A professional, business-like approach is key to successfully managing and retaining your tenants. When you value them as customers and make them feel welcome in your property, they are much more likely to stay long-term. It’s all about having a positive and proactive working relationship with tenants and you will find they are much easier to manage when you are on top of your game with customer service.
WELCOMING THE TENANT
I always aim to start the relationship on a helpful and positive note by greeting the tenant with a ‘Welcome’ email, a copy of which I also attach as an appendix to their contract.
Whenever possible, you should aim to deal with maintenance issues within 24 hours of being notified by the tenant and keep your tenants updated rather than waiting for them to chase you for information. This speedy, proactive and transparent approach goes a long way towards setting you apart from the competition and has a massive impact on retention.
MANAGING YOUR TENANTS
I recommend investing in one of the many software options available to help manage your tenants. I use Arthur Online, as they have great customer support, but there are many others. Not only does management software boost retention by supporting excellent customer service, but it will also make your job much easier as your property portfolio grows.
When a tenant is preparing to leave, I implement what I call my ‘check-out procedure’ regarding cleaning. My verbal and written communications are very formal and I emphasise that I expect the property to be cleaned to a professional standard and returned in excellent condition. I find that the bigger deal I make of this, the more seriously it is taken by the tenants. If you manage your communications well, you should always get the property back in good condition, without the need to incur additional cleaning costs. First, I send the tenant a formal email reminding them that the property should be cleaned to a high standard in order for a prompt and problem-free deposit return. 48 hours before the tenant is due to leave, I request photos of the property to confirm that it has been cleaned to the appropriate standard. This gives us ample time to rectify any issues.