Tenant retention is a money-saver, says Joe Fairless Co-Founder of Ashcroft Capital and co-host of Best Ever Real Estate Podcast.
Investors should focus on what keeps tenants happy, even in the current housing market. Joe Fairless is an experienced real estate investor and property manager of over $1.5 billion through Ashcroft Capital. He uses his expertise to offer advice as a co-host for the Best Ever Real Estate Podcast (the world’s longest-running daily podcast on real estate investing). According to recent comments, Joe Fairless notes that heightened real estate prices shouldn’t make investors sloppy or apathetic.
“It’s easy to feel like you have something to capitalize on and kind of forget about the person on the other end,” he says. “But happy renters are more likely to take care of the property and stay there longer. You can reduce vacancies and maintenance costs when you keep your tenants happy.”
Joe Fairless says investing in real estate properties is more than just making sure the building looks nice, and new tenants are in place. “There is an element of customer service that should be part of the process,” he explains. “You may not be able to build a relationship with every tenant, but that can definitely help you understand their needs when you are new to the scene. When the tenants choose to leave, they will either be your biggest detractors or your biggest advertisements. A quality experience can help spread powerful word-of-mouth marketing as a previous client speaks highly about your role as landlord.”
In order to help improve situations with tenants and keep them happy, Joe Fairless recommends:
- Addressing issues quickly: Don’t wait to respond to questions, concerns, or requests for maintenance. Even if the fix isn’t quick, communication can go a long way.
- Providing incentives for loyalty: Providing occasional benefits, gifts or one-time discounts can really make a tenant happy. Allowing the tenant to improve the property and reduce that from the rent check may also offer an added bonus for both parties.
- Respecting tenants’ rights: Know the law so tenants don’t have to fight for their rights. State and local laws will hold you to certain standards but strive to operate beyond that.
- Offering adequate notice: If contractors, inspectors, or anyone else needs to check out the property, give your tenants as much time as possible to prepare. Be respectful if the person you are sending in isn’t there to help the tenant, says Fairless. Sending in a real estate agent because you plan to sell feels invasive to the tenant while sending in a contractor to fix a building issue is a relief and won’t need the same level of care.
Joe Fairless notes that the ultimate goal is to make money from the property for long-term gains. “The long-term vision will take into account how tenants feel in your properties,” he warns. “While the market may have some tenants stuck without many choices, that could flip quickly. Build a positive local reputation to boost the value of your properties.”