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Eureka! How to hold onto your gold standard tenants
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24 June 2022
They care for the property, stay on good terms with the neighbours, and never slip into arrears…great tenants are worth their weight in gold!

As a property manager, you know that securing wonderful tenants makes life easier for everyone. Often, they are easier to deal with, the property is well cared for, and your investors’ have peace of mind with a reliable income stream.

Holding onto tenants like this isn’t only about convenience though. The costs associated with vacating tenancies for investors can be high, when you take into account advertising, vacancy days, and fees associated with securing new tenants.

So how do you make sure you attract and hold onto those fantastic tenants?

We asked Adam Hooley and Juliette Hughes, from our team of Ailo experts, for their top tips:

Attracting great tenants

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A clean and tidy open home
Juliette: Well-maintained and well-presented properties attract good renters! If there’s repairs needed before you can secure tenants, connect with the investor first to get the property in great shape.

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“Well-maintained and well-presented properties attract good renters!”

Juliette Hughes, currently an agency licensee, 20 + years’ experience

Be diligent
Adam: It can take some time, but conduct thorough reference checks, even if there are quite a few applications. Read ledgers and check for payments in full and on time. If the tenant owns an investment property, talk to their managing agent about their experiences working with them.
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“It can take some time, but conduct thorough reference checks, even if there are quite a few applications.”

Adam Hooley, former Ray White general manager, 20 + years’ experience

Make sure that rent will be consistent
Juliette: Conduct an affordability test - if rent is more than 25-30% of the tenant’s income, they may struggle to make payments and rental income may become unreliable.

Has a tenant offered over the asking price? Be mindful to thoroughly assess their applications; see if they have a pet listed and if they have references. It's important to read between the lines, it's not always about what is listed on an application – it's important to review what is not on an application. For example, do they have long breaks between properties? Take the time to review and ask more questions.

Keeping great tenants

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Make it easy for tenants to stay in the loop
Juliette: Make sure your tenants’ interactions with your agency stay positive. Responsive communication really helps. A simple way to acknowledge queries (but keep the pressure off yourself if you’re super busy!) is a well-crafted email out-of-office and voicemail message. Something that lets tenants know that you’re on the road, or in meetings, and you will reply as soon as possible. Often this is a great opportunity to redirect your customers and clients to Ailo Chat – you can easily send a message quickly on the move.

Help your tenants feel informed and in control
Adam: With Ailo, tenants can see rent payments, repairs and expenses in real-time via the app. They can pay rent with direct debit or credit card, and Ailo’s autopay and reminder notifications make it hard to miss payments. (That relieves stress for everyone.)

Leave a treat!
Juliette: Leave a handwritten note at routine inspections or a little chocolate on the kitchen bench. It only takes a minute and shows your appreciation for how the tenants are caring for the property.

Be transparent
Adam: Honesty strengthens your relationship: when you are executing a rent increase, share the rent of comparable properties so the tenants feel informed and part of the conversation. Once you explain the increase, most people will understand it’s reasonable in the context of the broader market.

Keep on top of leases
Juliette: Use your time wisely to map out the trajectory of your client’s investment property. Review your upcoming lease renewals and monitor the expiry dates, and where appropriate, offer a shorter or longer lease term to avoid seasonal downturns, i.e. winter or Christmas vacancy. Be sure to examine the potential for an increase in rent and where you can negotiate and write it into the lease to protect your investor’s financial interest.