As a landlord or property manager, your tenants are the foundation of your success. Without them, just like in any business, you would not succeed. You should always look at your tenants as customers and treat them as such. If you take care of your tenants, they will stay longer, be better renters, and often refer their friends and family in need of housing. Retention rates and renewals are the key to success in property management.

Often, landlords spend a lot of time focused on new tenants and getting people in the door, leaving long-term residents unattended. The problem with this is that your long-term tenants are the best ones you have. Make sure that when you’re creating a customer service plan to take care of your tenants, you consider both acquisition and retention.

Communication is Everything

There are a number of tips for improving customer service and keeping tenants happy, but they all have one common element: communication. A good landlord will keep in touch with tenants at every phase of the rental process and make sure that their needs are fulfilled. To begin with, you should make your new tenants feel like they are welcome and at home. Consider welcome baskets, phone lists, and coupon books, and other local resources that can be gifted. The items should be helpful and show that you care.

After people have moved in, give them some time to get settled. Then, you should check in and see how they are doing. Ask if they have any new concerns or issues that need to be addressed, and how they are liking their new home. This should make them feel comfortable reaching out to you while showing that you encourage communication.

Speaking of communication, make sure that you answer all of your calls and messages in a timely manner. Nothing is more frustrating to a tenant with little control than not getting a response to an urgent (or even a non-urgent) message.

Maintain in a Timely Manner

As much as your communication should be prompt, so should all repair work. This includes projects that have to be contracted out. Completing repair requests in a timely manner reflects well with tenants, but is also part of your legal obligation as a landlord. When things need to be fixed, fix them or hire someone who can. Check in regularly with tenants to assess their needs and determine if any additional maintenance needs to be done. Provide them with an easy way to report problems. Tenants that feel heard are more likely to be satisfied with their living situation.