What Tenants REALLY Want - Property Vista

March 05, 2015

What Tenants REALLY Want

How do you get potential tenants to rent from you rather than the similar apartment down the road? Sure, a great location and good amenities are the undeniable basics that go a long way to attracting tenants, but what’s the tipping point? What gives your building the edge?

And, more importantly, how do you keep residents happy so they’ll stay long after their first lease term is up?

The American Apartment Owners Association recently surveyed tenants about what influences them to renew with a property. In order of importance, they are:

  • Promptly responding to calls, emails;
  • Office follow up on completed requests;
  • Office staff responsive, dependable;
  • Office staff courteous, professional;
  • Apartment condition, appearance;
  • Community safety;
  • Quality of maintenance work;
  • Speed of handling the request

Almost all of these responses can be summed up as a desire for great customer service. This means a respect for tenant needs and time as well as a positive tenant experience.

Stuck in the 90s

Unfortunately, when it comes to property rentals, many management companies are stuck in the 90s. Back then, calling during office hours and paper-based maintenance requests were the norm. (Along with cellphones the size of a small brick.)

However, in today’s always-on, always-connected age, if residents are in the dark on what’s happening with a maintenance request or have trouble communicating with management there’s no doubt there will be negative feelings. And it’s not unusual for renters to vent their frustrations online, impacting your reputation with future renters.

Great (Tenant) Expectations

The online world, with its 24/7 access to immediate buying, banking, or information, has changed the expectations and shortened tenant patience with traditional property management interactions. It’s no longer acceptable to file paper maintenance requests that can get lost. And, seriously, what do you mean they can’t access their own payment history?

Whether your residents are at work, at home or on the road, they want to know the status of their account status and maintenance requests in real-time. The convenience must be on their terms.


Although nothing replaces the human factor of having courteous staff, improving communications and visibility of information is something that property management companies and landlords can achieve easily and quickly with a resident portal. A portal provides an “always on” customer service experience that tenants have come to expect from a wired world.

Resident Portal Benefits

Here are the Top 5 ways a resident portal gives your tenants exactly what they want. Tenants can:

  • Pay rent online, review payment history and set payment preferences.
  • Submit and schedule a maintenance request, view progress and rate the job upon completion.
  • Communicate easily with management – whenever they need to most.
  • Buy property insurance, get perks and promotions, and receive notifications of community events.
  • Access their account 24/7 through mobile or web access.

In short, by using tools to better connect management, maintenance and residents, property managers have the tools to differentiate their property from the other guy’s. So, go ahead, give your tenants the modern conveniences they’re looking for – not only will you fill up vacancies sooner, you’ll extend the lease-life of your residents.

If this sounds interesting to you, why not give Property Vista a try? Sign up for your free 30-day trial.

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Jack Beaton Sterling Karamar, Property Management
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