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How to Keep a Tenant for 20 Years

In the Real Estate Investor world there’s a lot of noise.
 
Everywhere you look on social media is THE BEST way to find/buy/flip a house and make a quick buck.
 
It’s easy for an investor to lose sight of the true asset in rental investing. Quick hint, it isn’t your property. Your true asset is your tenant.
 
As a rental property owner, your main priority is maximizing profits in your rental. To do so, it’s critical to focus on figuring out how to keep a tenant for the long haul. This is a lofty ambition, but know that it is more attainable than you might think.
 
Here are five ways you can find and keep a tenant for 20 years and beyond.
 

1. Buy the Right House

The first way you can keep a tenant for 20 years is to buy the right house. This is very simple, you’d find out how many investors are looking to buy homes that are not suitable for renting.
 
Take, for example, the case of the white elephant, which is a house on a super busy street. A renter will not give you the same rent for a house on a busy street as a house on a quiet street. So it can be the same house, but the location is so different.
 
Other things to look out for would be a house right next to power lines, a funky layout, or even a steep driveway. If you look at homes with any of these characteristics, don’t buy them for a rental property.
 
Is there anything that sticks out and you can’t ignore? Deal with it. Prospective tenants will be hesitant to rent the house. When they do, they will not give you as much money as you will want for the property. And on top of that, they are not likely to be long-term tenants.
 

2. Get the House in Great Shape

Another top priority is to get your house in great shape for prospective renters.
 
Want your house to be in great shape? Start by:
  • Painting the walls
  • Clean any carpeted areas
  • Update appliances and modern fixtures
If you do this, you will be able to rent it.
 
Not only that, but you are much more likely to find someone who will want to stay in the property long-term.
 
Boosting your property’s curb appeal is another thing you can do to help rent your house and for a long time. Curb appeal can refer to simple things such as keeping up lawn care and landscaping.
 
Some owners like to continue to keep the yard the way they want it. In these circumstances, you will have your yard crew that maintains it. This decision is up to you, but it is an added perk to the tenant for the owner to take care of lawn maintenance costs.
 

3. Have a Well Thought Out Maintenance Response System

You should also have an excellent and well-thought-out maintenance response system. , things are going to go wrong. There will always be issues in your rental property, especially if you keep a tenant for a long time.
 
As a landlord, you need to respond to maintenance calls as soon as possible. If you ignore maintenance requests, it is a sign to the tenant that you will not take care of them long-term. So, when their lease expires, it is likely that they will feel more inclined to look elsewhere. Remember that communication is key in the tenant-landlord relationship.
 

4. Recognize You Are in the Customer Service Business

When looking to keep tenants, recognize that you are now in the customer service business. There’s a temptation to consider your house as your asset and your tenant as an ATM.
 
In reality, property management is all customer service. Period.
 
You provide a service to your tenant, and it is your goal to keep them happy. The more you see the relationship this way, the better it will be in the long run. This doesn’t mean you need to do everything a tenant asks for. What it does mean is that you recognize their concerns and take them to heart. You should try to give your tenants the best service possible.
 

5. Celebrate the Tenant

Another excellent idea is to celebrate your tenant.
 
One example might be writing notes to tenants telling them that you appreciate them. It also doesn’t hurt to stick in the occasional gift cards to Starbucks or Amazon. 
 
When should you do this? Here are a few great opportunities to celebrate your tenant:
  • Lease renewal
  • Passing a home inspection
  • When the tenant endures a maintenance problem
  • Personal difficulties like a divorce, death in the family, etc.                               
 
Sending a $20 gift card that says, “I’m sorry to hear about your struggle…let us know if there’s anything we can do”will always mean a lot and show them you care. Always remember, a handwritten note can go a long way.
 

BONUS: What Does a Good Tenant Look Like?

Now that you know how to keep a tenant, let’s take a quick look at what a good tenant looks like. Here are a few things to look for:
 
  • Good credit score: history of on-time payment
  • No bad marks on their credit report: no outstanding debts
  • Pass a criminal background check: not a threat to your home or the community 
 
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make sure someone is a good fit to rent your property. Remember that you are not only looking out for the safety of your home but also that of your community as well.
 

In Closing

The secret to long-term success with rentals is to keep your tenants for 20+ years.
 
To have a successful rental portfolio is pretty simple and straightforward. The only issue he said is that landlords and property managers don’t do a great job of making this the focus.
 
So, if you’re wondering how to find a good tenant, keep in mind these five tips. You’ll find and keep tenants while having great success in your rental portfolio. Remember, the true asset in rental investing isn’t your property; it’s your tenant.
 

Want to learn more investor and landlord tips? 

Whether you are an investment property owner, someone trying to sell your house, or looking to grow your portfolio, we have the information you need. Check out the Evernest YouTube channel today to learn the ins and outs of buying and managing your rental property.