Clearly you need to spend capital to be successful in the real estate investment field. More importantly, this is the art to thriving as an investor and it’s the biggest part of our job. Not understanding that our properties will require constant investment is why some thrive and some don’t. For us “buy and hold” investors we must realize that sometimes we need to spend money to protect our investment and this is the key to obtaining and keeping quality tenants. Too often we see owners want to cut corners on the cost of rehab or maintenance, but the best advice we’ve ever received on the industry was “fix it right now so you never have to come back”.
Some people have the stupid belief that tenants want to take advantage of owners by making unnecessary maintenance calls and asking for ridiculous request (e.g., changing light bulbs or finishing the attic) and we know from experience that this isn’t true. Tenants just want a comfortable place to stay. Yes, a few people will take advantage but most of us don’t want people in and out of our house constantly fixing things; and we certainly don’t want the landlord stopping by (especially unannounced). Taking care of and being accountable for our properties (our company policy to respond to maintenance request within 72 hours) shows appreciation for our customers and in turn they will exercise their accountability by paying rent on time. Remember we have already screened them so we know they are capable, but we give renters ammunition when we don’t keep up our end of the bargain. We are the landlord, so “be too big to act small” (line we heard from Shaq lol). Say to all your tenants, ” it may be my house, but make it your Home”.
We write these lessons from experience, as we have noticed that when we INVESTED our money into making the home look and feel nice, that our tenants stayed long term (a year or more) and made FEWER maintenance calls. In short, the secret to having a long-term quality tenant (besides the usual background screen, income verification, and criminal/credit history……blah blah blah) is taking care of your property. That’s it! No birthday cards, Christmas gift bags, no special incentives for paying on time, no intimate, “let me get to know you so we can build a good relationship and you will pay your rent” chats over a beer (we have tried them all!). No no no – treat it like a business and tenants will respect it like a business. Which leads us to our closing statement, spend the necessary amount of money, make maintenance our number one priority & be consistent .