Relets – Investment property management to manage tenants
Recently we completed a series that serves as a buy-to-let landlord’s guide to getting the best tenant. But once you’ve got a great tenant, how do you keep them on board? How do you relet that property with the minimal amount of hassle? How do you maintain a tenant relationship which is friendly, yet professional? A relationship that encourages the tenant to sign the tenancy agreement every time it’s up for renewal?
In our experience, one of the major roadblocks to great landlord/tenant relationships is the landlord. For sure, some tenants are born troublemakers. But with careful handling, good tenants could turn into the best tenants. Even problem tenants can be turned around.
Here, we’ll discuss how investment property management maintains tenant relationships to avoid conflict.
Rule Number 1: Underpromise and overdeliver
At the very beginning of the tenant relationship, we’ll start managing a tenant’s expectations. Even before the tenancy agreement is signed, our investment property managers will start to set out what the tenant can expect from us. We’ll never over-promise. And when we deliver, we over-deliver.
For example, we’ll tell the tenant about our 24/7 repair reporting system. No frills, no bells, no whistles. When we sit the tenant down and show them the system, they realise its capability and usefulness. It becomes self evident. “Wow, I didn’t expect it to be this good or that easy.” is a comment we’re used to.
Rule Number 2: Always be honest
We’re also honest from the outset. We set the ground rules early on. We speak candidly about our responsibilities as your investment property manager, and about the tenant’s responsibilities. The tenant knows when they can call the office, and how long it will take to respond to repair reports.
Rule Number 3: Stay in touch
It is a difficult area for many landlords to get their heads around. And there’s a fine line between caring and pestering. Many DIY landlords never speak to their tenants until the tenant wants to speak to them. And when the tenant calls you, it’s usually bad news.
We’ll keep in touch with the tenant on a regular basis, to make sure everything is going smoothly. We’ll conduct regular property checks, where we match against the property inventory. It gives the tenant ample opportunity to tell us of any small problems early on before they become major issues.
There’s another benefit to keeping in touch with a tenant. If we’re particularly busy, a tenant understands when it’s taken a couple of hours to return their call instead of a few minutes. This helps strengthen our relationship.
Rule number 4: Stay one step ahead of the tenant
Because we’ve met so many tenants, we’re pretty good at anticipating what tenants are going to ask when they move in or want to relet a property. Things like a washing machine and oven manuals, central heating and alarm instructions, and television handbooks all help to make the tenant feel at home. It’s also about asking the questions before they realise they need to know something, and to tell them what they don’t know but need to know the answers to. It also stops unnecessary calls.
Rule number 5: Be open about busier periods
We’ve always found it helpful to be upfront about the times when tenants may find service a touch slower than usual. While they can expect prompt service during normal working days, there are times when it will be more difficult to get quality tradesmen on site to repair emergencies. Christmas and Easter spring to mind. Again, this manages expectations.
If the central heating breaks down on Christmas Day, and the tenant expects it could be three days before a repair can be made, they’ll be prepared for the delay. When we attend to the repair sooner, the tenant is delighted. Underpromise, and overdeliver.
Rule Number 6: Resolve conflict – don’t reject tenants
Finally, despite all best efforts, it’s always possible for a tenant to become difficult. When this happens, it’s important to listen to them. We let them know we understand the issues, and what the problem is. We’ll assure them that every effort is being made to resolve the issue. We’ll meet with them, and come to an amicable resolution. That usually helps relets and means you’re cutting down void periods and reducing administration effort.
Active investment property management, not passive tenant mismanagement
Keeping tenants on your side takes work. Once we’ve found the best tenants for your property, we work hard to keep them that way so they want to relet your investment property. We’ve written plenty about dealing with rogue tenants and how to evict nightmare tenants. Thankfully, those situations are rare. Their rarity is thanks to the proactive way we manage tenants. They’ll never feel like they’ve been hung out to dry.
By being open and honest, we start the landlord/tenant relationship as we mean to continue. By communicating regularly and clearly, we’ll hear about problems early on. If there’s maintenance or repair work that needs to be done, the earlier it’s tackled, the cheaper it usually is.
Perhaps the big secret to maintaining the perfect landlord/tenant relationship is to make the tenant feel wanted or they’ll never want to relet your investment property. Don’t hide away and hope that problems will go away. They won’t.
Contact one of the Ezytrac team today on +44 1522 503 717. You’ll soon discover why we’re one of the fastest-growing investment property management companies in the UK today.
Yours in effortless property management,
Brett Alegre-Wood MARLA MNAEA