Here is one of the most important landlord tips that will help you stay out of a lot of trouble with your tenants.
They’re not only tenants, they are people who should really be likened to clients.
Am I crazy? A tenant as a client, or heaven forbid, customer?
This is one of my Dad’s biggest secrets and he has been a landlord for over 50 years. I learned it from him and I’m practicing it myself because it works.
It worked for me yesterday.
I had a tenant call about a water heater and she was a little upset.
“The water only stays hot for one minute while I’m taking a shower. It’s been like that ever since I moved in a week ago.”
She went on to ‘explain’ how difficult that was and she needed something done pretty quickly.
My first reaction was why didn’t she call me sooner?
Did I tell her that? Of course not.
I asked a few questions to verify what I thought the problem was. I could tell over the phone it was one of the elements in the water heater. We later visited the unit and discovered we were right.
Uh oh. The bad news is our maintenance man had a doctor’s appointment the next day and couldn’t get to it until the day after that. She would have to do without hot water for another two days or so.
So, what’s next?
I called her and simply told her the truth. I communicated. I acted like I cared.
I apologized and explained we would fix it but she would have to wait.
She was okay with that.
So how did that happen? Why didn’t she get mad and upset?
Here’s the secret.
I showed interest in her problem. I showed interest in her. I was honest and told her what we could and couldn’t do.
Most of the time, unless your tenants are roasting in 100 degree heat, that will work.
Humility works. Yes, I think the meek will inherit.
Why is that?
I didn’t leave her dangling. I listened and I reacted.
She knows I’m working on it and she trusts me. If I do anything to lose that trust I really will be in for a rough time, not only with her, but with all of our tenants.
Keep in mind your tenants can make your life miserable if they want to. They have your phone number and a lease. Plus, if you do get lucky and the bad ones move, you will probably get worse ones to replace them with.
Keep your good tenants happy.