Creating a positive and exceptional tenant experience is essential for real estate investors who want to keep their residents happy and increase the value of their properties. If you offer an exceptional rental experience that allows your tenants to feel safe, appreciated, and heard, they are more likely to stay longer in your rental property, which can lead to increased cash flow, consistent rental income, and long term ROI.
Knowing how to inspire a great tenant journey will set you apart from other rental property owners and landlords who don’t really care about their tenants, and see them as little more than a rent check.
We’re sharing some strategies for improving your tenant experience so that it stands out from what most tenants experience. This will enhance your reputation as a landlord, help you earn more money, and contribute in a positive way to housing in your community.
Here are some of the things Bell Properties recommends you focus on when you’re trying to establish yourself as a tenant-centric rental property owner.
Active Listening and Transparent Communication
Clear communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, and the relationship between a landlord and tenant is no exception. Make sure to communicate regularly with your tenants, keep them updated on building maintenance, and respond promptly to their queries. Ensure that you have an open line of communication, so tenants feel they can reach out to you at any time. Maintaining a friendly but professional relationship with your tenants allows them to feel valued and respected.
Always make sure your listening skills are on point. A lot of people have trouble listening; we hear what the other party is saying, but we’re waiting simply to respond. You don’t want to focus on your response. Instead, really hear what your tenant is telling you, and repeat back a version of what you’ve heard so you can be sure everyone is on the same page.
Use good listening and communication skills to set expectations for the tenancy. This will help you create a fantastic rental experience because there will be less confusion and uncertainty. Communication with tenants begins before they even move into the property.
Don’t assume that tenants will read and understand the lease on their own. Instead, discuss and explain some of the most important parts of the lease agreement to your tenants in person or in writing. This creates consistency and trust. You’re communicating what you need from your tenants, and they’re empowered to ask questions and get clarity.
It’s also worth your time to show your new residents how the property works. Make sure they know where to find the water shut-off in case there’s a pipe that bursts and floods the home. Train them on how often to change the air filters and what to do if they lose power. This type of communication is going the extra mile, and your tenants will remember the care you took in making them feel comfortable in their new home.
Do More than the Bare Minimum
Every landlord has a basic list of requirements:
Provide a safe, habitable, and clean rental home.
Follow all rental rules and laws.
Keep tenants informed.
Respond to maintenance and repair needs.
Those are your general requirements. If you want to provide an exceptional rental experience for your tenants, you’ll need to not settle for those basics.
Going the extra mile for your residents can make all the difference in creating a memorable tenant experience. Offering a move-in gift, such as a welcome package filled with snacks, household items, and informational documents, can make the move-in process smoother and more enjoyable. You can also include a handwritten note welcoming new tenants and congratulating them on moving into their new home. Additionally, little things like a seasonal treat, such as pumpkin pie in the fall, birthday cards, or pet appreciation days, will show your tenants that you think about them beyond rent collection and property maintenance.
Be more than a landlord. You’ll find that establishing a warm but professional relationship with your tenants will make a big difference in their rental experience and yours, too.
Ask for Feedback and Act on It
Feedback can help you understand what your tenants need and want. You might have assumptions about what will make a great experience for them, but why not ask for direction?
Create a feedback survey or leave a line or two for suggestions on the bottom of their move-in inspection report so they can share any ideas with you when they return that form. A suggestion box in the common area of your multifamily property is also a great idea.
You want your tenants to share their thoughts comfortably.
Once you receive feedback, make it a priority to act on it. If specific requests are out of reach, try to find a compromise that works for both parties. Listening to your tenants' feedback and addressing their concerns will show them that you care about their experience and want to improve how they feel about their home.
Keep your Los Angeles Property Clean and Well-Maintained
Well-maintained homes earn more money, they attract better tenants, and they easily retain those tenants.
Make sure you’re proactive about maintenance. Put a preventative plan into place so there aren’t a lot of emergencies or unexpected breakdowns. Fix issues promptly and invest in deep cleanings between tenants during turnover periods. Invest in interior and exterior updates over time.
The best way to stay a step ahead of property repairs is to create a maintenance schedule and share it with your tenants so they know when to expect service. Addressing issues as soon as they arise will create a safer, more comfortable living experience for your tenants.
Respect the Privacy of your Tenants
You are the owner of the property your tenants are living in, but they have made it their home. You need to respect that, and leave them to the quiet enjoyment of their home.
Respect your tenant’s space and their privacy. This is critical to providing an exceptional tenant experience. Most people just want to be left alone. At Bell Properties we strongly advise you to establish a good relationship with your renters, but you don’t want to become over-friendly to the point that you feel emboldened to stop by every weekend just to have a friendly chat. Tenants, even if they like you, won’t enjoy that invasion of their space and privacy.
You won’t be able to maintain a positive relationship if you’re showing up at the property unannounced. It’s disruptive to tenants, and it won’t provide for the rental experience they’re seeking. Professional boundaries are important.
Provide Los Angeles Tenants with a Convenient Rental Experience
Most modern tenants are looking for an easy and convenient rental process. They don’t want to deal with frustrations and stress. They want to move in with ease, enjoy where they’re living, and move out with equal ease.
What can you do to make the rental process more convenient, and thus more pleasurable, for your tenants?
Allow pets if they want to move in with their pets. Pet-friendly properties earn more money, they have lower vacancy and turnover rates, and they have higher levels of tenant satisfaction. For many of your tenants, pets are part of the family. Welcome the pets and don’t be afraid to pamper them a little. The occasional dog treat or cat toy as a gift will go a long way in how your pet owning tenants feel about you.
Provide online rental payments so tenants don’t have to write out a check every month and hunt down a postage stamp. Most tenants want the convenience of online rental payments. As Los Angeles property managers, we’re able to provide an online platform that easily accepts rental payments, allows for advanced scheduling, and stores payment information. You can figure out a way to accept payments digitally through a payment app or a transfer service.
Provide smart home tech and security features that are in high demand these days. Tenants love video doorbells, for example, and will appreciate keeping their energy bills lower with smart thermostats, LED light bulbs, and energy-efficient appliances.
Be willing to invest in upgrades and updates that will make life easier for your tenants.
Allow for anything that will improve your tenant’s quality of life. Maybe they want in-unit laundry or a valet trash collection service. Be willing to listen, and respond in the best way you can.
Overall, building an exceptional tenant experience through communication, services that are above and beyond the mere basics, seeking feedback, keeping the property clean and maintained, and providing the privacy and conveniences that tenants want will create a better rental experience for everyone, and a more profitable venture for you.
The best way to know how to improve your tenants' experience is to put yourself in their shoes. Put in the effort to create a memorable tenant experience, and watch as your positive reputation attracts high-quality tenants that value and appreciate your rental business.
Need some help? We can provide it. Contact us at Bell Properties.