Many owners end up losing thousands of dollars on their investment properties each year. This is because they have either taken the risk of allowing a tenant into their property who was not a suitable applicant, or worse yet, their property management team advised them to accept an unsuitable tenant just to get the rental income.
Excellent tenants are a HUGE asset because they give you the best possible return on your investment. Whenever we’re assessing whether to place a tenant into your property or keep an existing tenant after their initial lease has expired, we identify whether they have the qualities of an excellent tenant.
We want to ensure we only select excellent tenants and then keep them happy with the excellent service from our excellent people as they more likely to do the following for you:
- Renew their lease agreement when it is due to expire (helping you avoid the horrendous cost of a vacancy)
- Accept reasonable rent increase upon renewing their lease agreement
- Treat the property as if it was their own home
- GIVE YOU THE BEST POSSIBLE RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT
Our guidelines for excellent tenants
- Tenants who have realistic expectations of you as the owner
- Tenants who respect us as their property manager, the property and you as the owner
- Tenants who pay their rent on time
- Tenants who look after your property and have it well presented for inspection
- Tenants who report the required maintenance to us through our online maintenance system
- Tenants who are willing to self-help when required (for example; troubleshooting maintenance before expecting a tradesman to attend at your cost)
The aim of good property management is to keep excellent tenants for as long as possible. We incorporate a customer service focus in all our processes and attempt to provide ‘that little bit extra’. For example, we give them presents during their induction.
This is not common in this industry so this makes them feel special and valued. This means they’re more likely to stay in your property and renew their lease year on year!
How we select an excellent tenant for you
1. Potential tenant enquiries:
Many tenants are frustrated by the time it takes a property management agency to get back to their enquiry. They are trying to book an inspection at your property and many cases, they don’t receive a call back at all.
That’s why we offer a completely automated online booking system for your property. At any time potential tenants can book an inspection without having to wait for us to respond.
Not only will your property rent significantly faster than others in the marketplace, their first experience with us will be delightful.
If/when a tenant phones our agency we assist them in booking-in an inspection AND we start our qualifying process right from the initial phone call.
2. The inspection:
We NEVER hand out keys for your property. We ONLY arrange personal inspections where we can meet potential tenants at the property. Small things like arriving 5 minutes early, opening all of the windows and turning on lights make a world of difference to how your property is presented.
This personal interaction with potential tenants allows us to “sell” your property which results in a much faster application. We can also qualify your tenant at the inspection and ‘test’ them against our excellent guidelines. If we think a potential tenant is an excellent tenant, they will be offered an application at the inspection. Then we continually follow them up until we know if they’re going to submit an application or not.
3. The application
This is the MOST important part of our qualification process with your tenant and our best opportunity to ensure your tenant has the qualities of an excellent tenant. Before even accepting the application we go through a serious of questions with your tenant to ensure you will receive the best return on investment. Although it is not 100% guaranteed, experience shows this is our best chance of filtering out the majority of the unwanted tenants before they move into your property.
We also carry out all of the ‘normal’ checks every property management agency should undertake before recommending a tenant for your property. These are;
- Sufficient evidence of income
- Previous rental history check
- Work and personal reference checks
- 100 points of ID
- Tenancy default database check
4. Approving the application
Because of the shortfalls of the industry the application process is unfortunately where a lot of landlords lose money.
Other property management agencies take days or even weeks to process the application. Sometimes, they never hear anything back at all.
Once property managers have ‘processed’ an application, they pass the decision onto the owner with little to no advice or feedback on WHY the tenant is suitable for their property.
- Days or weeks of lost rental income due to the lag time in between
- Completely losing an excellent tenant because they took another property in the meantime
- Accepting a tenant who is not suitable because on paper, they seemed ‘ok’
We ensure any application we receive is processed in full within 1 business day from when we receive it.
One of the most common excuses potential tenants hear from property management agencies is that “they are still waiting to hear back from the owner”. The reason they check with the owner and don’t provide you with sufficient advice on whether to take the tenant or not is because they’re not willing to take responsibility.
We believe that you pay us for our knowledge, expertise and experience and we should already have the appropriate instructions from you to make this decision on your behalf. This is why we don’t involve you in the process of selecting tenants.
If you were a doctor, you wouldn’t ask an accountant to make a decision for you about a broken arm, so we don’t expect you to make decisions for us.
Processing the application quickly and making a decision in accordance with your instructions enables us to give your new tenant an excellent experience whilst ensuring you get the best return on investment possible.
5. The tenancy induction:
As soon as the application has been approved, we organise for you tenant to do tenancy induction. This is a formal meeting where we sit down with your new tenants and do the following:
- Collect and receipt their bond and first 2 weeks rent (the deal is never done until the money is in the bank!)
- Explain and educate them on what we expect and what is required of them to be an excellent tenant
- Ensure all required documentation is explained and signed in full
- Shower them with gifts and vouchers to ensure they have an excellent experience
Keep your excellent tenants happy by giving them an excellent experience
Peace of mind and the best return on
Rental payments & arrears
We know that getting your money on time is crucial to you. Because of this, we know it’s equally as important that we have a firm procedure and policy when it comes to rental payments and arrears.
Some property management agencies ‘break the rules’ by attempting to make tenants pay their rent in advance. Because we are experts, we know this is considered illegal. Instead, we encourage (not force) your tenants to keep their rent in advance and explain to them the benefits of paying their rent in this manner. If they’re not 4 days in advance with their rent we send them a courtesy email and SMS to let them know. In most cases, this stops the tenant from falling into arrears altogether.
In the small number of cases that the advance method is not successful we track our rental payments and arrears daily. This means if your tenant is behind in their rent, even by one day we attempt to get in contact with them immediately via phone, email and SMS.
We continue this every day until they have rectified the situation and their rent is paid back up to date and in advance.
If your tenant becomes 7 days behind in their rent, we immediately commence our breach and eviction procedure. This includes contacting and informing you. This is a legislative procedure we MUST follow to ensure that should the worst happen, we can minimise the number of days of lost rent for you.
If you have taken our advice and obtain the appropriate landlord insurance, you might find that in the end you may not be out of pocket at all. Find out more about our preferred landlord insurer.
We start contacting your tenants at least 2 months before their lease expires to negotiate a new lease with them. You will also receive an email from us advising that their lease is expiring and we will keep you informed throughout the process via phone and email until we know what the outcome is.
Whenever negotiating a new lease with a tenant knowledge is power so before entering into any discussion we compare the rent they’re paying to other properties in the market.
We then negotiate with your tenant to ensure we obtain the following:
- Longest lease possible
- Highest rent possible
Once we have the best possible offer from your tenant, we get the lease signed immediately (depending on your instructions) and then let you know the great news!
If we don’t believe your tenant is an excellent tenant and you would be better off finder a new one, we won’t hide this from you and we will advise you to move the tenant on.
During your tenants stay we want to make sure they are looking after your property and treating it like their own home. We also want to be transparent and share this information with you.
We do routine inspections at least twice per year, sometimes three. When we conduct your routine inspection we produce a photographic report of the property.
For each room we will score your tenant’s routine and will also include any feedback to you on maintenance or potential improvements you could make if/when the property is to become vacant again.
Our scoring system is as follows:
Excellent – Your tenant is keeping your property clean and well maintained and has presented the property well for their routine inspection.
Satisfactory – Your tenant has made an effort for their routine inspection and are keeping the property in a satisfactory condition, however, we have left them feedback on how they could improve.
Unsatisfactory – During the inspection, we have found that your tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement.
If your tenant has an ‘unsatisfactory’ inspection we will, of course, contact you and advise you on what the plan of action is to hold your tenant accountable and to get the issue rectified.
When your tenant vacates
At some point in time, your tenant will vacate your property.
This is a very delicate process as moving home is stressful for most people. Your tenant needs to be treated well but also made aware of their obligations when vacating. This needs to be done BEFORE they move, otherwise, it could end in disaster.
We ensure we have a written photographic entry condition report prior to your tenant moving in. This is the official reference point as to the condition of the property when it was handed to them. We then conduct a ‘move out meeting’ with your tenant to explain to them the process, their obligations and to help them with providing details for preferred contractors such as cleaners and gardeners.
By wowing your tenants with our service during their tenancy, and having excellent staff who are highly skilled in communication and property management we find that our vacate process rarely ends in disaster. This means we can have your property ready for a new tenant fast and you can collect even more rent!