Seattle residents have an incredible amount of choice in the marketplace. From homes provided by independent landlords to REITs consisting of blocks of houses, apartments, and townhomes, there is a bevy of options available for renters to choose from.
Fighting for a share of this real-estate pie can sometimes be challenging. Instead of finding a new renter every year when a lease is up, there is a better way. We know this because we have been serving property owners as expert property management in Seattle since 1991!
So, what's this closely-guarded secret to prosperity in real estate? It turns out it's not a secret at all: keep your renters happy, because happy residents are a profit center, and turnover will hurt your ROI every time.
It's About More Than Rent
Happy renters help Seattle property owners in far more ways than just paying rent on time! Landlords also miss out on a lot more than a few rent payments when their residents choose to leave.
Happy Renters Call Your Rental "Home" Longer
The most obvious benefit to legitimately caring about your residents is that happy renters stay longer, and you don't have to lose rent during a turn. You also don't have to paint, professionally clean, update, beautify, pay for advertising, take time out of your day to show a vacancy, and a plethora of other exhausting turnover tasks.
Property turns are very expensive; they cost far more than lost rent—a fact many landlords easily forget. When you're a good landlord that keeps up with maintenance, keeps rent increases to market rate, and keeps the lines of communication open, you'll find yourself with happy renters that stay for years. Imagine having a resident that stays five years! If your average cost and loss of revenue is $5,000 per turn, you've saved $25,000.
Comfortable Residents Pay Their Rent—Even During a Downturn
While every resident should pay their rent if they can, unhappy renters look for ways to avoid it. If you have a maintenance issue or a pandemic happens, dissatisfied residents are going to be less likely to prioritize their rent payment when the going gets rough.
Unhappy renters are also the first to try to go to court to withhold rent over every little maintenance issue that might pop up. On the other hand, happy residents that are well cared for are going to prioritize getting the rent paid. They're also more likely to be understanding when maintenance issues come up that require some patience on their part.
Satisfied Renters Preserve Your Property
Happy residents protect your Seattle investment property! A happy renter is far more likely to take care of your property while they live there. Whether or not it is right, happy renters are more careful, tend to report the little things that could become big issues, and are even more willing to handle small problems themselves instead of, say, calling in a work order for flipped breakers.
Happy renters are the delight of every good landlord. They save you a lot of money over the course of their lease. So—how do you delight your residents?
Appreciating Your Renters Is Easier Than You Think!
Appreciating your residents doesn't end with a welcome basket when they move in. Just as it is the renter's duty to pay rent and respect the property, it is the landlord's job to provide a service and keep up with maintenance. This is especially true if you haven't yet partnered with expert property management in Seattle.
- Good landlords respond quickly: Acknowledging a work order right away gives your residents peace of mind that you are going to find a solution to the problem. Letting a maintenance issue sit for days without even acknowledging it shows a renter that you don't respect their comfort.
- Good landlords fix emergency items fast: If you wouldn't want to live without hot water for three days, neither does your renter. We don't even have to approach the laws protecting your renters to mention what an issue this is. Ignoring emergencies is a sure way to upset your residents and paint yourself in a bad light.
- Good landlords show appreciation for their renters: Little details such as sending a card for a holiday or as a thank you for renewal really do matter. That small act of kindness can go far when a resident is deciding how they want to handle a leaking water heater.
- Good landlords keep in touch: You probably don't want to become friends with your residents, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check in here and there! A friendly email wishing them well is also a good way to remind your renters to submit any work orders, so they don't all pile up on July 3rd.
- Good landlords use a property management company: When you hire a property manager, you take your inexperience or personal connection out of the picture and leave the job to the professionals. Property managers manage resident relationships well because it is their area of expertise instead of that thing they do on the side when they aren't at their day job. That expertise shows—and your renters appreciate it.
Happy renters save you money, and so do expert property management companies. Partnering with the best property management in Seattle makes keeping your residents happy that much easier.
If you'd like other tips for managing your property, especially when the going gets rough, download our Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook. As this pandemic continues, if your renters are struggling to pay the rent, these tips could help you both through this tough time.