Most movies and TV shows make it seem as though landlords and tenants never get along. They depict landlords as greedy people who never listen to their tenants, while they show tenants to be irresponsible and messy. Thankfully, the stereotypes are not always true, and it is possible to foster a positive relationship with your tenants. Read on to learn how.
Understand Why Positive Relationships Are Important
Keeping tenants happy isn’t every landlord’s priority, but it should be if you want to maximize your rental property’s earnings. Tenant turnover—which happens when tenants are unhappy—is a huge expense for property owners. When units go unoccupied, you don’t make money. Also, you have to pay someone to clean each unit between occupants, which can really add up when your tenants don’t stay long.
On the other hand, happy tenants tend to stick around longer. Since they know the quirks of the property, they’re also less likely to call in maintenance requests. Ultimately, they help make a property feel like a community.
Be Clear About Expectations
The first step in fostering a positive relationship with your tenants is to communicate all information as clearly as possible. Ideally, you should put everything in the lease and stick to it. If you want to raise rent prices every year to counteract inflation, mention that in the lease, too. People are less likely to complain about things they know to expect.
Be Professional But Kind
When you’re a landlord, you often deal with people in their lowest moments. Someone might not have the money to pay rent because they lost their job or because of unexpected hospital bills. Cars break down, people get sick, couples divorce; your tenants’ problems are not yours to solve, but you can treat them with kindness, even if they’re being rude. You never know what people are dealing with.
Communicate Good Things
If you only talk to your tenants when they’ve violated a policy, they’ll start to associate you with negativity. You’ll have better interactions if you also share information about good things, like local events and upgrades to the property. Things like holiday giveaways and charity drives can also help foster a sense of positivity.
Many of your relationships with your tenants will revolve purely around business matters, but it’s good to remember that your tenants are people, not just financial data. If you go out of your way to treat them like humans, they’ll be more likely to respond in kind.