In our previous two posts we have outlined the basics of getting a property ready for renting and handling the application process. Once you have a new tenant moved-in, your job should ideally become much easier. Collecting rent and staying on top of maintenance requests will be the bulk of the work that lies ahead. When you gain a new tenant, there are some things you can do to welcome them and set the right tone for your tenant-landlord relationship ahead.
Check out our tips for welcoming your new tenant.
Start With A Walk-Through
On the day your tenant is going to be moving in and you are going to be handing over the keys, do a thorough walk-through of the property. This will allow you to make note of the condition of the property, which will be important to have on record at the time of move-out.
Not only will a walk-through provide you with the opportunity to document the condition of the property, it gives you a chance to address any concerns your new tenants have at the time of move-in. During this conversation, be polite and welcoming but remain professional. This is a great time to explain the maintenance request process you will have in place. For example, if there is an emergency overnight, such as a burst pipe, who will they need to contact?
Provide A Welcome Gift
Although it is not necessary to provide your new tenants with a welcome gift, it is a nice gesture. You can use your welcome gift as an opportunity to demonstrate how you want the property to be treated. For example, putting together an array of cleaning supplies can be a helpful gift for new tenants. Most people moving in will not have soaps and cleaners yet, so you will be saving them a trip to the store as they unpack. Not only is it a nice convenience for your new tenants, it also is a subtle reminder to keep the property in clean, living condition.
If you want to go above and beyond for your new tenants, you can also include a gift card to a local restaurant. Moving-in can be a stressful experience, as we all know, and a small token, such as a gift card, can go a long way in building a positive relationship with new tenants.
If you are operating a pet-friendly unit, you can also include a gift for your furry tenant. Something as affordable and small as a new toy can make your tenants feel at home.
Reiterate Important Items
During move-in, you should also remind your new tenants of important components of their lease. For example, if they will be in charge of yard work, clearly communicate that this is now their responsibility moving forward. If you are using an online rent payment system, let them know where to go online to pay their rent (see more about this below).
The initial move-in process is your first chance to set the tone for the rest of your relationship. It is important to portray yourself professionally and as the person in-charge. Be ready to field additional requests for upgrades to the property, and remember, whatever approach you take now will dictate how the relationship goes moving forward. For example, if they request a lot of upgrades up front and you feel like you have to give in to their every whim, this will be the expectation for future requests.
Remind Them Of Their Options For Paying Rent
During the welcome process, one of the most important items to remind your tenants about is the methods they can pay rent. If you want to make your life as uncomplicated as possible, opt for an online rent payment system. Most tenants do not want to use paper checks, and the mail system is not always the most reliable. Put an end to “my check got lost in the mail” excuses by implementing an online rent payment system.
The good news is that for landlords, online rent payment systems exist that are zero cost to you. Read this article to learn more about online rent payment options, as well as other useful rent payment options.
These quick tips for welcoming new tenants can help you set the right tone for your future relationship.