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Tips and advice for new renters

Resident Retention

New renters can benefit from tips provided by property managers. (Flickr/Yun Huang Yong)
New renters can benefit from tips provided by property managers. (Flickr/Yun Huang Yong)

Buildium asked some of the top property managers in NARPM’s LinkedIn group (free membership required) what advice they’d give to first-time renters. Here’s what they told us:


Denise Day

Property Manager, Blue Mountain RE & PM

We, (and several other companies) here in Colorado Springs have some version of a “tenant manual” that we can provide to our tenants. It covers electrical to plumbing, basic diagnosis of problems, what can be done, or never should be attempted by a tenant. We do also take the time to triage phone calls, as a learning experience for tenants, and sometimes a cost saver for our owners.


Richard Burton

Managing Broker at PowerHouse Property Management

I believe you have to set the expectations of all tenants, especially those that are used to a owner landlord situation. I give them a tenant manual that outlines what happens when they do not pay the rent, NO exceptions. The heading in our manual is 1-3-5-8: rent is due on the first, late on the third, demand notice on the fifth and the dispo on the eighth. Did I say – NO Exceptions!


Property Manager CCRM at Carstens Realty

I always like to check in with new tenants and make sure that they are comfortable and if there is any assistance they need from me. I am always willing to walk with them through the building and also demonstrate how things in their apartment work (smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, thermostat, etc). When I see them in the halls, as well as other tenants I always ask how everything is with the unit and if they have any questions. I believe in the 100% greeting act.

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Julie Johnson

Director of Residential Services at Phillips Real Estate Services

The most important thing for tenants to know is that you will be watching the property and are available to take their calls. Expectations for your tenant are always set before they even apply, all the way through move-in. We have a tenant manual we give tenants upon move-in that informs them how to work with our company and answers most of the questions they will have throughout their tenancy. The tenant manual has cut down on the majority of calls that new tenants may have.


Richard Clayton

Broker at East Valley Property Management

Sit down with them, look them in the eye, tell them straight up: “I think you will be a great tenant. Are you going to take care of my property? Okay, don’t let me down.” Smile, shake their hand, and say “welcome to the neighborhood.” Communication and honesty is always good — they are young, and we have to teach them.


What advice do you have for first-time renters? Please leave a comment below. 

Geoff Roberts

Geoff Roberts

Geoff is a marketer, surfer, musician, and writer. He lives in San Diego, CA.