Being a landlord can be a tough, lonely job. The stereotypical landlord is lazy, mean spirited and unfair to his or her tenants, leading many people to be wary of their own landlords. Make no mistake, many landlords in the past have taken advantage of their tenants and abused their power. Luckily, you don’t have to follow that path. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it is easier than ever to be an ethical landlord.
Technology has changed the game
The truth is, being a landlord isn’t as easy as it seems. Building maintenance, adhering to state landlord-tenant laws, and screening prospective tenants are just a few examples of landlord responsibilities. These obligations used to be tedious and time consuming, but the convenience of the internet has cut countless hours off of the more menial tasks associated with the job. A simple rental application used to potentially take weeks to complete, but now it can be sent out in a matter of minutes. There are numerous new apps and platforms that can help landlords take care of almost anything for their clients with just a few clicks of a button. Insurance, rental forms, and rent estimate reports can all be accessed and managed much more efficiently than just ten years ago.
The time you save by taking advantage of this technology can be used to focus on more meaningful tasks that your tenants will appreciate, such as responding to repair requests in a timely manner and ensuring your property is always clean and safe. This in turn will help your reputation and branding as an ethical landlord.
Ethics are marketable
It is plain to see that ethics matter to modern consumers more than they ever have before. More and more people are refusing to do business with companies they deem unethical for economic or environmental reasons. These same consumers will choose to spend their money on businesses that market themselves as more ethics-minded and eco-friendly.
On top of this, prospective tenants are much more likely to do business with you if they know you have a good reputation and ethical business practices. People look to online reviews for everything, be it food, entertainment, or shopping, and prospective tenants will be no different. Rest assured that word will get out very quickly if you are treating your tenants poorly. In this sense, you can even consider treating your tenants right as a marketing tactic. By simply doing your job to the best of your ability you will be separating yourself from the other landlords in your area who are taking advantage of their tenants.
It’s important for landlords to remember that they are providing people with perhaps the most important good or service in the marketplace: a home. Landlords by definition hold more power than tenants, but that shouldn’t stop both parties from treating each other with respect. Ultimately, this will help the entire housing market and benefit all involved.
Resources are everywhere
Years ago, it may have been difficult for a landlord or any business owner to find the right resources to help them develop an ethical mindset and learn the proper way to work with tenants. Today, there really is no excuse. After a quick online search you’ll find numerous training courses, organizations, and resources available to landlords either completely free or for a reasonable price.
It doesn’t even have to be a resource or course specifically dedicated to landlord-tenant relationships. Many other business training programs, such as diversity training for managers, can be beneficial for landlords who are just beginning to learn how to talk to tenants.
Sometimes being an ethical landlord is relatively straightforward. Treat your tenants with respect and deliver what you’ve promised. Other times, though, the situation can be complicated. It’s times like these when all of these resources help.