Every tenant enters a rental showing with expectations.
Tenants expect certain standards of cleanliness and repairs, professional behavior from you, and general competence with technology. They are also probably comparing your properties to their current or previous rental and forming first impressions based on their observations.
While you can’t control what every tenant thinks about your rental business, you can meet many of their basic expectations.
Standards for privacy, safety, cleanliness, and policy should be a given in any rental business, and many are easy to maintain. Other expectations vary with the rental marketplace and digital climate, but with a little thought and effort, you can meet these too.
Here are five ways to meet your tenants’ expectations.
1. Prioritize Safety and Security
Every tenant wants to feel safe and secure in their rentals.
If your properties aren’t secure, this is a huge deal for tenants. Broken locks on doors or windows demonstrate that you don’t care whether your renters experience safety at home. For many renters, this might be a dealbreaker.
You can prioritize safety in your rentals by checking that all locks are functioning properly at least once a year.
You might also consider installing smart locks. Smart locks are an innovative home technology that can significantly increase the quality of security in your rentals. This upgraded lock is connected to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and allows renters to lock their units remotely.
Smart locks also offer a variety of other safety features, such as live monitoring, keyless entry, auto-lock, and automatic alerts when someone tries to break into a unit.
Installing smart locks is an investment, but one that will substantially improve the quality of living and meets tenant expectations for safety.
2. Stay on Top of Maintenance
Tenants expect you to be on top of repairs and maintenance.
Some maintenance requests are less urgent than others, but all should be answered and addressed promptly. Otherwise, you risk your tenants feeling neglected or ignored. If you wait too long, the problem could escalate and become more urgent than it was originally.
To avoid this situation and meet tenants’ expectations for maintenance, do your best to respond to all requests within a day or two. Keep tenants in the know about when to expect you or your maintenance staff, and remember to follow up after the job is completed.
3. Be Reliable
Tenants expect you to be a reliable landlord or property manager. Reliability is a basic standard that you simply can’t fake.
Reliability means having consistent communication, following through with what you say you’ll do, and being available during emergencies.
While effective communication is one part of reliability, another is holding yourself and your tenants accountable.
No one likes a late fee, but all tenants who didn’t pay their rent on time should receive one. When you reliably enforce the rules, tenants see that you treat everyone equally and aren’t likely to make exceptions or play favorites. Standing by the original lease terms fulfils all tenant expectations established by the legal agreement.
4. Use Property Management Software
Lastly, you can meet tenant expectations by using property management software.
Younger renters especially will expect you to be competent with technology and know-how to implement digital solutions in your rental business. For example, many renters of all ages now expect to be able to pay rent online.
Property management software helps you follow all the above tips, including maintenance, communication, and accountability.
For example, most platforms offer sophisticated maintenance tracking features that allow you to monitor tickets, view images or videos of the problem uploaded by the tenant, and assign the task to a maintenance employee.
Most property management software also includes a chat feature, which allows you to centralize all tenant conversations in one hub. You’ll never lose a message with a tenant question or concern in your other inboxes. You can also enforce accountability with property management software by customizing your late fee infrastructure, which will automatically incur late fees to tenants’ accounts if they haven’t paid their bills by a designated date.
Manage Expectations with Property Management Software
It may feel overwhelming to consider tenant expectations when so many are out of your control. However, by understanding what most tenants generally expect from your rental business, you’ll be better able to manage them. By using a digital tool like property management software and following these tips, you can exceed tenants’ hopes for your properties.