Applying the Golden Rule to Property Management

Applying the Golden Rule to Property Management

The Golden Rule has been around for ages; you can trace its origins back to many religions in ancient times. The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is an ethical code or morality and actually has a positive and negative form.

  • Positive – One should treat others, as one would like others to treat oneself.
  • Negative – One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.

If you research the Internet on this subject, there is a lot of information on how the Golden Rule applies to various areas of business. How does the Golden Rule apply to property management? You will find the answer if you stop to consider how you would feel if you were the tenant in a rental property instead of in the role of property owner.

Offer reasonable and fair rent. Qualified tenants shop for good value. Many times they have already visited other similar properties so they recognize what is fair market rent. If you ask for an unreasonable rent, you may get applications, but it will often be from those who might be willing to rent at a higher price if you overlook their qualifications. There are many sources to utilize in researching a property to determine a fair price. 

Offer the rental property in good condition. Front Porch Property Management’s policy is to make sure all lights work, filters are clean, appliances are in good working order, and the home is clean. This is how you attract qualified tenants and start a landlord-tenant relationship off on a positive note. A qualified tenant will look for properties in good condition. A good property manager can make an informed assessment of what expenses are necessary to market your rental property in the best light possible.

Practice Fair Housing when a property is for rent. Fair housing violations happen all the time by well-intentioned landlords who don’t know the law, and by some who just don’t care. No potential renter wants to think he or she is a  victim of discrimination in any form. This is a huge area where the Golden Rule applies, both in the positive and negative form. It’s important to know the law so you can avoid complaints or suits, but mostly, you just want to have a good heart in how you conduct your business.

Provide maintenance when necessary. Properties require maintenance, both inexpensive and costly. When you offer your home for rent, be sure to set aside a portion of the monthly rent proceeds for maintenance expenses. Residents are not going to stay if a property owner resists conducting necessary repairs. Providing tenants with safe and reasonable housing is a key to maintaining good tenants. Would you want to remain in a property if the owner refused to properly maintain it?

Never enter a property without adequate and legal notice. How you would feel if someone appeared on your doorstep and demanded to view your residence? Few people would consider this a reasonable expectation. While it’s not unreasonable for a landlord to want to perform an inspection, there is a right and a wrong way. Tenants are mostly cooperative when shown consideration. Talk to your property manager about their policy for accessing a rental property.

Have a reasonable rent increase policy. If the economic conditions are right, a reasonable rent increase will work. Remember tenants rent for a reason. The most common one is because they cannot afford to buy. They are on a budget and an unreasonable rent increase can cause an unwanted vacancy. 

Reward good tenancy. We all like to know that someone appreciates us. If you have a good tenant, try to offer them something once a year. There are many ways to do this. You could give them a gift certificate during the holiday season – for groceries, a local eatery, an ice cream parlor, etc. You could provide a month’s service of cable or movie subscription. Perhaps you could add a ceiling fan or put in a needed appliance. Rewards are deductible and definitely follow the Golden Rule.

When you think about it, nothing is more suited to property management than the Golden Rule. If you adapt this basic principal to your property management philosophy, it can only help to create a positive outcome for your investment. 

Front Porch Property Management is ready to help you with your investment property rentals. Visit our home page or call us today at 678-250-5458.