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6 Tips To Retaining Good Tenants By Building Relationships
It is common for marketers to preach that it cost much less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. It is much easier to achieve the former than the latter too. Keeping an existing client will require less effort and save a bucket load of time as well. Of course in this instance, we are talking about good clients instead of those you cannot wait to get off your service list. An existing client will also have a track record for you to make a judgement.
You clients are your tenants and it can really pay off if you are able to retain good tenants in the long run. Tenants move and relocate for all sorts of reasons. But what you can be sure of, is that people are willing to pay for value even though a price could be on the high side.
At tenancy renewal, landlords can offer a renewal. But it also depends on whether the tenant is willing to take up an offer as well. So in terms of negotiating power, it splits both ways at 50/50. This means that what you have done over the previous tenancy period to build and maintain the relationship becomes a critical factor for tenants to consider whether to renew or not. This takes up to the obvious question.
How to keep tenants happy?
Be responsive. The stealthy skill of ignoring phone calls when something is wrong has been in use for a long time. Many times, your tenants call you to make sure you are aware of problems so that steps can be taken to address them. They are not calling you to give you a dressing down or declare you as the worst landlord on earth. When there are issues that cannot be solved immediately, tenants understand that. You just need to give assurances that problems are being fixed at the moment. Responsiveness means to answer phone calls, return missed calls, reply to emails, etc. Even if you think that responding does not make sense in many cases. But most times, it is just the act of responding that give people the confidence that you know what is happening and how to fix things.
Consistency. Many tenants think that the only time where landlords go out of the way to entertain and serve them is the time before a deal being agreed. This may be just a joke. But it is something that you should take note off. If you behave in a manner which you know you would not be able to consistently maintain over the long term, the best thing is to not behave that way. Because you conceptualize expectations that you are unable to consistently keep up. The best practice is to devise a set of professional and courteous standards to follow throughout a relationship with a tenant.
Action. If you have a managed tenants before you will know that they can contact you at the oddest hours with the weirdest requests. If it is at a reasonable time, you should act on it immediately or as soon as a reasonable hours of action arrives. When an issue is classified as an emergency, you will have to take immediate action no matter what time of the day or night it is. It is times like these where your clients start to label you are superhuman and see you in a different light.
Own your responsibilities. It is not enough to take responsibility of your property. You have to OWN it. Nobody will have the same passion as you do for your properties. And you cannot expect others to be. This is more of a mindset which will glow in your aura once you nail it down. The mindset to embed in your head is that the property belongs to you and it is your responsibility to actively make sure tenants enjoy living in them and have the best experiences with them. You are not just someone who has a vacant home and lease it out for someone to live in. If success is a mindset, this is it for landlords.
Under promise and over deliver. Never should you promise anything that is outside the scope of your contract unless special circumstances require you to do so. And when you do make these promises, remember to promise little and deliver in excess. This is not about playing around with people’s thoughts. This concept is being taught in marketing classes all over the world. Even the best organizations providing the best customer experiences have to control how much they deliver. This is so that clients do not go overboard with expectations that the organizations are unable to meet.
Reward good behavior. This is actually a very useful tool that many landlords do not use. There a lot of psychology going on when you reward someone. We will not go into that. But basically, tenants will be happy when they find that they are rewarded for good behavior or reaching certain milestones. For example, you can give a discount when they pay rental early. Or you can promise a new television set once the tenancy reaches the thirteenth month. These small light hearted games make people feel good about working with you.
The key to crafting a great relationship with your tenants so that they will remain as your tenants when the lease expires, is a balancing act of giving enough but not too much. Keep the point above in mind if retaining good tenants is indeed part of your strategy. Some landlords prefer to change tenants all the time. There is nothing wrong with that if you prefer it that way.