Why is there such a major difference between landlords? What makes a great landlord great? And how can other landlords emulate this greatness and maintain it for generations?
The following top 5 lessons have been gathered from interviews with leading landlords. They contain insight about the property market and on how to provide quality products and services:
1. Maintain High Standards
Well-to-do landlords always maintain the highest standards for their properties, businesses and teams. They employ the best staff their money can afford. This is mostly because they understand that business success is tied to quality services, valuable products and exceptional customer service.
They treat everyone (including tenants, contractors and permanent staff) with dignity and respect, often putting themselves in the other party’s shoes. In the process, they are able to provide better, safer, more affordable living quarters.
Similarly, good landlords treat their buildings the same way they would treat their own homes. They focus on building communities and providing attractive lifestyles for their tenants. To achieve this, they employ the right team and communicate their vision to them. They then invest in building the team through training and positive affirmation to maintain the high quality of products and services provided. Their employees then compensate this care and attention by working harder and finding ingenious ways to make the business even more successful.
In terms of customer service, they always respond to queries immediately and meet their tenant’s requirements in the best way possible. This keeps tenants satisfied. They also go out of their way to provide high quality accommodations that potential and current tenants adore and choose over other options in the market.
2. Focus on Building Relationships
Great landlords succeed because they focus on their relationships with tenants and with their employees. They communicate respectfully, responsively and regularly to ensure that there is no break in the relationships.
They also measure their success according to the reputation they have built. Often, such measurements involve taking systematic tenant surveys and using the data collected to improve customer service and provide better accommodation products.
These landlords also treat everyone with respect because they understand that business success arises from having a happy team and even happier tenants. Communication also enables them spot problems and fix them before they get out of hand. The landlords also understand they are in a business that requires great dedication. Therefore, they invest in building strong relationships with their tenants and employees to create a larger, mutually-beneficial community.
They are never too busy for their employees and tenants. Instead, they find time to communicate creatively such as through residents’ appreciation events, quarterly newsletters and social media updates and blasts.
Over and above everything, they improve their services through communication, professional cooperation and coordination. They return calls, respond to tenant requests and solve arising issues at the earliest opportunities.
To maintain the high standards and quality, good landlords constantly reinvest back in the business and in the property. They maintain the building to add value to it without necessarily making the tenants pay for such maintenance.
They look for the latest trends in the market and renovate their properties according, such as by installing more efficient energy management systems. As a result, their tenants and clients are always happy with the accommodation provided.
In any business, including the property letting one, it is essential that money is spent before a profit can be made. Therefore, landlords take the initiative to understand the life cycle of the property. They then reinvest in it to ensure it is up to date and that it meets existing market standards. As a result, they are able to reap greater returns on this reinvestment.
Additionally, proper property maintenance helps the assets to appreciate both over the long term and the short term. It also keeps the property in great shape while eliminating all potential and actual problems and issues.
4. Build Support
Successful landlords receive support from other landlords, including their competitors. Similarly, they join associations and build professional networks around them. To continue learning, they then establish strong relationships with key professionals within their local realty industry. Since they rely on their teams for everyday management and maintenance, such landlords also invest in their teams to build their experience and property management skills.
5. Screen Tenants
Last but not least, instead of taking on the first tenant to show interest in the property, the best landlords often screen them. They are okay with their property being vacant than because they understand the time and monetary costs of dealing with bad tenants and high rates of tenant turnover. Instead, they focus on tenant retention.
Apart from the above, successful landlords also:
a) Stay prepared with extra cash flow
b) Document and track all communications, both internal (with staff and teams) and external (with clients and tenants)
c) Follow industry standards and rules
d) Pay attention to the appearance of your property