On today’s show we are talking about some low-cost improvements that can build tenant loyalty, and create a lot of goodwill between landlords and tenants. When tenants are late with their rent, it’s often because there is something about their accommodation that isn’t right. Maybe they haven’t told you about it. But somehow they have the feeling that they’re not getting their money’s worth. Of course, if there’s something really wrong, you should fix it. Whenever a tenant feels ripped off, they will find a way to get even. Maintaining tenant loyalty means eliminating the irritants and the problems. It also means creating pleasant surprises. These are the small WOW experiences that people remember. 
As the seasons change, properties also need to adapt. Leasing activity picks up significantly in the Spring in most markets. If you’ve had a vacancy through the winter months, now is the time to improve your curb appeal and get rid of the winter residue on the property. The dead grass and leaves should be cleaned up, and any debris that accumulated over the winter.  
This is also the perfect time to perform scheduled maintenance on the inside of your property. After the winter heating season, air filters need to be changed. 
Screens on windows should be inspected and repaired. Take the time to repair any broken blinds at the same time. If your windows are standard sizes, you can often get some pretty significant savings by having blinds cut to size in larger quantities. If you have a few extra in inventory, you will need them eventually. 
The largest energy cost in the summer months is air conditioning. Functioning blinds can reduce cooling costs. Ceiling fans can be another huge energy saver. They can also go along way to making an apartment more comfortable during the hottest months. A little bit of air movement makes the room feel cooler. It also improves the heat transfer to the outside when the windows are open. 
If you don’t have ceiling fans, you may want to consider installing them. They are a low-cost upgrade. If you surprise your tenant with that improvement they will be highly appreciative. Part of maintaining low vacancy is creating a feeling with your tenants that you care about their experience living in your property. 
Regular maintenance of your property shows your tenants that you are serious about maintaining your property. It also gives the management team the opportunity to inspect the condition inside each apartment. There’s a balance between allowing your tenants the quiet uninterrupted enjoyment of their property, and regular inspections to protect your investment.
If a tenant refuses the upgrade and attempts to refuse entry, that could be a red flag. You should insist on requiring entry to the unit to replace the air filters and maintain the HVAC system since this is a health issue and is therefore not negotiable. 
As always, make sure that any request to enter property complies with your local landlord tenant regulations.
If your property has amenities like a swimming pool or hot tub, start the process of preparing the pool for summer. They haven’t used the pool in months and will be looking forward in anticipation of dipping into the water when the weather heats up. 
If you want to build a sense of community, how about hosting a social event for residents during the upcoming long weekend in May. You don’t have to spend a lot on refreshments. You could heat up some BBQ’s and make it a pot-luck event. The sense of community after a long winter creates a stronger emotional connection between your tenants and the place they’re living. 
People won’t remember that they got a $20 break on their rent for one month. But they will remember how you made them feel. That’s where it’s your job as a landlord or property manager to create a spontaneous WOW experience.