We can’t tell you how often a rental owner comes to us with a vacancy problem and wants to tell us what the rent will be and/or their specifications for a qualified renter at that rate. Perhaps in no other industry do small businesses (independent housing providers) of goods (rental homes) and services (renter services) spend so little time responding to their customers or even asking what priorities do their renters deem important?
On the other hand, property management companies are very concerned about what our rental customers want and we talk to them a lot to find out. If we don’t keep our finger on the pulse of renter requirements and preferences how can we continue to produce optimum results for the independent rental owners we have represented for over four decades.
Certainly, there is a myriad of concerns when a potential renter looks at one rental property and compares it with another as they work out the best solutions to their financial and lifestyle requirements. These concerns have been addressed in past columns.
There are also concerns a renter has when considering doing business with one housing provider compared to another.
Here are a few priorities-
• The rent payment needs to be securely handled with accuracy every time. Scams flourish that somehow extract rent from a trusting potential renter without delivering product or avoid total accountability for rents, fees, and deposits upon move out. Most qualified renters prefer (68%) paying their rent to a regular rental management company versus an individual landlord.
• All renters want their security deposit held in a separate account where these funds are subject to reasonable review.
• The rent payment is time sensitive and should be subject to late penalties. Having said that, qualified renters are busy and over loaded. Most renters (59%) want to utilize an online rent payment option for speed, convenience and financial security.
• Renters want an emergency contact available at all times for possible property issues that need immediate attention. In addition, renters rely on smart phones and the internet to convey their routine maintenance concerns at their convenience.
• Financially concerned renters want the handling of their move-out: inspection of condition, returning keys and refund of security deposits to be transparent, direct and fair.