“Home isn’t a place. It is a person”
Our family code includes a belief that sharing happiness is a secret ingredient to the good life. As property investors I can tell you that happy tenants make all the difference.
We try to provide the highest quality and nicest house that we can then we rent it out slightly below market rent. This means that we have a large group of families and we can choose from.
We complete regular rent reviews, but quite often if the family are lovely we won’t raise the rent. We write them a note telling them what the market rent is and that on this occasion we won’t be increasing the rent. We always related it to things that they are doing to take care of the property, to improve it and to make our rental their home. Once renters start treating your property as their home you are in a very good position.
When we do have to raise the rent it comes as no surprise to the tenants and we’ve found they take it very well because they feel that it is a fair deal. They have probably looked around and so they know that are onto a winner.
We also provide small gifts on the holidays, thank you notes if we notice they did something (like mow the lawn or paint the letterbox), lend them tools to do simple chores, and sometimes money to help improve the property (all to our mutual benefit). We also encourage planting a garden as we’ve found many tenants have never grown food before and really get a kick out of it.
Over time we build a relationship with our tenants that is akin to the relationship we have with our neighbours. Unfortunately some landlords just look at their tenant’s as either numbers on a spreadsheet or as a necessary annoyance. When we were renting we had more than one landlord just aching to screw us out of as much money as they were able. I guess they were mad keen on getting that SUV, but when was the last time an SUV gave you a lobster, helped you paint your house or gave you a hug?
Life is about happiness. It is the essential oil that can keep business human. Happiness is gained by openly giving and sharing not taking or screwing people over for a couple of extra bucks. Happiness flows from the quality of the relationships we have with all of the people that we encounter.
Perhaps we have just been very lucky all these years attracting the perfect tenants. Maybe there is some truth in that, but we don’t think so. We have actively invested time with the families who inhabit our homes. That said we have still done well financially while enjoying ourselves and meeting very nice people.
We’ve really enjoyed the landlord experience.
We think nice guys tend to finish last because they’re too busy making friends along the way.