When renting residential properties, making a tenant feel at home is one of the best ways you can increase tenant retention and reduce problems. When you develop a professional relationship that feels somewhat personal, your tenants are more likely to be responsible and cause fewer problems.
You shouldn’t go overboard when you’re trying to make your tenants feel at home. Most residents like their privacy, so too much prying or too many unexpected visits will get very annoying to them. However, a few well-placed gestures early on can go a long way. Here are three suggestions for making tenants feel more at home after they move in.
Get to know them first
Although some tenants like to be left alone, many crave human interaction. You can make a great impression on your new tenants by extending a hand of fellowship. Stop by after they’ve moved in and get to know them a little bit. You might bring a gift or offer helpful advice for services and amenities.
A great way to get to know more about your tenant and their interests before they move in is through a rental application. This handy piece of paper helps you fill your rentals with only the best tenants. It gives you insight about their rental history and their ability to pay rent so you can weed the good tenants from the bad.
The application also gives invaluable information about the tenants that can help you come up with a welcome gift. For example, if they note that their occupation is an office worker, you might provide them with a gift basket with earphones, a wireless mouse, and other goodies. If they say their interests involve fitness, give them a list of gyms and fitness studios around the neighborhood.
These small gestures will increase a tenant’s comfort in their new home. It will start your relationship on good terms and increase their likelihood of staying there long-term.
Make recommendations in the neighborhood
Some tenants will be familiar with your neighborhood, but many others will be new in town. You can provide a great service with some useful information and recommendations for local places around town.
Whenever a new tenant moves in, you could make a move-in packet for them containing useful information about the area. It might contain a restaurant guide, information about gyms and other amenities, park guides, and other information renters need to feel at home.
If you know that the tenants have kids, make some select recommendations accordingly. You might point out medical services like highly-rated pediatricians or a pediatric dentist in the area. You could also list parks, school information, after-school programs, and play-places and hangouts for kids. Parents will greatly appreciate the gesture!
You might also create a Facebook community where tenants in multi-unit rental properties can leave comments and discuss recommendations for the area. This sense of community is one reason many people live in apartment complexes, after all.
Prepare your property
Nothing makes a tenant feel less at home than a unit that’s not prepared for their arrival. Some landlords fail to properly clean their units before a tenant enters, and no tenant wants to be forced to clean their property before moving in all their stuff. Have professional cleaners take care of the property first.
You can also remove all potential hazards, landscape the property, and provide all the necessary information and keys for the unit. Be accessible to tenants so that they can come to you with any property issues. Sometimes this means accepting after-hours phone calls, but when you’re trying to make a good impression on your new tenants, it’s well worth the personal sacrifice.