Dumb Things Landlords Say
November 1, 2002
Thousands of dollars in rent a year comes your way from them, your good customers. Yet how many times do we stay stupid things that make them cringe, grit their teeth and promise themselves to find someplace else to live first chance they get?
Trouble is, you may not even realize you said anything wrong. That’s why for this month’s column I picked out four stupid things that come out of landlords’ mouths that make resentful tenants out of the ones you want to stay forever.
“Nobody’s ever complained about that before.”
And what exactly is your point? Does that mean it’s not a legitimate complaint, or does it mean that you think your tenant is just a big whiner? Every complaint that is brought to you in good faith by a tenant is legitimate. Something bothers him or her about a situation or an issue in his or her home.
I don’t know how many times I have heard that response from employees of companies completely unschooled in and uncaring about customer service. That response irked me. It has probably irked you just as much.
Possibly it is the first time you’ve heard the complaint. Your tenant deserves thanks for bringing it to your attention. After all, it could be a situation that, unresolved, could cost you big bucks.
The proper response is “Thank you for bringing it to my attention.” If it is a situation that requires more than making a repair, the follow up is “How can we correct this problem for you?”
Now that you’ve signed the lease, who cares.
I know, you would never even whisper that. But sometimes the tone of your voice shouts it. One of the biggest complaints tenants have, found a survey a few years back, is that their landlords’ attitudes change for the worse once the signature’s on the lease.
Before that the landlords were attentive and eager to please. After the rent and deposit is paid and the tenants move in, landlords can’t be bothered.
Remember, it costs seven times more to find a new customer than to keep an existing one.
Those are the rules; that’s just the way it is.
Maybe those are the rules and maybe that is just the way it is