Thursday, April 30, 2015

Investors: Attracting a quality tenant... it's more than simply property features.

There is endless debate on what makes the best tenant. So let's dig in a bit and see...

Consider this: There are a vast number of checks and balances that a prudent property management agency completes before accepting any tenant. Checks include extensive reference checks, due diligence research on the tenants' rental history and naturally, checks to be sure that they can afford your rent, as well as the income threshold test – just to name a few.

So what is it that makes your ideal tenant? What's the verdict?

In my view a quality tenant is someone who: 
1) pays their rent on time, 2) cares for the property and looks after it like their own (not just a quick clean before an inspection) and 3) is not unrealistic 
in their demands (like property maintenance). 
A terrific tenant treats a property like it is their own and takes pride and responsibility.

So as an astute investor, how do you attract these quality tenants?

If you rewind 10 years, the best tenants based their preferences solely on the attributes of your property. A renovated kitchen or a large master bedroom would have done the job.

How things are changing. Now what we find are these same quality tenants are looking at things differently. Respect, and being treated well and fairly has become the differentiator. The best tenants now demand high levels of 'good customer service.' They want fairness and understanding, and they want a reasonable landlord. The agent attitude and professionalism has become a serious consideration and a critical factor in their decision to stay or go.

What else has changed? The profile of a tenant.

There are increasingly more young professionals who have high expendable income or families testing out the local area before they purchase their next home. It is also common for 'renters' to be landlords themselves. Many are making the most of the market – buying at a lower level as an investment and using the additional income to rent a property that better suits their needs. These are excellent people to place in your properties.

And finally, tenants are savvy! Across the board, they are looking for an enjoyable living experience and property features alone are no longer the key driver to attract quality tenants to your property.

The obvious question follows...what makes a good landlord? What makes a great agent (from the tenant's shoes)?

The best landlord and best agent is someone who allows their tenant to enjoy and engage with their property; one that is happy to leave them to their own devices, yet should an issue arise, respond quickly and decisively.

Think about it: Customer expectations and business practices are changing, and for the better. Customer service, respect, landlord attitude and agent reputation are now determining factors for today's best tenants when it comes time to renewing their lease. Get the right balance between an agent being professional and decisive and you will add dollars to your bottom line.

Call me if you want to chat about your investments. Our team is passionate about investing and looking after you, your tenant and your property.

Suzannah Toop

No comments: