The Magic Formula for Reducing Your Vacancy Rates

Posted on 13. Jun, 2011 by in General

A vacant rental unit is your number one enemy as  a Landlord.  It’s a costly and time consuming process to continually find new tenants when leases expire.  Our industry reinforces the importance of treating your real estate investing like a business yet Landlords often overlook the significance of good customer service and the magical effect it can have on your business.

There’s a real easy way to reduce your vacancy rate and create customer loyalty. The magic formula is (drum roll…) creating positive relationships with your customers (tenants).  It’s really that simple!

It’s a given fact that without loyal customers you will not have a successful real estate business, no matter how hard you may try.  Your customers are paying premium dollars each month for a service and product that you are providing (quality housing).  Do you accept shoddy customer service? I know I don’t and neither should your customers.

Here are a few ways, off the top of my head, to keep your customers happy – hopefully these strategies will result in fewer vacancies, headaches and hassles for you!

* Adjust your attitude and view your tenants as customers or clients of your business. Find out what THEY want and do your best to give it to them!

* Make Your Customers Feel  At Home – A Welcome Pack for new customers is a nice, personal touch that goes a long way.  Our welcome basket is filled with coupons, menus, basic utensils and supplies (eg, garbage bags, dishwash detergent, cloths, kitchen and toilet roll etc).  Often we’ll leave a small plant and a welcome card too!  This small gesture makes a big difference and is really appreciated by our customers.

* Reward Customer Loyalty – Consider offering small incentives such as Christmas Gift Baskets, gift cards and the occasional Thank You card.  When a customer has been with us for 2 years or longer, we offer to repaint a room of their choice (even if it doesn’t need it!).  It’s in our best interest anyway to keep the property in great condition but it also shows that we are not only professional but decent too. Which leads me nicely onto the next point…….

* Look After Your Property – Maintaining your property in good condition is so important in looking after your customer.  Attend to repairs, complaints and issues in a timely and efficient manner. We encourage all our tenants to notify us as soon as possible if there is a problem with the property. We conduct regular inspections of the rental units that we self manage here in Halifax.  It’s just something that we like to do, it shows we are interested in maintaining the property to a specific standard.

* Keep the lines of Communication Flowing Freely – Breakdown in communication is detrimental to good customer service and loyalty.   Try to understand your customer’s perspective (not always easy to do!) – let your customer know they can speak with you when needed.

* Develop mutual respect for each other’s role and put all agreements and expectations of your roles in writing.

Keeping your customer happy is a great business strategy to maximize your profits. Treating your customer well will ensure their happiness which can significantly result in reduced costs in the long run with higher retention rates and lease renewals.

Have a great week.

Jane

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