Christie Ellis

Christie Ellis

Everardo Keeme

As of the day I am writing this there are 130 active rental listings on the MLS in Ahwatukee and 416 have been rented in the past six months.

I have owned several rental properties over the past 15 years and have one right now here in Club West. When you are a landlord it is important to learn that a great relationship with your tenant is vital to the success of your investment property.

One way to do that is to make the tenant a valuable resource for you and to put their interest above filling the vacancy.

Tenants are customers. Instead of seeing them as someone who wants what you have, what if you saw them as someone you want to give what you have to.

What if you did everything you could to make them as happy as they can be in a home perfectly suited to their needs? I have owned several rental properties and the best thing I ever did was create a win-win relationship with my tenant.

I helped the tenants understand I had a desire for them to be the most comfortable they could be in their new home, and that if there were any challenges they could contact me immediately.

When they moved in I created a basket for them filled with a few cleaning products, air filters, and a bottle of wine. I gave them some flexibility in items they could repair on their own, or enhance, to make their living space more appealing to their style. I gave them my cell number to call if they ever needed anything.

Some may think that the tenant would abuse the privilege and call with anything any hour of the day. What I noticed was that when they knew I was always available, and they had some control over what happened in the house, I rarely got calls.

Issues were handled appropriately, the tenants were happy, and they trusted me because I trusted them.

For a relationship to be successful, some of the control of the property needs to be given to the tenant and the tenant will greatly appreciate it.

They will appreciate it so much so that the rent is typically paid on time, great referrals come because they tell everyone they know what a great landlord you are, tenants stay longer and there are far fewer damaged properties upon vacating. Quite often the house looks better than when they came in!

When you put other people’s interests first and address their needs and concerns, only good relationships can develop from there.

What you get in return is peace of mind, fewer vacancies, less unpaid bills, and a successful outcome for your rental property.

• Christie Ellis, associate broker at United Brokers Group, specializes in the Ahwatukee area. She is the author of “Real Estate Agent CEMETERY: How to Survive the Fears, Challenges, and Mistakes That Can Kill Your Real Estate Career.” Reach her at (480) 201-3575 or

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