One of the many benefits of working with the top Atlanta real estate management company is reduced turnover. Tenant turnover is one of the most expensive parts of owning an investment property. After factoring in cleaning, re-keying, repairs or upgrades, advertising, and loss of rental income, turnover can cost $1,000-$5,000. Often turnover is expected and unavoidable, such as when a tenant buys their own home or moves for a job. However, landlord-tenant relationship problems can lead to unnecessary turnover. Learn five ways to keep your tenants happy and reduce unnecessary turnover.
1 – Good Communication
Good communication between landlord and tenant seems like a no-brainer, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Tenants do not always respond to your messages, and even when they do there may be miscommunication and frustrations. Start by being clear and concise every time you communicate. Provide a phone number where your tenant can call in case of emergency and be diligent to respond quickly when your tenant calls. In order to stay in contact with your tenant, keep their contact information up to date, and make a note of how they prefer to be contacted. It doesn’t matter if you use the mail, phone calls, or email as long as your tenant receives the messages you send. Part of your Atlanta rent out my home procedures should be keeping a good record of your communications. Some management companies prefer to send messages through certified mail to ensure they have a record of all communication.
2 – Respect Your Tenant’s Privacy
Many single-family rental homeowners live close to their rental property, and it can be tempting to drive by or pop in to check on your investment. Property owners view this as helpful and hospitable, but tenants find it intrusive. However tempting it may be, you need to resist stopping by unannounced and respect your tenant’s privacy. Regular property inspections are beneficial, however, they should always be scheduled ahead of time so your tenant is not caught off-guard. We recommend quarterly or semiannual property inspections. Unless your tenant has a maintenance request, or there is a lease compliance issue you need to check in on, you should not be visiting more often than that. Giving your tenant privacy will help them feel like their rental house is a home.
3 – How Atlanta Real Estate Management Companies Define The Rules
Part of keeping your tenants happy is setting accurate expectations for living in the rental home. Your lease agreement should define the “house rules” that apply to your specific rental property. House rules vary from property to property, but some common rules for Georgia tenants are:
- Whether your home is a no-smoking property.
- Pet restrictions such as a limit on the number and size of pets.
- Landlord rights of entry including when the landlord can access the property and how much notice they must provide.
- Who is responsible for lawn care.
- Whether or not a tenant can add a satellite dish.
- How long a visitor can stay.
- Restrictions on repairs or alterations, for example, painting the interior or exterior of the rental home.
- When the rental payment is due, acceptable forms of payment, and late fees.
- Prohibiting illegal activities such as drug dealing and use.
All house rules written in the lease should be clearly stated and reviewed at lease signing. Experienced Atlanta real estate management companies avoid confusion by talking through all the house rules with tenants to ensure they understand what they are signing. Give your tenants the opportunity to ask questions about the rules and try not to rush through your explanations.
In addition to the house rules, define the consequences for breaking the rules stated in the lease. Will you impose a pet fee if the tenant keeps an unauthorized pet? When is the rent considered late, and what are the late fees? What actions trigger an eviction?
Enforce rules and late fees when applicable, and always be consistent with your policies. Try not to get frustrated or discouraged by tenants who break the rules. Patience and strict adherence to the rules set out in the lease agreement are always the best course of action. Be kind and respectful rather than emotional and confrontational and your tenant will likely respond the same way.
4 – Respond Quickly to Tenant Requests
One thing Atlanta “Rent Out My Home” ads don’t mention is the number of tenant requests you will receive. Every tenant is different, some do not ever submit a request and others seem to have a new need every day. No matter what type of tenant you have, you must respond quickly to each and every request. Nothing is more frustrating to a tenant than a landlord who does not respond to their requests.
Responding to your tenant’s requests takes more than just picking up the phone or answering an email. Here are a few tips for responding when your tenants reach out:
- Always pick up the phone, return a missed call, or answer an email within 24 hours.
- Determine the severity of the problem. For example, a roof leak necessitates a more immediate response than a tear in a screen door. However, both issues should be resolved quickly.
- Communicate with your tenants about when they can expect their issue to be resolved. If needed, schedule a time to visit the property and investigate the problem.
- If the issue requires professional work schedule an outside vendor and inform your tenant of the time and date the work will occur.
- After the issue is resolved, follow up with your tenant. Is everything working properly? Do they have any other needs?
Atlanta real estate management companies agree that responding quickly to your tenant’s requests is one of the best ways to keep them happy. However, it isn’t always easy. Tenant requests can come through in the middle of the night, on holidays and weekends, and when you’re in the middle of an important meeting. Working with experienced property managers takes the pressure out of responding to tenant requests, and gives you time to focus on other aspects of your life.
5 – Provide Amenities Tenants Love
Keeping your tenants happy means making sure their rental home has everything they need. If your rental property is lacking in a few basic amenities adding them will help you rent out your home faster, or keep your current tenants happy in their home. Low-cost amenities include:
- Appliances: Georgia landlords are not required to supply certain appliances such as a washer and dryer, but doing so can be beneficial. Many tenants do not own their own appliances, or do not want to lug them from rental home to rental home. Additionally, make sure the appliances you provide are in good working order before you start your Atlanta rent out my home process.
- Covered Parking and Storage: A garage provides storage space and a place to park your car out of the Atlanta heat. Not every Atlanta area home has a garage, and if your property doesn’t consider adding a covered parking area. A small outdoor shed can be added to provide extra storage.
- Privacy Fence: If your property has a yard a privacy fence is a must. Knowing they can relax in the privacy of their backyard will make your tenants happier. A sturdy fence is also a bonus for tenants with pets. If your rental home already has a privacy fence make sure it is in good shape before you put your home on the market.
- Fresh Paint: We know, paint isn’t considered an “amenity”. But a fresh coat of paint can go a long way when you are trying to keep your tenants happy. Paint is one of the best, low-cost ways to spruce up your rental home and make it like new.
Providing these amenities will help you attract high-quality tenants, and keep them longer. For more information on making your property ready for tenants visit this post.
How Atlanta Real Estate Management Companies Keep Tenants Happy
As experienced property managers, we know that keeping your tenants happy and keeping your business lucrative can be a delicate balance. As a property owner, it is easy to feel frustrated when your tenants don’t act how you would like. However, letting these frustrations affect your management is a big mistake. Over the years, we have seen property owners put their investment at risk through miscommunication, failing to respect their tenant’s privacy, or lack of concern for their tenants needs.
Fortunately, we have nearly 30 years of experience managing single-family rental homes. When you work with our team of experts, you can rest assured that your investment is in good hands. We work hard to keep your tenants happy, and keep your investment profitable. We offer a full range of property management services, taking care of every aspect of the rental cycle. With experienced professionals and proven processes, we have the tools to make your investment into a success.
Contact Specialized Property Management Atlanta today to request your professional rental management quote! Simply call 404-596-8454 to get started!