Four Ways to Improve Your Rental Property’s Security

Handyman installing security system in rental home
Handyman installing security system in rental home

Security is arguably the number one concern for every renter. They want a home in a community that can guarantee their safety, as well as the safety of their belongings. As a property manager, it’s your responsibility to offer potential tenants maximum protection against break-ins, robberies and other potentially alarming situations. Staying on top of rental security will help you attract a larger tenant pool, and keep you collecting rental income for a long time. For all the property managers ready to get proactive about securing their rental units, here are a few options you should consider.

1.Install a security/surveillance system

Installing a surveillance system in your rental property is one of the best ways to put tenants at ease and ensure their safety. Plus, with the wide variety of security systems available on the market today, you’ll be able to find something that is within your budget. The newest security gadgets have some pretty impressive features that are sure to address renters’ safety concerns. Some come with window and door sensors, smoke alarms, and motion detectors to help keep your rental safe. Newer surveillance systems also offer high-definition imagery and upload videos to a cloud system that can be reviewed by property managers or tenants at their convenience.

2. Add external lighting

Using external lights is one of the easiest ways to deter potential intruders from making a move on your rental property. When people see outside lights on, they’ll assume your property is occupied – making it less of a target. If you want to go a step further, we suggest installing motion-sensing lights. These lights are able to sense movement dozens of feet away and turn on once suspicious activity is detected around your rental home. This smart feature will help scare off unwanted intruders.

3. Replace locks 

It’s good practice to replace the locks in your rental property after each tenant moves out. New locks ensure that anyone who has a copy of the keys to the home – such as your previous tenants’ friends or family members – no longer has access to the space. This will help new tenants feel a little more secure in their new home. Another benefit of changing the locks regularly is the opportunity to upgrade to a better-quality product. Like any product with moving components, locks are subject to wear and tear. Worn-out locks are loose and easier to pick, so, replacing them with newer better-quality locks makes it almost impossible for anyone to gain access to your rental property without the right key.

4. Secure main entrances and windows

Since doors and windows are the primary sources of entrance to your rental property, ensuring they are secure is important. When installing front doors, you should opt for hardwood options as they’re heavier and more secure than their hollow wood counterparts. When it comes to securing your rental property’s windows, we suggest installing locks or window sensors to keep them from being tampered with.

As a property manager, it’s your duty to keep your rental unit and the tenants occupying it, safe. By implementing these four tips, security won’t be a source of stress for your renters.

Need help securing your rental home?

Get in touch with us today!

Five Ways to Improve Landlord-tenant Communication

Landlord ad tenants talking
Landlord and tenants talking

As a landlord or property manager, having great relationships with your tenants should be one of your main priorities, and the key to excellent landlord-tenant relationships is communication. By establishing open lines of communication, you can avoid tricky disputes concerning leases, move-outs, and rent payments amongst other things. Being readily available to your tenants can even prevent excess damage to your rental property as tenants will feel comfortable reaching out to you before maintenance issues spiral out of control. If you’re looking for great ways to establish a better relationship with your renters, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve shortlisted some of our top tips for improving landlord-tenant communication.

1. Establish communication guidelines

The first step to establishing good lines of communication with your tenants is establishing some basic standards. Let your tenants know about your office hours and the best way to contact you – by email, phone call, or even mail. You should also provide your renters with an emergency number in the case that an urgent situation arises after business hours. In this case, it would also be beneficial to outline what scenarios constitute an emergency situation. Setting guidelines like these help avoid confusion and frustration as everyone is clear about the best ways to reach out in every situation.

2. Give your tenants options

Different tenants have different preferred means of communication. Older tenants may want to speak with you in person, while gen z renters may prefer to send you a quick text. This is why, as a landlord, it’s essential to have multiple ways for your renters to get in touch with you. Provide your new tenants with your email, phone number, and if you’d like, your office address upon their move-in. Just be sure to ask for a reasonable notice period before an office visit. Allowing tenants to communicate through means that they’re comfortable with increases their likelihood of reaching out to you.

3. Be transparent and honest

Tenants tend not to reach out to dishonest landlords. After all, what’s the point of asking for help or raising a concern if the issue won’t be addressed truthfully? As a landlord, it’s your job to be as honest and transparent as possible with your current and potential tenants. Be honest about the condition and size of the rental property, the amenities in the area, and conditions of their lease. You also want to be transparent about what you expect from your tenants – i.e., when to make rent payments etc. Honesty and transparency help establish trust in landlord-tenant relationships. When tenants know they’ll get a truthful answer, they are more open with their concerns.

4. Speak simply

When it comes to landlord-tenant communication, its best to keep it simple. Most situations don’t call for long paragraphs filled with complex real estate jargon that tenants most likely won’t understand. Keep your communication light, concise and engaging so tenants are more likely to comprehend and respond.

5. Communicate more often

Most tenants only hear from their landlord when they move in or are about to move out and this shouldn’t be the case. To help establish good lines of communication, we encourage you to reach out to your tenants more often. Help them with their move-in, send greeting cards during the holidays etc. This lets them know that you’re always available and willing to help.

Communication is the bedrock of every good landlord-tenant relationship, and with these five tips, you and your tenants will be on your way to better interactions in no-time!

Need help with tenant communications?

Get in touch with us today!

Six Ways to Retain Quality Tenants

Happy tenants moving into new rental home
Happy tenants moving into new rental home

As a landlord or property manager, you already know the value of good tenants. Those who pay their rent on time, take great care of your rental property, and keep the lines of communication open and pleasant. Tenants like these are hard to find, so when you do come across them, it’s essential to make an effort to keep them. This way, you’ll maintain a steady rental income and avoid the stress and expenses that come with marketing a vacant rental unit. Without further ado, here are six great ways to retain quality tenants.

1. Stay on top of maintenance tasks

Being proactive about property maintenance is one of the easiest ways to keep quality tenants around. Keep up with regular property inspections and make quick fixes to your rental unit before they become larger issues. Doing this leaves a good impression with your tenant and shows them that you’re committed to providing a nice home for them to live in. Being a landlord that is proactive about routine maintenance also helps your tenants avoid the frustration of living in a home that’s falling apart – and this could be a major deciding factor when it’s time to renew their lease.

2. Adopt fair housing practices

Everyone loves a good deal – this includes your tenants. It’s no surprise that tenants who feel like they’re being cheated are more likely to look for a new residence. To avoid this situation, we suggest you adopt fair housing practices. For example, when setting rent, offer a reasonable price that is comparable to similar properties within the area, or current rental rates within the market. 

3. Get familiar

Creating good rapport is another great way to keep good tenants around. As a landlord or property manager, being friendly and establishing open lines of communication between yourself and your tenants is a good business practice. Send your tenants a welcome basket when they move in and be easy to contact in case they need assistance with anything regarding their new home. These little gestures go a long way when building trust and goodwill.

4. Allow some personalization

The difference between a house and a home is how comfortable tenants feel in the space. When tenants come home to their art hung up, or their favourite colour painted on the walls, it helps them feel like the rental unit is truly theirs. To retain your tenants, we suggest you allow some level of personalization. This will increase their attachment to the home, resulting in an increased likelihood of them renewing their tenancy. 

5. Offer renewal incentives

If you’ve got a great tenant whose lease is coming up for renewal, offering a renewal incentive might be the perfect way to influence their decision. You could offer monetary incentives like a rent discount over a period of time, or you offer property upgrades like new appliances, paint, landscaping etc. Most tenants will be appreciative and swayed by your efforts to keep their business.

6. Know what tenants want

As a property manager, knowing what tenants want is an essential part of your job. Not only will a home that caters to renters’ wants help you perform well in the rental market, it will also help you retain quality tenants. Check-out our blog to help you figure out what renters are looking for in a newly renovated home. 

Tenant retention is the name of the game for all property managers. With these six tips, keeping your tenants happy and in your rental property will be easier than ever.

Need help managing your rental?

Get in touch with us today!

Five Property Management Technologies Property Managers Should Be Using

Property managers using management technology
Property managers using management technology

There’s no doubt that property managers have a lot on their plate. From dealing with contractors to marketing rental units and working hard to keep tenants happy, most property managers have a lot of work to do on a daily basis. Luckily, in this day of modern technology, there are tons of tools at your fingertips to help you stay organized, streamline tasks and manage your workload. To help you stay on top of your game this new year, we’ve shortlisted five of the best technological tools every property manager should be using.

1. Appfolio Property Manager

Appfolio Property Manager is a commonly used tool in the real estate industry. This cloud-based technology is an excellent choice for property managers who want to monitor their rental units – anywhere, at any time. The Appfolio’s property management software offers an all-in-one solution for accounting, marketing, leasing and management functionality for everything from single family to commercial rental units. Using Appfolio, property managers can do everything from posting vacancy ads on hundreds of listing sites to screening tenants and collecting rent online. 

2. Buildium Property Management Software

 Another favourite amongst property managers, Buildium’s software lets property managers tackle business operation, accounting and leasing tasks from a single platform. Buildium also helps you manage your growth as a property manager. You can easily find, win and onboard rental properties in your area into your portfolio. That’s not all – the Buildium Property Management software allows property managers to create their own custom sites – this way you can have an online platform to host all your available listings.

3. BeenVerified

Your success as a property manager is highly dependent on the quality of your tenants. That’s why the BeenVerified app is a must for every new property manager. With this app, you can conduct thorough background and credit checks, get access to public records and any other essential information that will influence your tenant selection. The BeenVerified app is user-friendly, and a perfect option for anyone who is just getting into the property management game.

4. Salesforce Essentials

Widely considered the best CRM tool, Salesforce helps property managers manage and better their relationships with tenants. Salesforce Essentials allows you to streamline communication with your tenants and respond to their queries and concerns in a timely manner. This CRM tool also makes automating document and form filing, and data retrieval a piece of cake. Another selling point for Salesforce Essentials is that it’s also available as a mobile app – making it the perfect choice for property managers on the go.

5. Rentmoola

Figuring out rent payments can be a pain for both landlords and tenants alike. But, with the help of apps like Rentmoola, sorting out monthly payments is easier than ever. Rentmoola is a simple, easy and secure rent collection solution that lets tenants pay their rent in a method that’s most efficient for them and their property managers. This could be via credit, debit, auto payments and more. Rentmoola also provides real-time reporting tools to help you keep track of rental income.

Property management doesn’t have to be an overwhelming job. With these amazing technologies in your toolkit, you’ll be able to get a handle on your workload in no-time!

Need help managing your rental properties?

Get in touch with us today!

Five Signs You Need to Hire a Property Manager

couple hiring a property manager
Couple hiring a property manager

It’s common knowledge that owning property comes with major advantages. It’s a great long-term investment strategy, a great way to generate passive income, and you’ll be able to benefit from the property’s appreciation if you decide to sell later down the line.  However, in order to reap these benefits, landlords have to be knowledgeable about the field, and have a ton of skills in their repertoire. So, before you add Landlord to your resume, here are some telltale signs that you’ll need to hire a property manager to help you with your investment.

1. You’re easily overwhelmed

Landlords and property managers need to know how to cope with stress – especially if you’re looking after multiple properties at a time. Landlords usually deal with competing deadlines, tenants’ complaints, property maintenance, inspections and tours amongst other things. With a to-do list this long, multitasking and staying calm in high pressure situations are two essential skills for success. If you’re someone who is easily overwhelmed and prefers to handle one task at a time, hiring a property manager may be the way to go. Experienced property managers like the team at Cornerstone do a great job of handling tenants’ queries and overseeing the upkeep of your investment property. This way you can sit back and enjoy the benefits of property ownership.

2. You’re not a marketer

Finding quality tenants to occupy your rental relies heavily on good marketing and sales tactics. In this day and age, you have to keep up with the best practices of digital and traditional marketing, photography, networking, and apartment staging if need be. This is where property managers come in. A good property manager will be able to use good visuals and copy to advertise your rental on online classifieds. They should also be able to help with off-site marketing strategies and confidently sell your rental’s best features to potential tenants during viewings.

3. You have several rental properties

Managing multiple rental properties at once is a full-time job! If you’re someone who has invested in property to generate passive income on the side, you may not have time to deal with multiple tenant inquiries, renovations, viewings and more. In this case, working with a property management company would be incredibly beneficial. It will lighten your workload and ease the stress of dealing with multiple properties at once. Management companies will also ensure your rentals are properly taken care of by assigning a different supervisor to each one of your units.

4. You live in a different city

For property owners who don’t live in the same city as their rental units, working with a property manager can significantly improve your situation. Hiring a local property manager means you won’t have to commute back and forth at the slightest inconvenience of your tenants. You’ll be able to rely on them to use their skills and assets to keep things running smoothly on the ground without your constant supervision.

5. You don’t know your landlord/tenant laws

If you plan on being a successful landlord, you’ve got to know your local landlord/tenant laws. And, if you don’t have time to learn, then you’ll need to work with a property manager.  Every municipality has specific regulations that guide the landlord-tenant relationship. These guidelines outline your role as a landlord, what you’re responsible for; and vice versa. A good property manager should know the landlord/tenant law and advise you on how best to deal with tricky situations that arise between you and your tenants.

Being a landlord is a job that requires time and a diverse skill set. Luckily, if you find yourself falling short in one of the areas mentioned above, you can hire skilled property managers to help take the stress of property management off your plate!

Need help managing your rental property?

Get in touch with us today!