Be honest with yourself. How much interaction do you have with your tenants?
Probably not much right?
That’s why it’s so important to make a great first impression. You’ve already done the hard work of preparing the unit, running a background check, credit check & you’ve FINALLY found some great tenants. Now is the time to make a killer first impression and let your tenants know that they are in good hands.
Nail The Introduction
Believe it or not, people formulate an impression of you within a blink of an eye.
So look the part. Dress up, smile and take some time out of your schedule to do a walk through with your tenants and make them feel at home. If your schedule won’t allow you to do a personal introduction, consider sending them a personalized landlord introduction letter.
Create an Awesome Welcome Book
I’m kind of amazed that I don’t see this tip listed more often to be honest…
If you’ve ever been to a vacation rental or Airbnb they almost always have an amazing welcome book that highlights great local restaurants, points of interest, emergency contact info and local transportation options.
Odds are that most of your would-be tenants are probably new to the city and would genuinely appreciate something like this. As an added bonus, you can reduce frequently asked questions by including things like management rules, pet policies, parking information, garbage collection & more.
Here is a great Welcome Book Template to get you started.
I hope this one seems obvious!
When your tenant first walks through the door of their new home, you want to do everything in your control to make that a powerful, lasting experience. How your tenants feel in their new home is a big deal. By taking the time to do a proper top to bottom cleaning of the unit, you are letting the tenant know that you take pride in maintaining the property and you care about their experience when renting from you.
You only get one chance at making this first impression. Don’t blow it by being cheap!
A new coat of paint and steam cleaning the carpet can breathe new life into a space. If you have room in the budget, adding nice blinds, curtains and other accessories to the space is a great way to make the unit feel more welcoming.
Provide Local Utilities Information
Your tenants probably have a lot going on trying to coordinate their upcoming move with work, family, and packing their belongings – here’s your chance to make their lives just a little bit easier before they even set foot through the door.
Prior to your tenants move in date, make sure e-mail them the contact information for your local power company, internet, & cable providers. This serves 2 very important functions.
- Makes moving & settling in easier for your tenants.
- Ensures that they setup the utilities in their name as soon as possible so you aren’t stuck footing a portion of their bill.
Leave Them A Welcome Package
Want to really blow your tenants away?
Top everything off with a small gift basket or personalized welcome package. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive but the simple gesture of stocking some essentials like hand soap & paper towels can go a really long way.
In addition to providing a few staples for your new tenants, I like to throw in either a nice craft beer 6 pack or bottle of wine along with a few chocolates or other snacks. It doesn’t have to be incredibly elaborate or expensive to make a huge impact!
Here’s a list of my personal favorites to include in a welcome package.
- Liquid hand soap in the bathroom
- Few rolls of toilet paper
- A six pack of craft beer or moderately priced wine
- A few bottles of water for moving day
- Assorted chocolates or flowers.
- An awesome Welcome Book
- Fridge magnet for the local pizza place
I don’t know about you, but I work really hard to find top-notch tenants and I want to do everything in my power to keep them happy and renting from me. Vacancies are inevitable, but you don’t have to go down without a fight.
Make it clear to your tenants from day one that they will be hard pressed to find a better landlord anywhere else. I guarantee you they will have to think long and hard about moving to another place if you continue to show up and follow through with your duties as a landlord.
Did I miss anything?
I’d love to hear some of your tips for making a great first impression with your new tenants.
About the Author
John is passionate about renovating old and outdated properties and turning them into awesome & profitable homes. When he is not busy fixing things, you can usually find him crunching numbers on properties or writing helpful advice for aspiring landlords over at MyModernHome.net.