Northland Property Investors' Association

northland@nzpif.org.nz

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01-04-2012

Professionalism and Profitability

Having recently re-let a rental property, some of the comments from prospective tenants made me think about the service level of some rental property providers.

Our rental was a nice place in nice condition and somewhere I would happily live. But it was by no means a mansion. It had not been renovated or improved for some time and we had just provided some basic extra cleaning in addition to the previous tenant’s efforts.

Despite what I considered only a rudimentary presentation of the property I was amazed at the comments I received from applicants. They thought that our property was amazing.  

This got me thinking that many of the properties I was competing against were not up to scratch. Simply by keeping my property well maintained and clean, I was ahead of the market.

It’s not rocket science. No matter where your property is located or what the potential target tenant your property suits, if you have a well maintained, clean and tidy property you will have your pick of tenants.

The obvious benefit is that you get the best tenant, however there are other benefits from acting professional in providing rental accommodation. Probably the biggest benefit is that happy tenants in a properly priced and well maintained property tend to stay longer. This isn’t always the case of course as individual tenants circumstances can change. But on balance, I have found that when you take a customer focussed attitude to your rental property, your tenants tend to stay longer.

Often the biggest hassle of owning and self managing your rentals is finding tenants. It always involves a lot of work and is disruptive to your everyday life. So good tenant selection and then keeping that ideal tenant happy is a key part to being a happy landlord.

Many Associations around the country provide wonderful speakers who provide excellent tips on how to secure and keep great tenants. There are also membership benefits that make the job easier.

Through providing excellent speakers and exposure to other members, your local PIA provides pertinent information on how to market your property to prospective tenants. Good text that sells the benefits of your property is essential, as are good photographs which should visibly attract tenants to your property.

With a large number of applicants, application forms make it easier to record who has come through the property, what their details and situations are and what you thought of them.

An application form also provides a signed authorisation to conduct a credit check on the successful applicant. PIA membership provides a discount on obtaining a credit check through TINZ, so there is no reason why this shouldn’t be a standard part of your tenant selection.

In addition to selling the property, don’t forget to sell yourself. Tell them that while you intend to keep up-to-date with maintenance, should anything go wrong with the property you are prompt with getting the problem attended to.

I also show prospective tenants the NZPIF Code of Ethics as a visual commitment to customer service.

It isn’t that hard to be professional in providing rental accommodation, but it puts you ahead of your competition. So if you want the best tenants to stay in your property for the maximum length of time paying a good market rent, think about what you can do to demonstrate your professionalism. 

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