One of the key ingredients owning a rental property is not just to make sure the monthly rent covers all your expenses including maintenance and repairs but that rent is collected each month. Every month when due. This saves a ton of headaches when you see your bank balance grow instead of havingbeing a good landlord to make collection calls each month.

One month without a rent check and there goes a significant chunk of profit for the year. And the best way to make sure you get paid on time is to find and keep good tenants. But even the best of tenants ultimately leave for any variety of reasons from buying their first home to a new job or a transfer. When that happens, one of the things you want is a good reputation. You want to be known as a good landlord.

Say a potential renter talks to one of your tenants and says something like, “So, how’s the landlord?”  There are basically three responses:

  • “He’s alright, I guess.”
  • “He’s fan-TASTIC!” and
  • “Ugh, he’s terrible.”

So which of those three that, given the chance, you want your current tenants to say? That’s pretty obvious but being “fantastic” doesn’t necessarily being their best friend. In fact, you don’t want to cozy up with a tenant and get too close to them. What if the couple breaks up and they go on their separate ways and they’re about to break the lease? Or your tenants is constantly late with the rent and pushes the monthly cash flow out further and further as each month passes by? Being someone’s “best friend” can cause a few landlords to be too reluctant when they have to be the “bad guy” collecting the past due rent, or worse, evict them.

Instead, getting the “fantastic” rating means responding to their calls promptly, taking care of any maintenance issues and providing them with a safe, comfortable place to stay. Send a survey asking what they like about the property and what you could do to make their renting experience more enjoyable. They may want you to put in a hot tub and lower the rent but the point is to let them know you care about them. That’s all most people want, just knowing you care what they think and they’re not just a monthly rent check.