Here is some awesome advice from Julie Johnson that appeared in the November 2013 RHA UPDATE.
BEST PRACTICE ADVICE: BE AVAILABLE
By Julie Johnson, The Rental Property Coach; Director, Residential Group, Phillips Real Estate Services; RHA Associate Member
The quote that “Good Landlords Attract Good Tenants” is true. So when you consider best practices, I think you need to decide what practices will allow you to attract and retain quality tenants. And the first thing that comes to my mind is BE AVAILABLE.
If you put your rental home on Craigslist, in order to find a qualified tenant you must be available to answer the phone and to tour the property. Here are some statistics (based on national averages):
• 20% of all calls into apartment communities are not answered.
• 12.5% of all calls coming into the leasing office should be converted into an appointment and a leasing tour.
• 33% of all leasing tours should be converted into a lease.
Therefore, you can see that when you have a vacancy being available to answer the telephone is beneficial. It is the key to getting the prospective tenant to your property and you get- ting your property rented.
Once you have a tenant and they have moved into your property, it is important if your tenant needs to talk to you that you are available as well. This means offering tenants various ways to contact you, i.e. multiple telephone numbers (if possible) and an email address. Tenants should also know that if there is ever an emergency in the middle of the night they are able to connect with you.
Whenever a tenant calls or emails you, be sure to respond to them as soon as possible. Business etiquette calls for quick responses. There is nothing more irritating to a tenant than a non-responsive landlord. When a tenant has a request or needs a problem solved, set expectations upfront so they don’t think you are just ignoring the issue. If you are working on the problem or question just let the tenant know. Also, taking four days to respond to a straight forward question is basically the same as not replying at all. Consider the following statistic from the Jim Moran Institute and Lee Resources:
Up to 95% of customers will give you a second chance if you handle their request or problem successfully and in a timely manner.
Building positive tenant relationships by being available is just one of the things you can do to be a successful landlord. Showing tenants that you are open to listening to their concerns and available to help them will help keep your property maintained and the tenant happy.
Julie Johnson is currently the Director of the Residential Group at Phillips Real Estate Services, which offers leasing, sales and property management services to 1-10 unit rental properties. Julie and her husband own and manage 12 rental units. Julie is the host of the “Rental Property Coach” Radio Show on 1590 AM, Saturday mornings at 9:00. She has taught at TRENDS Rental Housing Management Conference and Tradeshow, teaches several different seminars at RHA and hosts a local supper club for landlords. You can reach Julie at 206-694-1714 or [email protected]
TO SEE THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE