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?