As one of the top-rated Real Estate Brokerages leasing residential properties in Chicago we hear a lot of things from tenants moving into their new home. First impressions mean a lot. We’ve put together a few simple tips to set get your relationship with your new tenants off to a great start.
Tip #1: Make sure your property is clean and move-in ready.
When you hand the keys to your new tenants you want to make sure that the experience they have when they first enter the property is a good one. This first impression says a lot to the new tenant. It sets the tone for how they feel in their new home. For many it’s a trust issue that is established at this moment. In addition is serves as a marker of how you would expect the unit to be left when they move out. It demonstrates a pride in ownership and that they are expected to value your property.
Several owners that we work with will insure that they are able to clean properly by having their leases written so that the lease expires at 9 am on the first of the month. This allows the current tenants the early morning to move their things out and into their new home. The landlord will then direct us to write the new lease with start time at 2 or 3 pm that same day. This allows 2-3 hours to clean the property prior to the new tenants moving in.
Tip #2: Be aware of the property's condition.
Over the years we’ve placed many tenants that stay several years with a landlord. Even the best of tenants will cause normal wear and tear on a unit. Three to four weeks prior to the lease ending it could prove helpful to view the condition of the property to make sure appliances, walls, and surfaces are in good condition and that there are no repairs needed prior to new tenants moving in.
Many landlords that we work with do a mid-year or quarterly checkup of the property. We have seen landlords add wording to their leases that a cleaning service will come monthly to take care of things like grout, appliance interiors and other areas that renters too often skip. They usually build the cost of this cleaning service into the rent. Live Here Chicago has found some great cleaning services on Yelp and Angie’s List. Be sure to schedule this service in advance as many cleaning companies get very busy at the end of the month,
Tip #3: Prepare your tenants for a smooth move in.
Landlords score big points by simply sending an email to their tenants a couple weeks prior to move in reminding your new tenants to set up utilities, cable, and movers. This can be so helpful especially for first time renters. A simple list of names and contact numbers of the local utility and cable companies can save calls from tenants panicking because they forgot to have the electric or gas put in their names and are now taking cold showers!
Tip #4: Renters Insurance:
Renters insurance is fairly inexpensive. Most tenants do not understand that there’s a good chance that the contents of their apartment may not be covered by you insurance on the buildings. Strongly encourage your tenants to sign up for rental insurance by providing the names of numbers of a couple reputable companies.
Tip #5: Email your new tenants any important phone numbers they may need.
Email is a great way to communicate with you tenants because it allows them to access information at a later date. Providing you new tenants with the important phone numbers for emergencies such as lock-outs or immediate repair issues such as a HVAC system that stops working is important. Providing a backup phone number should your tenants not be able to reach you, or whomever manages your property, would be a good idea as well. If you have a preferred company or trades people that you use to handle emergency repairs for hot water heaters, dishwashers, or electrical, and you are not living in state, our we know that some out-of-town landlords allow the tenant to collect quotes for a repairs and send to the landlord for approval.
Tip #6: Leave a welcome bag in the unit.
Many of us have perhaps had an experience of renting a vacation property or an Airbnb property. You walk in the door and there on a table somewhere is a bag with some nice essentials. This doesn’t have to be expensive but this type of thoughtfulness goes a long way with tenants. One of the biggest reasons tenants say they stay year after year in a rental is because they have a great landlord. A little investment goes a long way in keeping vacancies at a minimum. A bag may include:
A couple of rolls of toilet paper
A couple rolls of paper towels
Bottle of multipurpose cleaner / Clorox wipes
A few bottles of water in the refrigerator
Some landlords might even leave a bag of coffee, salt & pepper or a bottle of wine
Live Here Chicago has a stellar reputation in assisting property owners lease and sell their properties. Please contact us at Live Here Chicago should you need assistance with any of your real estate needs. 773-782-1000 or Carolyn@liveherechicago.com.
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