The term landlord often brings up associations of greed, callousness and a lack of ethics. People imagine grumpy recluses who have no understanding of what their tenants could possibly being through who are solely concerned about the bottom line. The news headlines often paint an ugly picture of property owners turned landlords. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. As a landlord, you can maintain a healthy balance between keeping your tenants happy, taking care of your property and making a profit. But how? How can I strike such a fine balance you might ask? Here are a few tips to help you find your sweet spot.
Get to Know and Take Care of Your Tenants
Now don’t get me wrong, you cannot be a pushover, a successful profit making landlord, you can be kind to your tenants. Stopping by to make sure things are going okay a month after your new tenants move in is a nice move that will not cost you anything and will be remembered by your tenants. You can be warm and personable while maintaining a professional relationship with them.
When tenants complain that their landlord is “making too much” often, they are not taking into account all the expenses a landlord has. Things like planned maintenance, emergency repairs, landscaping, property taxes, appliance replacement and, if necessary, animal control are all expenses that most tenants generally don’t factor into their calculations. They see how much they pay for rent and compare that to how much the building would sell for and decide whether they are paying too much.
One way to avoid this bad talk is to talk about where some of the money they pay goes. You certainly don’t want to open your books to them, but discussing the new appliances you just installed in the apartments or the fact that you just brought the building up to a new code can help them realise where your (or, in the minds of a tenant, their) money is going.
Keep Your Property in the Best Shape Possible
Your property is an investment, and one that won’t continue to appreciate if you don’t maintain it properly. It is important that you charge enough to keep up the condition of your property – both inside and out. Keep an eye on your property and ask yourself if you would want to live there, and if you would pay the amount of rent you are charging. If you wouldn’t want to, perhaps no one else would, either.
Develop a long-term schedule of maintenance and let your tenants know about it. They’ll appreciate knowing you’re taking care of the building and it’s always good for them to know when workmen will be in and around the building.
Remember You Need to Make a Profit
At the end of the day, you are a landlord to make money. Being a landlord is not as easy as most tenants think. You do much more than sit back and collect rent checks. You work hard for the money you make with your investment property and you should not feel bad about this.
There are many reasons landlords are entitled to profit. First of all, you put your own money down to purchase the property. Most property owners save at a much higher rate than the people they rent to. Doing this will lead to a steady flow of rental income.
When you do need to raise your rents, give your tenants as much notice as possible. They, like you, have a budget and may need a bit of time to juggle their finances in order to meet the higher payment. The rental experience becomes much more enjoyable for everyone when you two work together.