For anyone who hopes to make a living through real estate investment, tenant management is absolutely critical; tenants, of course, are the lifeblood of any real estate endeavor. A property generating regular rent money stands to make a great yield, while a vacant building is literally just draining resources and supplies. Meanwhile, tenant turnover can be quite expensive—so it’s in everyone’s best interests to keep the building fully inhabited, the tenants all satisfied and happy.
Because tenant management is so important for real estate investors, it’s also essential for property managers. It is the manager’s job to ensure that the real estate investment remains profitable, and that means keeping it full-up with rent-paying occupants.
Tenant management is, in the end, part art and part science. It requires you to know the law and to uphold both the tenants’ rights and the landlord’s. It also requires you to be savvy in your interactions with people; rigorous in interviewing tenants; and steadfast in providing them with good, attentive service.
For those who work in Davidson property management, learning how to manage tenants is critical. Below are a few tips for those just getting started dealing with tenants.
Beginner Tips for Those in Davidson Property Management
Some guidelines for Davidson property management professionals to follow:
- First, remember that effective tenant management starts with tenant screening. That is, you’ve got to bring good, reputable tenants into the building in the first place. That means tenants who are going to pay their rent and not make much fuss. Be sure to always run credit reports on any potential tenants. Proof of employment can verify that the tenant in question has the means to pay the bills. Reference lists can be helpful, and in particular ask for references from previous landlords, who can tell you if the person was a “problem” tenant.
- Make sure that, when you draft a lease, you clearly spell out tenant rights—what the tenant can and cannot do, what you as the landlord can and cannot do. Lawsuits with tenants are incredibly costly, and this will help you avoid them. Laws vary from state to state, so you’ll want to consult with a local attorney in drafting your leases, but do think about things like privacy, maintenance and upkeep, and safety. Again, be explicit about what you, as the property manager, are tasked with doing, and what your tenants have to do in return.
- We mentioned the concept of privacy Even beyond the legal implications here, it is smart to value your tenants’ privacy if you want to keep them happy. What this means is that the manager/landlord should never barge in for a “surprise inspection” or to do maintenance work. Make sure you provide a couple days’ notice before you make an appearance in the tenants’ living space. And when you get there, ring the bell or knock on the door!
- Clearly, you’ve got to keep up with regular maintenance. A routine maintenance program can keep costs down for you, and minimize inconvenience for your tenants. This means doing monthly or quarterly pest control calls, checking for damage after big storms, and regularly checking all major systems—plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc. Also make sure you’re quick in responding to emergency calls. Putting the tenants’ safety first is paramount.
- On that note, part of your job as a property manager is to provide a safe environment for tenants. This means there are certain kinds of issues that you just have to address with urgency—leaky roofs, security threats, vermin, anything that could compromise health and safety or leave tenants feeling like they’re not adequately protected in their own home.
- In all things, communication is the key. Keeping the lines of dialogue open is the single best way to keep residents happy and to address problems as they develop, before they snowball. Make sure you are visible in the building on a regular basis, perhaps even setting office hours for yourself. Make your contact information available to tenants, and let them know the hours you can be reached. Confirm receipt of any comments or complaints you receive, and try to act on them as prudently as you can. And if you have a problem with a tenant, send word, preferably in writing, and try to resolve things.
For those who work in Davidson property management, serving tenants is a key ingredient to success—and if you follow these basic tips, you should find yourself successful indeed!