Why being a landlord means being in customer service
07 June, 2018
Tenants today are as vulnerable as they ever were. I believe landlords should understand this, and be the best customer service people they can be.
Having a customer service mindset
There are a lot of people out there who become landlords for different reasons. Some become landlords by accident. Perhaps a family couldn't sell their starter home, and opted to rent it out instead. Some people become landlords to diversify their investments, seeing real estate as a good investment vehicle. Others become landlords because they want to be property managers and invest in real estate full-time.
No matter how you became a landlord. I believe you need to take on the mindset of a customer service representative. You are there to serve your tenants first, above all else. In this article I'll lay out some reasons why I feel this way.
You're in a relationship now
Anyone could merely own a property and charge rent
There must be a good relationship between you and your tenants. I mean think about it: a tenant is willing to put down 30-50% of their take home pay, on top of security deposits, in order to live in an apartment you own. A tenant will be sleeping, living, and experiencing their lives within this apartment.
This puts tenants in a very vulnerable situation, and it’s the landlords responsibility to provide great service. Anyone could merely own a property and charge rent. But I think it’s the landlords duty to respect their tenants by fixing issues quickly, keeping the property up to date, and meeting the needs of everyone in their property.
Tenants are vulnerable
As a landlord, you're asking for the majority of someone's savings account just to move into your apartment
Let’s talk again about how much money a tenant puts down when renting an apartment. In my home town, a two bedroom apartment goes for about $1400 per month. When signing a new lease, typically a landlord would ask for: first and last months rent upfront, and a 1 month security deposit. That's $4,200 just to get into your lease! According to a poll by CNBC, at least 80% of millennials have less than $5,000 in savings. That means as a landlord, you're asking for the majority of someone's savings account just to move into your apartment. The least you could do is be responsive and attentive to their needs.
Tenants are in a very vulnerable situation when it comes to finances and renting. Being a responsive and service-oriented landlord is the least one could do.
Currently, there are landlords out there willing to charge tenants MORE just to apply to rent an apartment. I think that is a reckless and shameful position to take. Tenants are already severely at a disadvantage, why take more money from them even earlier in the process of renting an apartment?
Keep these thoughts in mind when managing a property
Being a landlord can be a fruitful and exciting experience. Just remember that you're dealing with other peoples lives, and finances. If you keep this mindset at the forefront of your property management practices, you'll do very well for yourself, your business, and your tenants.