TriUrban Real Estate Blog

Top 12 Ways to Elevate the Landlord-Tenant Relationship

Sep 16, 2020 / by TriUrban Real Estate

Top 12 Ways to Elevate the Landlord-Tenant Relationship Featured Image

Getting the most out of your investment property doesn’t end with purchasing that property and putting the perfect tenants in it. To really get the most out of your investment, you need to ensure a great relationship with your tenants, so they want to stay.

When you elevate the landlord-tenant relationship, you end up with tenants who stick with you long-term. Ultimately, this makes your business more profitable, but it makes it more enjoyable as well. 

Every time you have tenant turnover, you have to spend money on cleaning the property and getting it ready for the next one. You may need to spend money advertising the property to find a new tenant. And all of this happens while you’re losing out on income because the property is empty for a month, or maybe more. You don’t want this to happen.

Choose the Right Tenants

Treat Your Tenants With Respect

Be a Solution Provider

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

Understand What Your Tenants Are Looking For

Treat Tenants as an Important Part of Your Business

Create a WOW Factor for Them

Set The Ground Rules Early & Understand The Rules Of Engagement

Fix Issues Quickly

Don’t Over Promise

Have Open Lines of Communication

Be Friendly, But Not BFFs

We’ve put together a list of things you can do that will take your relationship with your tenants to the next level.

Here are our top twelve ways to have a better landlord-tenant relationship.

Top 12 Ways to Elevate the Landlord-Tenant Relationship Choosing Tenants ImageChoose the Right Tenants

Really, this is the foundation for your entire landlord-tenant relationship. If you pick someone who’s not the right fit for you or your property, you’ll always have problems.

It’s important to do your due diligence here and screen your prospective tenants carefully. It might take a little longer but it will save you months or even years of hassle further down the line. 

This is especially important if you’re likely to see your tenant often - for example, if you live in one half of a duplex and want to rent the other half, or if you have a rental suite in your home. 

Treat Your Tenants With Respect

The Golden Rule applies here just the same as it applies elsewhere: treat people the way you want to be treated. Remember, your tenants want to create a home that’s comfortable and cozy

 They deserve to be able to use the property in a way that suits their needs, as long as you both agree on what that looks like. For instance, you might not want them to turn the garage into a mechanic’s workspace, but they should be able to use the backyard for a barbecue and decorate in a way that they like. Try to assume the best of people.

Be a Solution Provider

Listen to your tenants’ needs and look for ways you can fix their problems. For instance, if they’re complaining about the lack of storage space, maybe you could install shelving in the garage or basement area.

By focusing on providing great value to your tenants, you’ll attract the type of people who want to stick around year after year. After all, they won’t find a better deal somewhere else.

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

It’s important to understand your client’s needs, wants, and pain points. Our suggestion is to stay in one of your properties for a few days (when it’s vacant, of course!) to get a first-hand account of what it’s like to live there. If you find something that’s annoying to you, it’s probably going to be annoying to your tenants as well.

Top 12 Ways to Elevate the Landlord-Tenant Relationship Features ImageUnderstand What Your Tenants Are Looking For

Most tenants are looking for key features - the same ones you appreciate having in your own home. They value safety and security, amenities, a property that’s in good condition, and a cooperative landlord.

However, you’ll also find that certain types of tenants are looking for other perks. 

Families are looking for good schools and places for their kids to play. If you want to rent to families, you’ll want to choose a neighbourhood that has a playground or a property that has a nice backyard. Young professionals, on the other hand, are probably looking for homes that are close to public transportation or freeway entrance.

You need to choose investment properties accordingly. 

Treat Tenants as an Important Part of Your Business

Without your tenants, you aren’t going to have a business. Think about the way that more traditional brick-and-mortar businesses handle customer service. This is the type of approach that you’re going to want to take with your real estate business.

Your tenants are your clients. Treat them as such.

Create a WOW Factor For Them

The key here is to be remarkable. You’ll stand out by having a good relationship with tenants, but don’t forget that tenants will want some WOW in the property itself.

When you invest in new construction properties, you’ll have properties that are significantly more stylish than other traditional rental units. You can attract more, and better, tenants this way.

Set The Ground Rules Early & Understand The Rules Of Engagement

Make sure to look into your local Landlord and Tenant Act and understand all of the “technical” rules set out within it. Also, make sure to set out any personal rules for your investment property with your tenants early.

Anything that is non-negotiable - i.e. pets, smoking - must be put in writing and signed off on, so both parties know what’s expected of them.

Top 12 Ways to Elevate the Landlord-Tenant Relationship Repairs ImageFix Issues Quickly

Issues are bound to come up eventually, that’s a fact. Whether it’s a small thing like a leaky tap or a larger issue such as a malfunctioning washer, you should expect these things. It’s important you resolve these issues as quickly as you possibly can, as unresolved issues can lead to distrust and allow bad feelings to fester.

This goes both ways - as soon as you notice any tenant concerns such as uncleanliness of the rental unit, noise issues, or damage to your property, you should speak to them about it as soon as possible and try to work towards a solution.

Don’t Over Promise

This one is very simple: never guarantee your tenants something you can’t actually do. It creates distrust, which we all know kills any hope of having a good relationship. If someone is asking for something you’re not sure you can provide, simply say you’ll look into it and get back to them. And make sure you get back to them in a timely manner!

Have Open Lines of Communication

Encourage your tenants to reach out! Don’t make them feel as if they have to hide things from you. The more you know about the property, the quicker you can address any issues before they turn out to be costly nightmares.

Be Friendly, But Not BFFs

All tenants appreciate a friendly landlord, but most don’t want an overzealous one. You know the type? The one that tries to become their best friend. Keep it professional and you’ll be on the right track.

At TriUrban, we’re dedicated to helping our customers be successful throughout their entire real estate investment journey. That’s why we’re happy to help any new and existing clients learn to build better relationships with their tenants. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us today.

Originally published Jan 16, 2018, updated Sept 16, 2020

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Topics: Rental Property Investment