Tips for New Landlords: 5 Factors to Consider

time to read article4 minutes

article date Oct 12, 2020

In order to make your apartments as rentable as possible, you need to think like a renter. What do they want in a property? If they’re going to be looking at a dozen complexes over the next couple of weeks, what will make your property stand out from the others?

For starters, know that rent and location rule the day. You can’t move your apartment complex, but you can do a better job of touting what makes the location great. So if you’re close to a metro stop or bus stop or major employer, make sure to mention that in your advertising. As for rent, we don’t need to tell you that pricing your properties competitively will help keep them rented.

Now that we’ve gotten the “big two” out of the way, let’s take a look at other things renters may want. Some of these features may seem small, but often, it’s the little things that help renters pick your property over another one—and encourage them to continue renting from you long-term. Let’s have a look at the tips for new landlords that can help them rent their apartments quick.

1. Quality Management

A report by Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences shows that over 30 percent of renters left their apartment community due to dissatisfaction with management. Improving the quality of your management team is budget-friendly because you don’t have to shell out for new amenities. Rather, you can work with your team to improve services and processes.

Our top tip here is to listen to your tenants. Send out surveys regularly, take suggestions to heart, and enact change based on what you’re hearing. And make sure to let tenants know about the changes that you’re making in response to their feedback. Hold regular staff meetings to develop a culture of customer service. If you project a desire to do all you can to keep the tenants happy, this will trickle down to your team.

Watch your online reviews as they will give prospective renters a snapshot of your management. There’s no avoiding a negative review from time to time, but you may be able to “stop the bleeding” if you promptly go online and respond to the critique. Be empathetic and explain what you are doing to deal with the customer complaint.

2. Safe Mail Delivery

People have found themselves ordering things online that they’ve never considered ordering this way before—groceries, cleaning supplies, tacos from Chipotle. And buying histories show that it’s hard to stop the forward momentum once we embrace trends like this. In other words, we’ve unlocked a convenience that is likely to continue long after the pandemic is over.

As such, people want their stuff—and they want it fast. What’s the purpose of paying for Amazon Prime and its hallmark 2-day delivery if the apartment mailroom closes before you can retrieve your boxes?

More and more mailrooms are enlisting package management software to do the heavy lifting. With the help of a sleek, digital app, mailroom attendants can scan incoming packages and generate an email or text to let residents know that their package has arrived.

The email may include simple response buttons so residents can signal their pickup or delivery preferences. It’s a one-and-done process for the mailroom employees and helps move packages out of the mailroom quickly—and with fewer errors and better security. Add on picture proof of delivery for yet another layer of protection, and you have the perfect solution for efficient package delivery and happy tenants.

3. Mobile Connectivity

Reach out to your tenants and make a personal connection with them. Even if you can’t get there as soon as they want for a maintenance request, let them know that you’re trying and keep them posted on exactly when you will be there. Host community gatherings and attend. Learn people’s names. Send out regular newsletters and stay active on the complex’s social media page.

To make staying in touch easier, consider automating communication for things like maintenance requests. A good software program can facilitate more frequent communications and eliminate errors and oversights. And make sure the portal you are using is mobile-friendly so people can send and receive messages via their smartphones.

4. Pet-friendliness

Sure, you assume extra risks and costs, but a firm pet deposit policy can help here. And you could end up getting more renters, according to FIREPAW, Inc. (the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education). FIREPAW’s research showed that pet-friendly apartments rented within 19 days compared to non-pet-friendly apartments, which took 29 days to rent.

And the same study showed that renters in pet-friendly units stayed put for an average of 46 months compared to the average 18-month stay for renters in units prohibiting pets. Pet owners can be very loyal renters.

5. Connectivity

Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences report suggests that residents ranked cell phone reception as the number one amenity. 91% of renters called reliable cell service a high priority, and 44% said they wouldn’t rent without it. High-speed internet ranked fourth as the most sought-after apartment feature.

With more renters working from home due to the pandemic, connectivity is critical. It’s also essential because most renters say they get their entertainment from streaming services rather than cable or satellite. Poor Netflix reception may be enough to drive renters to greener pastures.

Today’s renters are not your grandparents’ renters, and it’s essential to know your audience. These house renting tips for landlords will help you cater to what people want most in their apartment experience in 2020. Adding meaningful features and tending to the little things that matter most can help you get more renters—and keep your current renters happier.

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