You May Be A Landlord. But, You Are Not A Lord And Your Tenant Isn’t Your Servant Either
In my humble opinion, buying properties is relatively easy to do but managing your tenants is another ball game altogether. I would like to share my two cents’ worth on tenant management here:-
- Jerry (fake name of course) – is one of my tenants at one of my properties. Both him and his family have been renting from us for about ve years now.
- I will not be raising rentals in 2018 as a sign of my appreciation to Jerry. However, I will be increasing rentals slightly in 2019. Furthermore, I will be collecting 12 months’ worth post-dated cheques from him.
- Most importantly, I do not view Jerry as a tenant per se. He isn’t my servant, and I’m not his “lord” either. Below is the actual message which I sent to him. Do read on:-
Hi Jerry, (my tenant)
- We have always viewed you as our valued business partner and we appreciate your continuous support throughout the years. As a sign of our appreciation for your loyalty, we are pleased to maintain the same rental of RM2,400 per month for the next one year (ending March 2019).
- As spoken, please prepare 12 months of post-dated cheques starting from 1 March 2018 onwards. Cheques are to be made payable to Mark Chua for RM2,400 per month.
- You have also agreed to a slight rental revision to RM2,500 per month from April 2019 onward for a period of one year. We hope you view this as a win-win arrangement, as RM2,500 is still within reasonable boundaries.
- P.S. – I have a small CNY hamper to pass to you and your family too!
Thanks again for your support and partnership. Mark Chua
MORAL OF THE STORY?
- Jerry is not my tenant. I am not his landlord. We are equal business partners aiming for a win-win relationship. I have maintained the rental for 2018 which has made him happy. However, Jerry has agreed to pay higher rentals in 2019 which has made me happy.
- As a landlord, this method already puts you in a good position. Why? This is because 90% of landlords out there do not even bother raising rentals. Therefore, always manage expectations from Day 1.
- Tenants are human beings. They are not “transaction items” who only deserve a cold and robotic treatment. Don’t get me wrong – I am not suggesting that we become too friendly with tenants either on the other side of the trajectory. However, warm professionalism with a human touch will go a long way towards promoting tenant loyalty.
- Buy hampers or small gifts for your tenants as a sign of appreciation and respect. Treat them as equal partners and make them feel important. Sometimes, it is the little things that will make a huge difference. That is the key to having longer term tenancies.
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