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2018-07-26 I DIDN'T DO ONE THING... | By: Jeff Taylor

 By Jeffery Taylor
A landlord described the following scenario and made a profound revelation that many landlords never quite get or fully understand.

“Today I discovered that a resident of 6 years moved out. There was no notice from them. House was left in ok/fair condition, albeit not move-in ready. 6 years ago, I was using a lease and converted to month to month terms after the initial 12 month residency. I also should say that during these past 6 years I have received very few service requests. I spent less than $500 on service for the duration. Obviously, I am not complaining. I am mindful that I didn't do one thing to encourage them to stay longer. How should I have dealt with these good residents?”

MY RESPONSE: If I really hear you, your big question is focused, not so much on how much of the deposit you'll be keeping. Instead you are asking a far bigger business question that will greatly affect future success and profits. I think you are asking what "proactive" steps could you have taken that would have helped extend the time these residents stayed with you even longer.

If that is your question I applaud you on taking a look inward at your procedures and recognizing that you can indeed improve--while the average landlord would be happy on how you "lucked" out and that resident stayed as long as they did. I'm glad for you that they did. But more importantly, I am so impressed that you don't want to count on luck to be successful moving forward.

There are many proactive steps, including sending out a simple appreciation note annually or offering a choice of home improvements as an anniversary gift. The truth is that since you are now aware and "looking" for ways to encourage residents to stay longer, you will be amazed at how many ideas will come to you as you see successful businesses all around you showing appreciation to their customers. 

I should add that as you consider ideas to implement, the key is look to "systematically" implement and make contact at least 3 or 4 different times during the course of the year. Even having someone stop by the resident's for a "courtesy" service/preventive maintenance check once or twice a year can count as a contact. You show that you appreciate them as a customer and it can also help with improving resident performance as you check on how they are taking care of your property. 

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