When you’re renting out a home in Santa Rosa or anywhere in Sonoma County, it’s important that you develop and maintain a good relationship with your residents. A lot of landlords expect an adversarial relationship with tenants, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, you’ll have a more pleasant and profitable rental experience if you treat your tenants like the paying customers they are.
A good tenant relationship will reduce late rent and cut down the risk of deferred maintenance or property damage. You’re more likely to sign a lease renewal with tenants who appreciate and respect you, and that’s going to keep your vacancy and turnover costs down.
Here are some of the tips we have as professional Santa Rosa property managers on how to improve your tenant relationships.
Provide a Great Move-In Experience
Your relationship begins long before the lease is signed. When you’re showing your home and collecting applications, make sure you set a conversational and open tone with prospective renters. Let them know you’re available for questions, and then answer those questions promptly. Walk them through the lease agreement and make sure all expectations and responsibilities are understood.
During the move-in process, it’s not unusual for tenants to feel stressed. Make things as easy for them as possible. Make sure they can access the property when they expect to and provide resources on setting up utilities and registering their kids for school. Provide a handbook, video, or information sheet on the neighborhood and how things work in the home.
Make sure they get a copy of your move-in inspection report so they can sign off on it and make any notes of their own.
Be Responsive with Maintenance Requests
When you treat every repair request – even non-emergencies – with a sense of urgency, tenants will notice and appreciate it. Taking care of things right away is good for your relationship because tenants will understand that you care about them and their comfort.
Work with a good team of vendors and contractors who can be trusted to treat your tenants well and make reliable repairs. Provide an online system of making maintenance requests so tenants can do so easily and conveniently. Follow up to make sure the work was done.
Maintenance is a touchy subject for a lot of tenants, and one of the main reasons residents leave after their initial lease term. Use maintenance responsiveness as a way to strengthen your relationship with tenants and increase retention.
Communicate Openly and Transparently
Tenants have no patience for landlords who avoid their calls and emails. You can’t have a good relationship without good communication.
Ignoring calls or messages tells your residents that they aren’t important. What if they treat your property with the same lack of care and attention?
Building relationships requires good communication. Be open. Be flexible. You want them to feel comfortable calling you when a repair is needed and if they’re going to be late on rent one month, it’s better for you to know ahead of time rather than after the fact. Set the baseline for this kind of proactive communication by remaining available and accessible to your tenants.
These are just a few ideas on how to improve your tenant relationships. We can tell you more about this or anything pertaining to property management in Santa Rosa and the surrounding areas. Contact us at Prestige Real Estate & Property Management. We’re your property management experts in Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa, Windsor, Sebastopol, Petaluma, and Rohnert Park.