Improving landlord tenant relationships

Offering “perks” can attract a better tenant

Can new technologies and included features/services get you a better quality applicant for your rental property?

With many changes in the real estate marketplace, the skyrocketing prices of home ownership and the influx of immigrants in the major city centres, there continues to be a growing pool of tenants that are looking for a place to call home. Not just any place though. We’re definitely seeing a trend that tenants are becoming pickier then ever and it’s not a bad thing – they’re being selective because they’re searching for a place to call “home”, not just a place to live – they don’t want to own, they want a great property and a great landlord.

So what can you do to make your property stand out from the rest? What can you do to find that perfect, longer-term tenant that takes amazing care of your investment? What can you do that may increase your asking price for rent?

Offer up extras.

You can get carried away and over-the-top with this, so it’s important to stick to what a tenant may actually see value in. At the same time, you might strategically think about adding extras that add value to the property or assist in the upkeep and overall maintenance of it. You’ll also have the benefit of being able to deduct these expenses from the rental income when tax time rolls around.

Here are a few ideas that you could offer up;

  1. Have the ducts cleaned and include it in your advertising. This shows prospective tenants that you care about their well being and they’ll appreciate not having to breathe in the dust, dirt and dander left behind the previous tenant. Cost: $200-300.
  2. Furnace filter replacements. This not only will ensure your tenants are getting properly filtered air during all seasons, it also will ensure proper maintenance of your furnace. You can leave the tenant with the filters or take it a step further and offer to do the replacement yourself. Doing it yourself gives you another opportunity to check up on the home. Cost: $70/yr
  3. Include lawn maintenance. Offering professional lawn care can provide your tenant with a more maintenance-free style of living and means they have less work to do around the house. It will also ensure the lawn is looking good and you don’t have to worry about re-sodding the next time you rent the property. Since it is seasonal, the cost is higher during the summer months, but you really should only have to worry about 13-18 visits per year. Cost: $500-$1000.
  4. Professional cleaning. Offering your tenant an occasional deep-cleaning of the home is quite the perk! They can come home to a spotless home and you get the peace-of-mind knowing the home is clean. You can have the cleaners focus on detail items such as baseboards, cabinets, window sills and other areas that tenants can sometimes forget about. Doing this on or around special occasions or holidays is a great idea to treat your tenant. This is something that can be as often or as infrequent as you want, but doing it quarterly could help you keep the costs in check and still provide great value to the tenant. It would also be a great offering in your advertising. Cost: $200-300 per visit.
  5. Smart home technologies. Whether it’s a Nest thermostat, or maybe a Weiser Premis installed in the front door, people love new home tech, especially if they don’t have to pay for it. There’s ample choice when it comes to tech for the home and including some of them in your rental property can certainly help your home stand out from the others. Cost: the sky’s the limit.

You’re probably reading this and wondering why you should spend all this extra money on a rental property. Our answer is simple – you don’t have to! But, if you want to rent your property faster, for more money and have plenty of high-quality prospective tenants, you may want to considering including some goodies.