Uniforms Influence Rental Applicants
One of the many simple yet practical and excellent suggestions made by Lisa Trosien, an instructor at the recent MrLandlord Convention, was to have a “company” name or logo printed on a polo shirt, to give the impression that you are wearing a “uniform”.
Lisa often focused on the “psychology” of leasing. People wearing uniforms tend to gain respect quicker from prospects. Also by simply being in “uniform” you create a greater aura of authority and people are more likely to follow your instructions (including the suggestion to go ahead fill out the rental application at this time instead of later).
Assume the Sale!
If you’re not asking prospective renters to lease from you (to actually fill out the application) when they visit your rental you’re not only doing yourself a disservice; you’re doing THEM a disservice. Time is valuable. When is the last time you had an abundance of spare time? I’m guessing you can’t remember a time like that. So, put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. They’ve taken the time to view your property (either online or in print), they’ve quite possibly contacted you ahead of time to either clarify any questions they had, find out your hours or to make an appointment; and they’ve taken the additional time to visit your property. They’ve put forth time and effort to learn more about your rental. And you disrespect them by *not* asking them to lease? What’s up with that, anyway? Assume the sale – (especially if you took the time to already pre-qualify them over the phone) – they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t sincerely interested in living at your property.
Ask For a Copy of Their Lease
One clever screening tip shared by a fellow landlord is to request from rental applicants that they give you a copy of their “current” lease agreement. This can provide you with a boatload of helpful information.
Don’t Just Settle For the Bare Minimum Level of Service
You may think that providing the bare minimum level of service is a sensible approach in keeping your costs down and boosting a rental yield, but this often is a short term approach. Don’t just offer the cheapest solution or the “quick-fix” solution. In the long run this can cost you more time, hassle, and money while also harming your reputation. If you want to be a successful landlord, switch your mindset to one of “Value for Money” as opposed to “The Bottom Line”. This will make a big difference in how your resident perceives your service.
Create Agreements on Everything
A major issue between some landlords and residents is a lack of written agreements. It is not enough to discuss doing something, or to talk about inventory lists, or to discuss the written notice period either side has to offer. There is a need to have everything in writing. Taking the time to provide an accurate representation of all agreements will save a lot of time and stress in the long run.
Don’t Give or Use Your Home Address
There was a news report that illustrated a perfect example of why you don’t give renters your home address. A man was told to leave an apartment where he was illegally staying in. Reportedly, the man repeatedly threatened to board up the windows to the landlord’s home and burn it down in the middle of the night while the landlord and his family were sleeping. He asked multiple individuals for the personal address of the landlord. Instead of giving resident’s your personal address for them to communicate with you or mail correspondence, use an address OTHER THAN your home. For example, utilize a P.O. Box, or the local UPS store that provides you a mail box with a street address, or use the office address of your attorney, or the registered agent for the property.
Who Handles Lawn Care At Rentals?
That was the question asked most often asked by new landlords during the warmer months of the year. The most common response by landlords is that the resident in a single family house is responsible for lawn care and any general outdoor cleaning. Although, more and more landlords are bumping up the rent a little and taking on the responsibility of lawn care. That is because they have discovered that renters don’t always do a good job of lawn care upkeep, which in turn is a bad reflection on the property and that eventually affects the quality of the renter who stays.
More and more landlords are offering lawn care service in their middle to upper income rental areas as part of a custom rental package. They contract with a lawn care service, add a little to the contracted price, and make the service available to residents. Not only does this generate a little more cash flow for the landlord, but equally important they can count on the lawn at their upper end properties being properly cared for. This is a win-win situation because many residents in upper end rentals do not cut their own grass and prefer to have the service contracted out. Consider this next year when the weather eventually begins to become warm again.
The above tips are shared by regular contributors to the popular MrLandlord.com Q&A forum, by real estate authors and by Jeffrey Taylor, [email protected]. To receive a free sample of Mr. Landlord newsletter, call 1-800-950-2250 or visit their informative Q&A Forum at LandlordingAdvice.com, where you can ask landlording questions and seek the advice of other rental owners 24 hours a day.