Congratulations! You bought your first rental property and have signed the lease with your first tenant! We often hear about the nightmare tenants but don’t hear much about the great ones. Your life is going to be so much easier with tenants who pay on time, respect the property and don’t cause trouble.
How do I get off on the right foot?
The best trick is to make them feel welcome, right from the start. This means being friendly and helpful from as early as the initial interview. When you develop a rapport with your tenants you are setting yourself up for a successful long-term relationship. Spend time getting to know them, find out if they have kids and what their interests are. Then the next time you see them, ask them how the kids are getting on at school, or if they have been training for their next marathon. They will know you are genuinely interested in them and their lives.
That’s easy enough. What else?
When they first move in, give them a welcome pack. Include a few snacks, maybe some nice toiletries – some small thing to show your appreciation. Include information about the community and give them a list of your preferred service providers in the area such as babysitters or dry cleaners. Give them some local restaurant menus too. They will love that you have gone the extra mile for them and show you genuinely care about them.
It always helps to be accessible. I don’t mean they should be able to call you 24 hours a day but being available and returning their calls promptly will build trust. Once they have been there a few weeks, ask them how things are going, are they settling in OK and is there anything you can help them with. Be approachable and friendly and let them know you are there to help them.