Valued, happy tenants and well cared for properties are an investors most important assets that we should act to preserve.  However, are we intentional about scheduling a time to do either? Why?  It is possibly our mindset, angst over what we might encounter when we arrive.

Shifting your mindset and putting energy in developing a customer care plan can make this a happy experience for everyone. For best outcomes set clear intentions with this yearly inspection and what you hope to achieve.  It is time to see the house and have a conversation with your tenant.  This engagement will convey to the them that you are partners in providing safe and affordable homes for them to live in.

To make this the best customer service experience make an outline of what would be important to attend to.  Be consistent with your review process and how you might engage with the tenant.  Develop and mail to each tenant ahead of your visit a questionnaire regarding their satisfaction with living in the home and what desires they might have.  (Be sure to include a pre-addressed envelope).  Don’t be offended if they don’t return it…just pleased if they do.

Contact each tenant and set a time that is convenient for them and you.  Make sure to keep your appointed time and show up on time.  This easy yet important step will build trust with them and set them at ease.

Once scheduled, prepare by setting aside time to review the following:

  • your journal of maintenance done and upgrades
  • Review the lease and the rent rolls so that you know if everything is current
  • Review capital expenditures such as roof, hvac, etc.
  • Take pictures while you are there so that you can develop a plan.
  • Review your previous home inspection report to assure you attended to noted items. This will allow you to build trust by keeping your word.

While you are at the visit practice being present and asking engaged questions.  Tenants will tell you more if they feel comfortable and know that you really care.  Listen carefully!  Have your checklist with you so that you can share what you are reviewing and can engage their input regarding the home.  Many of the people who live in my homes are good people and have lived with me for awhile and I care about their happiness.

Following up after the inspection is important to building your relationship with them.  Below are a few things:

  • Keep your promises – if you say you are going to take care of something that you saw in the inspection – do it!
  • Follow up with a nice card

New mindsets make owning and managing rental property a positive experience!