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New tenants moving in? Here’s how to start the relationship right!

By Rikki Cook

Found the perfect tenants for your investment property? Nice work!

But that doesn’t mean you should just sit back and wait for move-in day. As a landlord, you want to get off on the right foot with incoming renters by making them feel welcome and looked after from the start. If tenants like you, they’ll be more likely to respect your space, pay rent on time or even stick around longer. If they don’t, the relationship can become very stressful.

 Want to make a strong first impression with your new tenants? Here are three tips from our property management experts.

1. Get the property in top shape

When you own investment properties, you never want them to sit empty. Unrented periods are money wasted – we get that. But while it may be tempting to rush people in, this isn’t the best way to increase rental cash flow as it will instantly cast you as unreliable in your tenants’ eyes.

Before welcoming renters, ensure their space is in ideal condition by cleaning thoroughly and making necessary repairs. This shouldn’t be a surface-level clean either – now is when you take on the big jobs, such as:

  • Steaming the carpets,
  • Cleaning windowsills and window tracks,
  • Scrubbing the walls and doors,
  • Laundering the blinds,
  • Dusting and vacuuming hard-to-reach ledges, on top of cupboards, etc.
  • De-scaling shower heads and faucets.

Renters expect the home to be as good as new, so allocate at least a few days.

This unrented period is also a great opportunity to add value to your rental property. Think about projects and renovations the home could use – this is your chance to build new storage spaces, rip up old carpet, replace dated counter tops and so on.

2. Prepare for a smooth move-in

If you want happy tenants, don’t leave them in the dark. All too often, landlords drop the ball when it comes to communication, failing to let tenants know about important matters such as inspections and repairs.

Don’t be that landlord. Show your tenants you’re reliable by e-mailing them important details prior to move-in day. This message should describe when and where they’ll pick up keys, whether someone will be present at the property and who to call should they have any questions. It’s also a good idea to remind tenants about setting up utilities, internet and movers. If you have trusted providers for these services, include their names and phone numbers in the email. Moving can be stressful and this simple step will mean a lot to your tenants.

3. Leave a welcome gift

Don’t leave it up to the neighbours to welcome your renters! Make them feel right at home with a small gift from you.

This can be simple and inexpensive – a handwritten note accompanied by some new-home essentials, such as:

  • A few rolls of toilet paper,
  • Tea towels,
  • Dish and hand soap,
  • Bottled water,
  • Multi-purpose cleaner.

Some landlords might leave coffee, a bottle of wine or an indoor plant, but this isn’t necessary. The whole point is to eliminate the need for that trip to the shop when renters realise they’ve forgotten something.

Working with a property management team

If you’re thinking these steps sound time consuming, you’re right. Being an effective and likeable landlord isn’t easy, particularly when you have multiple properties in your portfolio. Fortunately, professional property management services can help.

At Ray White Alexandra Hills, our dedicated property managers are there to look after your tenants. With us, you can enjoy full peace of mind that your property is in good hands and that your renters needs are being met.

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