Look after your Tenant

by Glenn Ackroyd

9:00 AM, 26th October 2012
About 6 years ago

Look after your Tenant

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Look after your Tenant

One of the oft used business phrases is “look after your customers”, but should this be “look after your tenant”. In lettings it is easy to assume that once you have a tenant you should simply leave them alone and your work is done.

Imagine that philosophy in a restaurant – you are shown to your table and left alone for the rest of the evening!

If you look after a tenant they will stay longer. Our average tenancy length is 48 months – compared to the industry norm of 22.

We do a lot of things to achieve this. From the day a tenant contacts us to view a house, we make the application process easy.

We have a Tenant Customer Club. Here tenants can get the benefit of group buying power to get cheapest utility bills for gas, electric, TV broadband etc. We even arrange their utilities switch over on move in day.

We help them with re-direction of mail and with information on how to contact DVLA to change their driving license. We also show them how to find the nearest chemist or dentist.

By going to such lengths, tenants are more likely to choose us over another agent because we show that we care.

When they move in, we send them a welcome hamper. This creates goodwill and hopefully a long term relationship. We also assign them a personal relationship manager who they can direct dial call or email.

Ultimately this benefits us and our landlords. As well as the pride in giving a great service, tenants are more likely to take care of their homes and stay longer. So fewer voids and more rental income for our client’s.



Comments

16:38 PM, 26th October 2012
About 6 years ago

Nice idea to give them a welcome hamper. I wonder how many landlords go to such lengths to settle their tenants in so well?

19:17 PM, 26th October 2012
About 6 years ago

This contributor tends to overdo the sales quite a lot. I've received email from from him making outrageous claims.

Joe Bloggs

13:50 PM, 27th October 2012
About 6 years ago

i think the hamper is unnecessary schmoose. the rental is a business contract and bribing gifts just undermine the terms and signal weakness. in my experience what tenants want is the landlord to provide the let clean and in repair and if that is done there is usually adequate goodwill.

Tony Atkins

7:28 AM, 7th November 2012
About 6 years ago

I'm probably a cynical old so-and-so, but aren't tenants supposed to be grown-up adults capable of organising their own domestic affairs, including utility bills and finding a chemist? A rental property is not a restaurant! If you infantilise tenants by pretending you will do everything for them, there is a serious danger they will just keep coming back for more, expecting you to empty their hoover bag when it "stops working" and the like. They will then complain you are around the house too often and a snooping landlord who doesn't give them 24 hours notice of attendance and so on.

Equally I'm not averse to giving a tenant a guided tour when they move in, to show them where the stopcock is and how to work the central heating controls, and I might mention the location of shops, library and so on in general discussion if they are new to the area. The trick is to be friendly but businesslike, and make it very clear what your expectations are as a landlord. As long as they pay the rent and don't damage the house, and you conduct repairs in a timely manner, I think tenant and landlord should leave each other alone except for the occasional catchup discussion every 2-3 months. To avoid voids it is important however to keep abreast of the tenant's inclination to stay and any changes in their circumstances, if they're prepared to be tell you.

13:32 PM, 7th November 2012
About 6 years ago

Helping tenants find a utility provider with good prices and good ADMIN, means there are likely to be less problem to sort out when the tenant leaves. Also the agent may get a little commission.

If it is cheap and easy to provide details of local chemists etc, why not? Not everyone will have internet access on the day they move somewhere new.

If the hamper contains basic items like a light bulb, toilet paper, tea, coffee, plastic cap, pen etc it would be very cheap to provide. I also like the ideal of being able to go round a few hours after someone has moved in to hand over a hamper (and discover if there are any problems).

I don’t think any of this costs The National Property Group much or takes any real effort as they are working at a large scale and have all the processes in place.

One ideal I just had, would a national takeaway provider be willing to give agents vouchers that can be used for a “free” takeaway on the day the tenant moves in?


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