Smart landlords know that the more you make residents feel plugged into their property, the neighborhood, or your management system, the longer they’ll stay. Long-term residents drastically reduce turnover costs that can negate your positive cash flow efforts while adding thousands to your bottom line. The following procedures help keep residents plugged in:
¢ Provide a personalized doormat or welcome sign that reads Welcome to the (Resident’s last name) home!
¢ Send a short quarterly newsletter to your residents, even if you have only one rental. Receiving communication monthly makes residents feel more connected to you, especially if it includes items of interest.
¢ For example, you could pass on grocery coupons or money-saving certificates for local businesses or restaurants. Get marketing mileage from every dollar you spend by promoting property improvements and anniversary and rental rewards in your newsletters and/or anniversary letters.
¢ Send birthday cards to residents and/or their children.
¢ At the beginning of the rental relationship, give residents a list of 12 possible upgrades or improvements you would do over the next three years. After each anniversary date and a satisfactory property inspection, they select one upgrade from the list.
¢ After three years, begin giving residents part of their security deposit back. This reward idea is similar to the vanishing deposit idea currently used by a popular insurance company.
¢ Give residents a special rental ID card. Work a deal with a health club, beautician, restaurant, hardware store, etc that entitles them to a five or 10 percent discount by showing their ID card.
Stay in control and make the most of the assets that God has given you!
Jeffrey Taylor, Founder of Mr. Landlord.
Management tips provided by landlords on MrLandlord.com. To receive a free Rental Owner newsletter, call 1-800-950-2250 or visit their web site at mrlandlord.com where you can ask landlording questions and seek the advice of other rental owners 24 hours a day.
Other Tips and Tricks Every Landlord Should Know
¢ These little ideas can help landlords get their properties rented faster to better qualified tenants and assist them in maximizing their rental income.
¢ Paint your walls a neutral color. Tenants are vanilla – while you may like color, white walls rent much faster.
¢ Have a clean product. Most renters appreciate an older, clean home over a more updated home that appears very dirty.
¢ Keep your rental price a few dollars cheaper than your competition. The better qualified and desirable tenant generally shops around.
¢ Make your move-in costs lower so that you appeal to everyone. You can always increase the security for a candidate who doesn’t quite meet your normal requirements.
¢ Keep your pet policy always as a possibility, while disallowing aggressive breeds (unless your community does not allow pets). This gives you an opportunity to attract more potential renters, find one you like and ask for an additional deposit.
¢ Use extreme caution when a person comes to your property with cash and wants to move in that day! Most stable individuals plan ahead, giving their landlord notice and move in a matter of weeks to a month.
¢ Don’t judge a book by its cover. Always do your background checks! Criminals, sexual offenders and professional tenants look like you and me.
¢ Have your tenants execute a move-in inspection form. This will help eliminate disputes later on.
¢ ALWAYS use a written lease. Verbal leases are difficult to prove in a court of law.
¢ When renewing the lease, keep renewal fees reasonable. Renters will move elsewhere for what seems like nominal amounts of monies
¢ Maintain the unit in good mechanical repair. Happy tenants will reside in your unit longer, making you more money.
Reprinted with permission of the Wisconsin Apartment Association.