David Tilney shares some awesome advice with us here on how to get better tenants that pay on time, maintain your house, stay for a long time, and leave you alone! Awesome stuff…don’t miss this FlipNerd.com Flip Tip!
Mike: Hey, it’s Mike Hambright from Flipnerd.com and we have a quick VIP tip to share with you from David Tilney, who’s going to share a tip on treating your tenants like employees.
David: Well, if you’re an employer and you’re hiring someone to do a job, you’re not going to look for the guy who passes the minimum threshold, you’re going to look for the best of the best. And too many landlords set a minimum threshold and as soon as that threshold is passed they accept that tenant. I think that’s totally wrong.
You really have to look for the best of the best applicant. You don’t want to violate any federal, state or local fair housing laws. You’ve got to set up systems to make sure you absolutely protect yourself from that. But if you view you tenants as employees, you’ve got to understand what is the job description you’re looking for them to do? I mean for us, our job description, and we’re in the single-family house business, is number one maintain and improve the house and grounds and we share that multiple times with the tenants.
On our applications we ask what skill sets they’ve got. We ask what tools they own. We think that to live in a house is very different from living in an apartment. If you’re in an apartment, something goes wrong, you pick up the phone, you call, you expect someone wearing a uniform, carrying a toolbox to come down the hall in twenty minutes and solve the problem.
People in houses are different. They want to be able to walk outside their front door, walk all the way around the house and say, “Get off my property.” So it demands that you have a toolbox and can do some things. So the first thing we look for is that they’ll maintain and improve the house and grounds. What’s their attitude? They can’t have a victim mentality. They can’t have an entitlement mentality. They’ve got to understand whose property it is.
Second thing is they got to be willing to pay the rent on time. If they’re not going to do that, don’t rent from us. We’re too tough. They’re not going to have a good time. We’re not going to have a good time and it’s just not going to work.
Number three, obviously we want them to get along with the neighbors. If they don’t get along with the neighbors we’re going to have a problem.
Number four, I look them in the eye and I say, “I want you to stay at least until you die and hopefully until your kids die.” And that generally give us a chuckle, both parties. But I let them know what we’re offering is quite different from some and that we want you to be able to move in, put in the vegetable garden, hang pictures on the wall, and do what it takes to make it “home”.
We’re not into the business of renting stuff for people that they can camp out, renting while they get to know the neighborhoods so they can buy a house. They’re renting because they’re there short term. We really are looking for long-term occupancy. It’s a different situation.
Lastly, we share with them we expect them to leave us alone. And what we expect, what we share with them also is that we to treat them respect and leave them alone. We want them to know we’re Johnny on the spot to solve a problem, if they have a problem, but other then that we’re going to understand that it took them a lot to get where they are in life and we’re going to leave them alone.
Mike: This many be one of the best tips we’ve had, David. Very thorough, and thanks so much for sharing that with us today.
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