impression is a good one. Follow up quickly and respond to questions promptly and accurately. Make sure lines of communication are clear from the start. A property owner or property management company that is difficult to contact and unresponsive to inquiries will put prospective tenants off before they ever sign a lease.
When you have found and screened your new tenant and they’ve signed a lease, make sure you give the property a full inspection and cleaning. Especially during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis of 2020, it’s important to give tenants confidence that their new home is clean and move-in ready. Leaving a supply of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and maybe some toilet paper in a starter kit may be greatly appreciated.
In addition to a small amount of basic supplies, prepare a welcome packet for your tenants that includes all the practical information about keys, setting up utilities, garbage pickup, parking, and how the security system works. Add neighborhood information about nearby grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as pizza places and restaurants that offer curbside pick-up and delivery. Reassure them about what steps you are taking to ensure their safety, with social distancing and requiring any service providers to wear masks.
In the era of social distancing, make sure you are using technology to the minimize the necessity of in-person contact. Tenants should be able to pay rent and request maintenance online. If you use a property management company, they should be providing these online services. Good service from your property manager is critical to retaining good tenants, and technology provides an easy means of no-contact communication for your tenants. Monitor the number of complaints about responsiveness, maintenance, or professionalism directed at your property manager. If they’re on the rise, it may be time to look for a new property management team.
Seek feedback and check in with your tenants every few months. This is especially important during times of economic uncertainty. Your tenants need to know you care about them as people, not just as a source of income. An excellent rental experience for your tenants, where they know you care and will work with them as best you can through tough times, will help you garner positive reviews and renewed leases.