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Selling to Your Landlord Customers

It’s likely that most of you have a few landlord customers who own rental properties around the neighborhood. These customers are great to reach—not only are they buying homes they intend to rent, but those rentals require ongoing maintenance, so if you can provide them with what they need, odds are that you’ll have a repeat customer for years to come.

Here are a few tips to working with your landlord customers:

  • These customers (and contractors they hire) will occasionally want to repaint the homes they rent. They’ll generally be looking for middle-of-the-road paints that are durable and long-lasting but don’t have the high-end price tag. Have a few go-to neutral paint colors selected (try two or three options of beige or gray, along with one or two white, which are especially helpful if they want to touch up baseboards, doors or around windows). And offer them in five-gallon buckets, which are great if the landlord wants to repaint the whole house or is working on multiple properties at once.
  • They’ll want to replace flooring every so often as well. Again, think about a product that will hold up under several tenants’ wear and tear and that is easy to clean. Try offering a few carpet options as well as some durable laminate options. Again, have a few colors on hand–try two or three neutral carpets as well as a lighter and a darker laminate.
  • Landlords will want new locksets whenever they buy a new property. Show them ones they can rekey, so they can take care of this task each time they get new tenants. And think about add-on sales opportunities, such as window locks or door chains.
  • Some landlords will want to completely rehab a property they’ve just purchased before they rent it out. In this case, they’ll need more than paint and flooring–they’ll be looking for cabinets, countertop materials, tile, vanities, and anything other materials for full-room remodels. Again, they’ll want durable, mid-priced products. Have a few options of laminate countertops and off-the-shelf cabinetry. And consider offering project packages or discounts for purchases over a certain amount.

About Liz Lichtenberger

Liz Lichtenberger
Liz is the special projects editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and trends, visits retailers, and attends industry events. She graduated from Xavier University, where she earned a degree in English and Spanish and was a member of the swim team. Liz is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She enjoys swimming, reading, doing home improvement projects around her house and cheering on her two favorite basketball teams, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Xavier Musketeers.

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