If you want to be a good landlord during COVID-19, it is not an easy task to accomplish. A landlord must juggle competing needs and values to both operate a successful business and provide good safe housing for tenants. If you are looking to simply create a passive income and not do the work to be a good landlord, then you may want to look somewhere else for that income. Tenants have a choice in where they want to live and they are your customers for your business. You may be receiving multiple applications for your available rental property, but once you locate a great tenant, you may be competing with other landlords to have this tenant. What differentiates you and your house from others on the market? Here are some ways you can appeal to tenants in Kansas City during COVID-19.
One of the most obvious ways to be a good landlord in Kansas City during COVID-19 is to set an appropriate rent amount. Do your research to see what the current market rent is and set it as close as you can to that amount while making sure it fits your rental goals. If you need to attract more potential tenants, you can lower your rent a few percent to be just below the market rent. This should bring you a better variety of tenant candidates so you can be sure you are comfortable with the tenant you end up choosing. Tenants will also appreciate the affordable rent during these uncertain times. All working-age members might not be employed right now, and some may have been employees of companies that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, so a lower than market rent may be a blessing.
To be a good landlord during COVID-19, you must be flexible. Show some compassion regarding tenant situations by being flexible with rent payments. This doesn’t mean waiving payments, but maybe accepting multiple partial payments over time and waiving late fees. Be solutions focused and talk to the tenant about what you can do to help them get you paid. Another option to be flexible with tenant rent is to arrange with tenants to lower the current and next few months of rent and raise the second half of rent payments to make up the difference. This should give the tenants enough time to fully stabilize their household and begin to make regular rent payments.
Show tenants that you are a good landlord during COVID-19 by still offering some extras. If you have a really great tenant apply and you want them to pick you over another landlord, and those extras could make all the difference. Make sure the rental unit has a clothes washer and dryer, and all other major appliances in the house, such as the stove, fridge, and microwave. Also, make sure the unit has clean and working blinds, door handles, and locks. You may sweeten the deal even more by offering a free unlimited utility, such as internet or cable services. Perhaps, provide the basic high demand essentials, such as a pack of paper towels, toilet paper, or hand sanitizer with every payment towards rent.
If you can, you may want to update the kitchen, especially if there is visible wear and tear on the cabinet doors or countertops. Make sure all toilets, sinks and showers are clean and in working condition with no rust or mildew build up. You may even want to throw up a fresh coat of paint and patch any holes missed. Great tenants will appreciate your efforts to keep the property up to date and clean and will work to make sure the rent gets paid.
One of the easiest ways landlords in Kansas City can appeal to tenants during is to improve the curb appeal of the property. If the house appears well maintained with some inviting landscaping, a tenant will be more apt to select your house over a house that appears like it needs to be pressure washed or the mulching looks old. Your rental property appearance speaks volumes to your management style. Clean, updated properties are more quickly rented and have less turnover than properties that are dark and dingy.