We love great tenants. Who doesn’t? They pay on time, they don’t cause trouble, and sometimes, they leave the our investment properties in better shape than when they found them. A good tenant is good reason to celebrate.
But really, what are the qualities that make up that ideal tenant? Sure, a nice, friendly disposition is great, and you can connect with someone on a personal level. But we all have friends that we like as people that we wouldn’t necessarily want to work with professionally.
What makes a good tenant good? What should you property manager be looking for—beyond the background checks and usual vetting—when deciding if a tenant is worth trying to retain or sign on in the first place?
6 Qualities That Make for Incredible Tenants
1. They Pay On Time
Let’s be honest. Your tenant can be the nicest, most pleasant person in the world. But it’s absolutely moot if they aren’t paying their rent. As a real estate investor, you can’t let your personal affinity for a person hurt your positive cash flow. Value tenants that are willing to pay and place importance on paying when they’re supposed to.
2. They Communicate Clearly
Communication is so, so important! Real estate investment is a people business. Does your tenant articulate their concerns well, or do they beat around the bush? Do they act out passive aggressively? Regardless of age, some people just aren’t good communicators.
You don’t want a tenant who can’t handle a problem like a mature, responsible adult through open and honest communication with your property manager. If more people would just communicate, problems would be solved much more quickly and cleanly.
3. They Value Cleanliness
Everyone wants a clean tenant—and no one wants their property featured on the next season of Hoarders. Before a tenant moves in, cleanliness can be observed in things like neatness of appearance (if they turn in an application by hand, or meet with the manager first for a tour of the property). If they obviously take care of themselves, they’re going to be more likely to take care of their home, too.
Your manager will also be able to tell during routine inspections whether or not the tenants have been diligent in their cleaning chores. The more a tenant cleans, the better maintained a property will be and the less work you’ll have to do when a tenant does move out.
4. They Have a Steady Job
As always, you want a tenant with proof of employment. But proof of a job doesn’t necessary mean it’s a steady job. Does your tenant seem to hop jobs a lot? Are they frequently unemployed or missing work? These may be red flags that put your chances or being paid on time in jeopardy. You want a tenant who has good job prospects and a steady, reliable stream of income.
5. They’re Highly Motivated
This seems to rolls a few qualities into one—and in a way, it does! What does it mean to be a highly motivated tenant? These renters are the ones who go the extra mile. They’re the type who are diligent in reporting maintenance issues. They’re the kind of people that are welcoming and motivated to reach out in kindness, to pick themselves up in times of hardship and unemployment, and to do things that makes life better for themselves and those around them.
Simply put, they’re pleasant to be around because they have a go-getter, good attitude about life.
6. They’re Low-Stress
Landlord-tenant relations (or manager-tenant relations, in many cases) are key to a long-term stable, positive relationship. Maybe your tenant totally pays rent on time. Maybe they’re clean. But maybe they also drive your property manager insane. A tenant that causes stress and headaches, no matter their other good habits, might not be worth keeping around. It’s a trade-off, and you have to decide whether or not it’s worth it.
Tenants who are chronic complainers, mean-spirited, vindictive, loud, or just general trouble-makers...sometimes that’s just not a price you want to pay. A tenant who might be late on rent once in awhile but never causes you any problems might be the better tenant in the long run.
Finding and keeping good tenants is a constant balancing act for real estate investors. If you want to reap the rewards of investing in real estate and earn passive income without that hassle of hunting down tenants, why not be a turnkey real estate investor?
At Memphis Invest, we do all the heavy lifting for you. You don’t have to
worry with the details—just results.