Surprising to many, the U.S. has seen a slight reduction in the U.S. apartment rentals so far in 2023. And while it may be down only 1.2%, that gap will likely increase as the recession drags on.
This means landlords must ensure tenant satisfaction to secure and retain their ideal residents. But how do you do this effectively? In this guide, we’ll disclose how to become a property manager or landlord that tenants appreciate (and choose to rent from) for years to come.
Of course, lasting tenant-landlord relationships are built on friendly, timely, and professional communication from day one. But beyond crystal clear communication, we’ll unpack four more tenant management tips to increase tenant retention and satisfaction.
The four tenant management tips below will quickly improve any tenant management system. Beyond these tips, we recommend investing in coveted tenant amenities to enhance the quality of living for everyone at your property.
A lease agreement is the perfect place to lay out legal and practical expectations. Whether you’re renting to new tenants or working with a property management company for the first time, contracts between parties should always include details about the following:
By addressing common tenant-landlord conflict points up front, you avoid future issues and disagreements down the line. No one wants to go through a painful eviction process due to easily avoidable issues.
Most landlords already know that it’s more time-consuming and expensive to fill a vacant rental property than to renew a lease with satisfied tenants every few years. So, it makes practical and financial sense to create a tenant screening process that helps you find the perfect long-term tenants the first time.
Within any carefully crafted screening process, you’ll ask the following questions:
Many landlords prefer not to create tenant screening processes from scratch since it can be tedious and time-consuming. An alternative is to partner with a highly-recommended tenant screening company, like Buildium, that ensures all tentative residents are screened fairly and efficiently.
Property managers often use this software as part of their professional toolkit. Combined with their experience in tenant screening from previous properties they’ve managed, working with an expert can give you a leg up in vetting applicants thoroughly yet quickly so you don’t lose them to the competition.
Once you’ve established expectations by outlining them explicitly in your well-crafted lease agreement, it’s easy to resolve occasional tenant issues by continuing your stellar communication. You can also sidestep future conflicts by conducting a thorough inspection and walkthrough with new tenants on move-in day. This confirms to both parties that all fixtures and amenities are in good working condition and that the property is safe for habitation.
Services like Citizen Home Solutions can even get your tenants set up with the utilities they need upon move-in. That means a smoother move-in for new residents and less time-consuming back-and-forth communication for you.
A final recommendation for resolving issues before they arise is to conduct straightforward onboarding with tenants during their first few months of occupancy. This will ensure they understand their duties and responsibilities toward the property.
From day one, landlords and property managers should enforce clear procedures for:
You can also build quality tenant relationships by offering incentives to reward tenants for good behaviors, such as:
While the tenant-landlord relationship is a two-way street built on a foundation of quality communication, that foundation is supported by a strong legal understanding of everyone’s rights regarding the rented property.
Laws vary slightly by state, so you’ll want to comply with your own state's rules and regulations through thorough research or by partnering with a property management company.
Understanding local rental law and federal measures like the Fair Housing Act will assist in creating a well-written contract that protects all parties involved, which requires a landlord to know their limits and restrictions regarding the property.
Of course, tenant management isn’t a one-time, check-the-box activity but rather a continual investment in your tenants and real estate business. You’ll want to stay on top of rental property trends through continual research or partnering with a property manager.
Working with a local property management company means you can skip the research phase since they’ll know how to implement simple, streamlined systems, such as software to facilitate rent collection.
While cultivating quality tenant relationships starts with being a clear and communicative landlord, it’s supported by a superb tenant screening process, a solid lease agreement, quick response times, and respecting the rights of everyone.
If you’re overwhelmed by tenant management and looking to partner with a professional property manager in your local area, allow us to introduce you to over 2,000 quality companies to find your perfect match.