Written by Sally Norton for Vogue Real Estate Australia
As you might already be aware, investing in rental properties in Australia can be pretty lucrative. However, being a successful landlord involves more than just collecting your tenants’ rent checks. The success of your rental property business will also depend on how well you cooperate and communicate with your renters. For this reason, we will discuss how to build an amazing relationship with your tenants.
Keep tenants you cooperate well with
It is a common misconception that managing a rental property boils down to making your rental property stand out. Yes, investing in advertising is important. However, it is far from being the only way you can run your rental properties successfully. In fact, ameliorating your relationship with your current tenants might be even more critical for your financial stability.
Essentially, finding responsible tenants can be a long and painstaking process. Take into account that you can never be too sure if potential tenants intend to fulfil their rental duties solely based on their applications. Additionally, reviewing tenant applications can add to the amount of workload that you already have. In sum, you should work on keeping those tenants that you cooperate well with.
Make an excellent first impression
Start building a good landlord-tenant relationship from day one. As we know, first impressions are essential. Be sure to behave cordially but still professionally during your first meeting with new tenants.
This means you should be very clear and transparent when you discuss:
- what the tenants’ rental duties are,
- what you do not tolerate,
- and most importantly, what you can do for them.
You must acknowledge your fair share of duties and responsibilities instead of focusing exclusively on what the tenants can and cannot do. Also, let them know that you are there to answer any questions or concerns that they might have.
Be honest and transparent and it will help you build an amazing relationship with your tenants.
Set clear rules and boundaries
Naturally, you want to run your rental properties as smoothly as possible. Hence, your tenants should be well informed about what might not be allowed and what the consequences might be if they violate the rule. So, one way to build an amazing relationship with your tenants is to discuss your rules and terms openly.
By setting a level-playing field from the outset, you also establish an atmosphere of trust and respect for yourself and your property. And this does not mean that you are soft on them. Set some boundaries – clearly but fairly. Also, do not be intimidating or demanding while you are doing it.
Good property maintenance is important
It makes sense to invest in repairs and maintenance of your property to improve your relationship with your tenants. So, instead of investing in advertising to find new tenants, you might want to switch up your approach a little bit.
Investing your money in repairs and furniture will improve your current and future tenants’ quality of life. This is why, in the long term, it makes more sense to invest in improvements to your property than to rely on marketing to improve your property’s success.
These kinds of improvements will show your tenants that you genuinely care about their well-being. It is especially true if the renovation aims to fix those issues that had bothered your tenants in the past. Although some repairs or maintenance work may not be initially welcomed by the tenants currently occupying the premises, in the end, they will be thankful for your determination to improve the rental property.
If you, however, intend to do a significant renovation, you might be struggling with storage space where you can place furniture and other items that stand in the way of construction work. So, renting a storage unit is the way to go. Of course, storage can be a solution to many problems when you lease property in Australia. Old and new tenants can use the rented storage unit to temporarily store some of their surplus belongings when they are moving in or out of your premises. Such an amenity can make you and your property stand out and win your points with your current and prospective renters.
You can help your tenants move in or move out by providing access to your safe storage unit.
Keep the distance
Once your new tenants have settled in, the best way to maintain good relations is to keep a reasonable distance from them. Of course, this does not mean you should literally avoid approaching them. What we mean is that you need to be mindful of your tenant’s personal space and privacy at all times.
Don’t invade your tenant’s privacy unless you have a compelling reason to knock on your tenant’s door and talk to them in person. Even if the matter is urgent, in Australia, it is common practice that you give your tenants a heads up at least 24 hours before you turn up at their door.
Your tenants will surely appreciate you being so considerate. Also, keep in mind that they could take legal action if your visits or communication with them becomes too intrusive.
Be friendly, but don’t be a friend
So, no matter how well you get along with your tenants, certain boundaries have to be set. It is not only good for the tenant’s sense of privacy – this is also good for your sense of self as a landlord.
Try to keep your relationship with your tenants strictly professional.
As we have mentioned before, try not to blur the line and become too friendly with your tenants. If you start to perceive your tenants as friends, this might prevent you from using your unbiased judgment in matters that require you to be impartial. Likewise, your renters might lose the impression they can rely on you to solve serious legal and administrative problems.
Therefore, if you start drinking beer with your tenants regularly, you run the risk of undermining your role and reputation as a landlord. (Not to mention, some people might find your attempts to socialize as a violation of privacy rather than an attempt to build an amazing relationship with your tenants.)
- Man in Black Suit Standing Beside Woman in Brown Coat · Free Stock Photo (pexels.com)