Do MORE For Your Tenants And You’ll Make More Money

Despite popular belief, by admittedly, far too many of my own kind (fellow landlords), tenants aren’t just paying through their noses for a roof over their head. Believe me, I wish that were the case, because that would make my life infinitely easier and perhaps even remotely enjoyable as a landlord. Alas, that’s not even close to a true reflection of reality, hence why I’m a miserable little shit that’s often found hunched over, muttering to myself.

Tenants are paying for an actual service, which in most cases, entails mind-numbingly irritating menial tasks, like organising maintenance and repairs in reasonable time. This can include puny but unbelievably frutrating tasks like repairing a loose shelf, to more concerning problems, like replacing an entire boiler because it’s unexpectedly packed up and died like a toaster made in Taiwan back-alley. I’ve had a few boilers pack up in my time, it’s literally HELL in every possible way. I don’t even want to talk about it.

In any case, love it or hate it, it is part of our job. But there’s more to it than repairing and maintaining…

The importance of providing more

I’ve learned the hard way that good tenants are precious, and they’re rare, and they’re quickly becoming harder to find than leprechauns. When you’ve got a tenant that’s paying rent on time and treating your property like a home, you have every right to feel like one lucky son-of-a-bitch.

Right now, thousands of landlords are getting swindled by thousands of pounds every day because their tenants are currently in arrears. The current economic crisis is taking it’s toll.

Some of you may may only just be waking up, realising that you’ve been undervaluing and under-appreciating your tenants. Tragic mistake.

I’ve had my fair share of shitty tenants, but I’ve also had my fair share of wonderful ones, tenants I’d swap for my nan. Believe me, the good ones really do appreciate every good deed a landlord does for them, but equally, they’ll remember every little detail when you screw them over by being an unreasonable, tight-fisted pile of donkey piss.

So where am I going with this? It should be your duty, as a landlord, to keep your precious tenants happy, even if that means jumping through hoops now and then. The consequences of being a total kiss-ass definitely has its perks. A tenant that’s treated well will hesitate to break the partnership, because just as good tenants are rare, good landlords are even rare. Seriously, it’s a blood bath out there.

The small gestures make a huge difference

I’ve been inspired to write this prissy little blog post because recently one of my tenants broke radio silence because the grass in the back garden was growing beyond the realms of acceptable, because tragically, his lawnmower had recently taken a turn for the worst. Of course, maintaining the garden isn’t my responsibility at all, but he asked me if there was anything I could do to temporarily help him out as his one was being repaired under warranty- and obviously those guys are never in any rush to do anything useful. I told my tenant that I could arrange for a manual lawnmower- not the ideal solution, but a solution nonetheless. He was utterly grateful, and I could tell he appreciated my assistance.

He’s actually an awesome tenant, and I appreciate and value his worth. I don’t want him going anywhere.

Going that extra yard, actually giving a shit, and providing that extra unnecessary service- that’s something my tenant will remember and appreciate. That small gesture is another reason for him to stay, and by doing enough of them, I’ll eventually have extremely heavy virtual shackles around my rent-paying tenant’s ankles, which is exactly what I want.

Other non-obligated services I have done in the past for tenants:

Of course, I have done a few other things in the past for my tenants…

  • A tenant reported to me that his wheelie bin had been stolen, so I called the council to get a replacement.
  • When a new tenant moves in, I transfer all the utility bills over for them. However, I don’t do that just for an added service, but for my own peace of mind as well, because a lot of tenants just completely forget, and that can cause all sorts of problems.
  • I lent one of my tenant’s a TV for 2 weeks while his was being repaired.
  • One of my elder tenants’ needed help moving some furniture into the property, I volunteered to help.
  • At XMAS, as a good will gesture, I usually drop off a bottle of wine.
  • When I’m dealing with any repairs and maintenance issues, I deal with them immediately and I keep my tenants informed every step of the way. This point is probably the most powerful. Tenants appreciate and understand that appliances break, but they don’t appreciate landlords that move slowly to resolve the situation. Keep on top of maintenance and repairs and you’ll
  • I’m ALWAYS contactable. As much as my heart drops when I see my tenant’s name flash up on my phone (because let’s face it, they only ever call to deliver terrible news), I’m always responsive. If for some reason I miss their call, I try to reply immediately, or at least with in 24 hours.

Needless to say, I haven’t done anything life-changing, but as said, the little gestures will amount to significant results.

Happy tenants = bigger profits!

As said, you don’t have to go that extra yard. This blog post is about recognising the value of good tenants and doing the small non-obligatory gestures to keep them around for as long as possible.

Ultimately, keeping good tenants happy and comfortable in your property is probably the best investment you can make during the landlord cycle- you’ll reduce your tenant-turnover, which is probably one of the biggest expenses for shitty landlords, and therefore maximise profits.

Finding new tenants can be expensive, not to mention a royal pain in the ass. Keep turnover to a minimum. But not only that, good tenants will take better care of your property, which means less expenses on repairs and maintenance. In fact, some tenants will add value because they often make improvements.

See where I’m going with this? It doesn’t pay to be an inconsiderate asshole landlord. Always think about how you can do more!

As a landlord, do you provide any extra services, or have you done anything for the sake of keeping your tenant sweet?

Like this post? Then maybe you should sign up to my FREE newsletter so you receive more like it!

9 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Jools 8th May, 2009 @ 07:43

Things I do (have done).

* Provide them with a bottle of wine now and then or for those who do not drink some other treat.

* Allocate them 4 hours of my time free of charge to help hang mirrors/pictures etc (this way i have not got some pillock being let loose with a drill).

*If and when there is an issue I ensure it is actioned as soon as possible, keeping them updated on progress by text or email.

* I provide them with wireless broadband free of charge. This way if there is ever an issue with things such as the house being a tip, unclean or them being unreasonable with utilities useage I just go around and remove the modem and stop their service. Funnily enough they do seem to stop taking the piss after their lifeblood is removed. It's like turning off the life support system!

Jools

1
Guest Avatar
Dan Harrison 8th May, 2009 @ 08:36

I keep my tenant informed of what I am doing by email or SMS when they've raised an issue with me. It's something I'd appreciate, as it helps them to know I'm actually doing something.

Dan

2
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 8th May, 2009 @ 08:59

@jools: Free wireless, that is a nice treat :)

At Xmas I usually drop off a bottle of wine.

@Dan: Yeah, I always keep my tenants informed by SMS when an issue is raised- I like them to know what the progress is!

3
Guest Avatar
Jools 8th May, 2009 @ 10:27

I consider it to be a carrot and stick approach. No doubt someone will accuse me of breaching their human rights by removing a service if they step out of line but I dont care!

If they act like children/animals they get the one servivce they rely on more than anything these days removed until the issue is sorted. Oh the power - I feel like a demi god when I do it! Apparently last time when I was really wound up - I thought I walked in in a manly fashion, explained the situation and removed the modem. What actually happened was (and this was MY critical appraisal afterwards) was I flounced in like a prima donna, handbagged the tenants, threw all my toys out of the pram and stropped off like a petulant chav!

24 hours later 2 of the tenants turned up at the letting agency heads bowed and close to tears whilst the agent and I harranged them mercilessly whilst trying not to laugh. Almost time to do it again so watch this space. Will try not to act like Paris Hilton next time!

4
Guest Avatar
NewLandlord 20th September, 2009 @ 20:38

I log onto the wireless network from outside in the street and change the network password effectively cutting them off with out entering the property.

5
Guest Avatar
Russell 11th March, 2011 @ 14:54

Really interesting area of discussion,I am a student studying property management and investment in Bristol. I am doing a dissertation on the added services landlords provide,seeing whether or not they can generate additional value to the property.

I personnaly think that tenants would be happier in the building and may even be prepared to pay more for a landlord that provides a good service. They can grow within the building provided, and you can help them develop.

I see property as being more of a product that you can sell to customers, and if the tenants are happier, they are more likely to stay.

Russ

6
Guest Avatar
Angie 4th July, 2011 @ 21:52

Hi,

I am a tenant, and a very stressed out one at the moment. It is a long story but I'll try and be brief:

As soon as I moved in, others living in the house told me how unhelpful our landlord actually was. Bascially, all he cares about is getting his rent. If you want things done around the house, don't hold your breath. He'll make promises that he won't keep.
Recently, we discovered some mice in the house. We started mopping the floors with bleach and cleaning all the surfaces before going to bed, ensuring that there was no food left out. But the mice kept coming. Then someone pointed out that there are holes leading from the outside into the house- directly. I thought this was a bit ridiculous as our landlord refurbished the house himself and did all the electric etc. by himself (not a very good job either). Anyway, I told him about these holes and the mice and he said to me "it's not my problem". He kept blaming us for the mice and refuses to close up the holes. If we get anyone else to do it, he said the tenants (WE) would have to pay for it. I told him that I called Health and Safety and asked whether this was the tennant's responsibility and they said that it was the Landlords. Even after this, he refuses to fix it. When I got angry and said "This is the law though, I read it, I can show it to you" he said to me "Grow up!"

I'm beginning to have my doubts about this man. Earlier when I was about to sign my contract with him, I pointed an error (a typo) in one of the articles as it was incorrect and he said "nothing is incorrect with the contract."

You must understand that I earn minimum wage and I cannot afford to lose my deposit over this and I had to sign as the place I was living in before was a lot worse. I don't know who else to turn to or whether I have a good argument against my landlord.

I cannot stand the fact that I am paying him my hard-earned money and he is doing absolutely nothing in return, and on top of that he insults me.

I need some very good advice with a trustworthy phone number or contact.

Please help!

7
Guest Avatar
James 5th June, 2014 @ 14:13

Your a bunch of kiss a** landlords!!

8
Guest Avatar
Michele Lamb 8th June, 2014 @ 19:25

I am a tenant renting a 3 bed property, I was always of the understanding that the landlord was responsible for the external part of the property, the appliances if any, windows gas and electricity safety, and I the tenant was responsible for keeping the inside of the property in good clean order, we have Ben cutting the grass with our own law mower, the landlord didn't to supply on e for his garden, our mower has now broken and he has said we will have to buy another to maintain his garden. Please can anyone advice me. I am happy to loom after the garden but do not see that I should pay for the equipment to do so.?

9

Please leave a comment...

Nobody

Nobody

Landlord

Landlord

Tenant

Tenant

Agent

Agent

Legal

Legal

Buyer

Buyer

Developer

Developer

Enthusiast

Enthusiast


Popular Landlord Categories