Everyone wants convenience. As a real estate investor with multi-family units, you need to decide which conveniences will draw in the tenants you’re looking for. Pet owners want simply fee plans and convenient walking paths. New graduates want easy automation and communication that’s online instead of face to face. So look at what your tenants want and decide which changes also get you what you want: a bigger return on investment. Here are three things to keep in mind that will boost tenant happiness and your ROI.
1. When tenants can easily report problems, they’re more likely to do it quickly.
You’re always going to have tenants who like to complain. But the vast majority of tenants will only report problems that are actually inconvenient or need to be handled. And of these reported problems, a lot of them will have to do with appliances or utilities. An air conditioning unit may be thumping more than it should. A bathroom vent fan motor is burnt out. Maybe it isn’t an appliance, but there’s a giant ant hill right outside a tenant’s window.
In all of these circumstances, speed matters. The sooner you or the property manager gets it taken care of, the less extensive the problem can grow. But at the same time, these problems aren’t necessarily emergencies. If the tenant can’t easily contact you, they’ll be annoyed. They’ll also let the problem sit until it’s too big to be ignored anymore.
Make sure your tenants can easily reach you through online forms, an app, or even texting to a help ticket generator. Even more importantly, build processes so you can respond immediately.
2. Online payment is better for everyone.
If your building still requires payment by check, you’re going to lose tenants and you’re going to have late rental payments. Even the most conscientious tenants won’t be able to always get the check in the mail in time, and extremely conscientious tenants are hard to find. Almost everyone wants online payment instead.
So get an easy interface for online payment through a secure third-party tool without getting rid of your cash or check options. Try to keep processing fees to a minimum for the tenants (even if you pay them yourself by raising the rent); 2% processing fees are just as disincentivizing to tenants as shipping fees are to shoppers. If your state allows it, also build in encouragements for your tenants to automate their monthly payment. That further reduces the risks of late or incomplete payments.
Online payment tools are also better if you need to use records to solve legal problems. You have backup documentation with date stamps, amounts, and any notices you sent to a tenant’s email. If you have to evict tenants, clear records cut down on legal fees and delays.
3. Online applications make compliance easier.
When you’re searching for prospective tenants, there are a lot of different factors you have to keep in mind. On the one hand, you want tenants that you can bet on paying on time and not causing any damage or complaints in your units. But at the same time, you have to abide by fair housing laws and regulations. A bad feeling about a potential tenant isn’t enough for you to reject them, and even valid rejections might be challenged through a lawsuit.
Instead of keeping paper records and trying to keep track of all the regulations yourself, handle everything online. Keep the applications, requests for background checks, and the following documentation all in one place. There are even plenty of tools designed for property owners that will alert you about legal red flags so you can worry less about accidental violations.
Keeping everything online is also better security. Don’t store your past, current, and prospective tenants’ information in your office’s file cabinets. Keep it online (preferably in a cloud managed by a third party rather than your own computer drives) and don’t become a target for information theft. It’s an expensive liability.
Whether you want to improve your ROI by increasing tenant satisfaction or by reducing your costs, shifting your processes online will do it. Go to ParqEx Inc for more ideas to make your properties more efficient and profitable.