What does it take for a Dallas property manager to keep tenants happy? Should you be showing up on their doorstep delivering donuts to them every morning? How about popping into the rental house at random times with balloons and a smile? No, of course not! Most would say those kinds of interactions would actually detract from a tenant’s rental experience, and cause them to move out sooner. Most tenants want you, as the Dallas “rent out my home” property manager, to leave them alone and let them go about their business unless they need something fixed or have questions that need answering. At Specialized Property Management Dallas, we are the leader among Dallas property management companies. We know that happy tenants are the key to success and consistent income. Follow these tips below to keep your tenants content and your rental home occupied.
Respond Quickly to Your Tenant’s Needs
Nothing is more frustrating to a tenant than a lack of response from the landlord. A tenant with a maintenance issue does not like to wait for long periods of time without hearing back from a Dallas property manager. They want to feel their needs are being met and that the problem will be fixed in a prompt manner. Quickly responding to tenants is one of the most important things Dallas property managers can do to keep them happy. It’s helpful to provide tenants with several different options when they want to file a complaint or report an issue, such as:
- A 24/7 emergency hotline: Your Specialized team knows that you can’t always answer the phone at 2 a.m. when an issue arises. That’s why we answer all tenant phone calls 24/7 so that you don’t have to do so.
- A non-emergency number for business hours: Maybe a tenant just wants to talk something over, such as changing the paint color in a bedroom. It’s helpful for them to have a number to call in a non-emergency situation.
- An email address: Not everyone feels comfortable reporting an issue on the phone. Sometimes an email is the best route. Also, because emails are written, they are easier to keep track of and can be used as evidence that you responded to your tenant in case they decide to take you to court.
- An electronic submission form, through a website or tenant portal: At SPM Dallas, tenants can submit maintenance requests through their online portal and receive a response ASAP.
Once you’ve acknowledged the issue, it’s important to provide the tenant with regular updates on your resolution plan. Most issues will not be resolvable overnight. Here is what successful Dallas property managers should do if they experience the following situation:
A tenant files a complaint by leaving a voicemail on the non-emergency phone.
- Within 24 hours, you should call the tenant back to confirm you received the message and will look into the issue right away. You should schedule an appointment right then to check the issue during a time that is convenient for the tenant.
- After reviewing the issue, you hire a contractor to fix the problem, and you call the tenant to inform them of the scheduled appointment.
- After the fix, you again call the tenant to confirm the issue is completely resolved.
If you can’t respond to a tenant within 24 hours, at least acknowledge that you received the complaint and hope to discuss the matter soon. If this is not possible, you should apologize for any delay and do everything you can to keep your tenant happy. Complaints are usually a sign of an already disgruntled tenant, so approach the situation from an “above-and-beyond” customer service standpoint.
Dallas “Rent Out My Home” Managers Respect Privacy
Sure, you might have lived in that home before your tenants moved in, but that doesn’t give you the right to pop over unannounced. If you absolutely need to have access to the rental house, contact your tenants at least 24 hours in advance to alert them. Tell them the time and day they can expect you, and make your visit as concise as possible. Renters have a legal right to their privacy, and not abiding by those rules can get you in legal trouble.
Keep Your Rental Rate Reasonable
The property management business can be a competitive market, but resist the urge to hike up your rental rate if you have a reliable tenant who consistently pays the rent on time. Dallas real estate management companies will help you set a competitive rental rate the first time, and advise you on the proper time to consider increasing your rate. The loss of a golden tenant can mean a long vacancy period for you as the Dallas property manager, so think carefully before changing the cost of rent.
Make sure you are upfront with your tenant about rent collection policies. Be professional and consistent. Demand fees for late rent, send out written notices if they don’t pay, and evict them if you need to. Don’t go easy on your tenant, because you will just encourage them to take advantage of you.
Act Professional, Not Emotional
Smart Dallas “rent out my home” property managers take the emotion out of the situation. Whether you’ve got great tenants or more challenging residents, you need to see this as a business venture. Treat the tenants professionally, but don’t get attached. If a tenant complains on a regular basis, don’t treat it as a personal attack on you. If you can’t distance yourself emotionally from the treatment of your property or the tenants, it’s best to let a professional property management company handle things.
Your tenant should be well aware of the rules they must follow while living in your rental home. For instance, if you have decided to not allow pets, your tenant needs to know what happens if they get caught with an unauthorized pet. Whether you impose a fine, a pet fee, or kick them out entirely is up to you. Just make sure they know the rules and what the results will be if they are ignored. Don’t get emotional or confrontational when you find out a tenant has broken a rule, just respond in a professional manner. If you act emotional or angry, it can be used against you in court.
Communicate Your Expectations
Be clear with your expectations and you and your tenants will have a much better experience. At the time of lease signing, go over potential issues that may arise, such as maintenance emergencies, and let your tenant know what steps they should take and what your response will be ahead of time. Communicating expectations early on helps the landlord-tenant relationship stay professional and civil. Be sure to discuss which method of communication works best for both parties. You may be a habitual texter while your tenant prefers email. Finding a method that works well for both of you is the goal.
Effective Dallas Real Estate Management Companies Produce Hard Copies of Documents
Even though we live in a digital age and it can seem like a hassle to print out pages of documents, it can be more effective to have things in print for certain tenants. Especially with legal issues or financial matters, it’s best to give your tenants hard copies so that nothing can be explained away or potentially lost in cyberspace. You can also certify your mail! Many Dallas companies certify every piece of mail that goes out to the client. That way, they can ensure the communication was received or refused. Either way, a record is kept and you can prove what has been done and what hasn’t.
Providing Low-cost Amenities to Keep Your Tenants Happy
Certain amenities can make a big difference in your tenants’ day-to-day lives and help you rent out your home faster, too! Keep your tenants content with the following amenities if possible:
- Covered Parking and Garages: In Dallas, temperatures get high in the summer! Tenants will be more likely to rent from you if you can provide them with a covered parking space or garage to keep their car nice and cool in the heat.
- A Fenced Yard: If your rental home does not have a fenced backyard, you should spend the extra money now to reap the rewards later. Most tenants want their rental house to feel like a home, and if they know they can relax in privacy in the backyard, they’ll be happier. This is also a great perk for tenants with pets! Since pet owners make up a large portion of tenants in Dallas residential property management, your pool of tenants will automatically be larger with a fenced yard.
- Upgraded Appliances: A stainless steel microwave and refrigerator are usually not a make-or-break-it for tenants, but if your appliances are new and in excellent condition, you’ll attract more potential tenants.
- Washer and Dryer Included in Unit: It’s a great perk for tenants if they can move into a rental house with these already included. Dallas “rent out my home” property managers should invest in a quality pair of these appliances that will last for years.
- A New Coat of Paint: Give your rental home a nice, fresh new coat to spruce it up and give your home that welcoming aura.
Expressing Appreciation to Good Tenants
Showing even a small amount of appreciation can be beneficial to you as the property owner as tenants may respond by renewing their lease, paying rent in a timely manner, and sometimes even sending gifts in return. Did you know that gifts given to tenants are even tax-deductible? The tax code says that if a gift is given for business purposes, the expense deduction is limited to $25 per person, per year. While this number may seem low, if you have a large apartment building or many single family residences in your portfolio, then the deductions can add up fairly quickly.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for gifts to give to your tenants:
Money off next month’s rent: Any amount you choose will be appreciated by tenants
Gift Cards: You can also tailor your gift card choices per rental property.
Gift Baskets: These can contain almost any item you can imagine and can be put together by you and delivered, or ordered online and shipped to the rental home.
Appliance upgrades: Whether you choose to replace the washer and dryer or the stove, tenants will be excited to receive a new appliance in their home.
Cleaning Services: Choose a local maid service, carpet cleaning, or even a light hanging company to help spruce up the home for the holidays.
Personal gift: Knowing your tenant’s life circumstances will help with this idea. For example, did the family just bring home a new baby? Offering to babysit, or paying for a sitter of their choice may be appreciated.
Paint a room: Give a sample of colors they can choose from and hire a professional painter to handle the labor.
Flowers: Classy and timeless, flowers help freshen a home.
Baked Goods: Choose to make your own and hand-deliver them or order from a local bakery, but sometimes the way to a tenant’s heart is through the stomach.
No matter how you show appreciation for your tenants, Dallas real estate management companies that choose to recognize their tenants during the holiday season tend to have tenants that stay longer.
The SPM Dallas Difference
For better, professional Dallas residential property management, put Specialized Property Management Dallas to work for you today! We have a 98% customer satisfaction rating because we take care of our clients like they’re a part of our family.
Your Specialized team will work with you to do everything we can to keep your tenants happy. Ensuring long-term tenant retention is one of the key elements in helping your investment succeed. Contact your Specialized Property Management Dallas team today at 214-233-7572!