From past experience there’s no one perfect way of dealing with tenants and managing properties.
Different approaches are needed as your dealing with a range of different people with varying personalities.
Some would never dream of causing damage, not paying rent or even reporting a leaking tap. Whereas others will run you ragged and try and play the system as much as possible.
This unfortunately is just a part and parcel of being a landlord, but there are things you can do to make the process much easier and much more enjoyable. We have three rules when dealing with tenants.
Firstly…. don’t take it personally…
…but make sure you are ‘personable’
By this I mean, try not to let individual situations affect you. You will get challenged with situations you would never of thought of, most of which can be defused or helped by being personable. But the odd one or two that dont work out, dont take it personally.
Property investing and being a landlord, needs to be treated like a business, and like most businesses you will find that the 80:20 rule is in full flow. You will no doubt spend 80% of your time dealing with 20% of the tenants and problems.
But also like most businesses, alot of the work can be systemised. From tenant sourcing, to tenant management and maintenance.
The more you systemise the business and put processes in place the easier it is to manage, and the less you get bogged down fire fighting little problems.
Now i’m not saying that systems and process will stop any problem they wont, but they do help to get them resolved quicker, and reduce them from happening in the first place.
For instance…. Lets take tenant selection and referencing.
This starts from the first phone call. You can often get a feeling from the type of person by how they act on the phone. Are they actually interested in the property, its location and maybe the current tenants (if its a multilet) or are they not interested in viewing and just want to move in today. So having a script of questions ready to ask interested tenants is critical. Whether this is just in your head or written down on paper it doesnt matter, as long as you ask them the right questions.
Second… Trust your instinct
If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t go with that tenant.
This follows on to the viewing itself and how they act throughout the process. I would say this part of tenant selection is just as important as the usual reference checks if not more so some times.
Third… Look after your tenants
Ok, so now you’ve picked a suitable tenant you need to make sure you look after them. Getting maintenance problems resolved quickly is very important, as is dealing with tenant complaints.
(1) – Don’t take it personally but be ‘personable’
(2) – Trust your instinct
(3) – Look after your tenants
We also follow some key tips to help us follow a process when dealing with tenants.
> Start the tenant selection from as early as the initial phone call
> Don’t skip the referencing process, this will help you see if the tenants background checks out. A good tenant has no reason to lie on their application
> Always do a viewing with a tenant and meet them in person. We never accept applications from people who can’t or wont view the property themselves
> Deal with tenant complaints and maintenance issues quickly. A good tenant won’t stay long if these aren’t dealt with… and why should they
> Keep tenants informed – By telling them how to deal with condensation problems in the winter, let them know when the bin days are, keep them updated when a new tenant is due to move in and out of the property, etc…
The above rules and tips we find are a necessity in managing our properties like a business and looking after our property investments.
There not perfect, and were always improving, but they certainly help us and I hope they can help for you to.