How to Get a Good Testimonial From a Tenant
Published on: Wednesday, December 16th, 2015
Contributing Writer, Harvey Rentals | Furnished rentals Ohio, Emily Goodman, Emily Shortall, Goodman Realtor
Tenant testimonials provide a powerful marketing tool to attract potential future tenants and create a pipeline of demand for your property. In many ways, getting a good testimonial starts before a renter moves in.
Most issues that result in a negative tenant experience can be avoided by clearly spelling out your policies in the lease, down to the last detail. Consult local housing codes to find out exactly what you’re required to do in terms of maintenance and repairs, and state those responsibilities, along with the tenant’s. Don’t assume the tenant has read every word in the lease; verbally review policies and make sure they understand both your responsibilities and theirs. Clear communication from the get-go is key.
Good tenant screening can also set you up for success in securing a positive review. If a prospective tenant has a history of late payments in his or her background, there’s a good chance they will be late on rent. Disputes will likely erupt, ensuring you won’t receive positive feedback on your property management. Thoroughly screen your tenants for red flags in their history to avoid problems in advance and increase your odds of a testimonial.
Also be sure you’ve inspected and addressed all maintenance and cleaning prior to your tenant’s move in date. If time allows, it may be helpful to stay in your property for a night or two as this may help you identify and resolve heretofore unseen issues. Make sure the property is thoroughly cleaned and that appliances, fixtures and heating/cooling systems are in good working order.
To smooth a tenant’s transition, provide them with a detailed property manual that includes maintenance and emergency numbers, helpful instructions (like what to do with recycling and how to work the alarm), a map of the area, and perhaps even neighborhood information like nearby transportation and great restaurants. In addition to showing consideration, your tenants are likely to better care for the property if armed with instruction.
To go the extra mile, leave flowers or a basket of fruit to welcome your new tenant home and show your appreciation for their business.
A week after move-in, place a follow-up call to your tenant and ask how things are going, and if they have any questions. In demonstrating that you care, they will be more likely to take time out of their busy day to write you a good review at lease’s end.
Be the consummate professional and keep all written communication between you and your tenants, as well as any before-and-after photos. This way if a disagreement arises, you’ll be prepared to present a solid case. Listen to tenant complaints and respond promptly to maintenance requests, securing written permission to enter and an acceptable time frame for accessing the property. While it may be your property, it’s important to show respect for those living there.
Lastly, if no damage has been done to the property, return security deposits well before the date required by your state. It’s a good chunk of money and chances are your former tenant is planning to use it elsewhere.
Treat your tenants with consideration, respect and professionalism, and they will be more likely to take the time to write a good testimonial. Consider it money in the bank, for all its persuasive power in attracting new, quality tenants.