Lessons We’ve Learned About Renters from the TV Show Friends

11103892_f57d05a21e1. Everyone wants to live across the hall from their best friend.

While living across the hall from Chandler and Joey may not be everyone’s ideal (although it would be mine), it is true that people prefer to live close to their friends. This means one thing: referrals. What better way to attract new renters than by offering incentives to tenants who refer new prospects. Assuming your current tenant respects the lease agreement already, you’ll be happy to have their like-minded friends move in next door.

2. Spying on people in the apartment across the street is a real thing.

From creeping on Ross to watching “ugly naked guy” toy with the boundaries of appropriate hygiene, the characters of Friends spent a significant amount of time in front of the window peering into the apartments across the street. If your property isn’t located in a high-rise residential neighborhood of New York, as the majority are not, you might not have such a large volume of peekers. You should, however, still consider secure window coverings like vertical blinds or a pre-installed curtain rod. No tenant wants to live in a fishbowl.

3. Renters may be playing host to more than one roommate in a single leasing period.

3256660227_307d78b4cdFirst Phoebe, then Rachel, then Joey and Chandler, and finally Chandler himself? If you followed along with Friends over the years, you know just about everyone lived in Monica’s apartment at one point or another. But did you EVER see them update a lease or change tenant information? Of course not. Make sure you’re not ignoring the revolving door of roommates. For safety reasons especially, it’s always important to know exactly who is staying in your units.

4. A coffee shop downstairs (or down the street) may be enough to seal the deal.

9641303352_09906a48c7Central Perk, not to be confused with Central Park, was the usual hang out for the Friends gang. Luckily for them, the coffee shop was just a short walk from their cozy apartments. So what does that mean for property managers living in the real world?  Amenities. Offering tenants clean, well-kept spaces to relax and socialize can be a huge motivation to get renters in the door. If your property is surrounded by shops, attractions, or parks, be sure to upsell the neighborhood as well. Residential properties can be greatly enhanced by the local community. As real estate professionals everywhere agree, location is everything.

5. Everyone has their own idea of “clean.”

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Monica is most likely to be any property manager’s dream tenant. Her obsession with cleanliness is unmatched, meaning you’d never have to worry about the condition of your unit after Monica has taken up residence. Joey Tribbiani, on the other hand, might be less than ideal considering his habits of throwing spaghetti, sawing through doors, and keeping illegal feathery pets. If we are to take anything away from Monica’s apartment compared to Joey and Chandler’s, it’s clear individuals’ level of hygiene can vary quite a bit. Cleanliness is a concern for property managers no matter who they are leasing to. A document ensuring the tenant keeps their unit clean by regularly vacuuming and taking out the trash is often included in a lease agreement for this reason alone. Be sure your tenants know that sanitation matters, and penalties exist for those who don’t maintain their space.

We’ve enjoyed taking a few lessons from one of the greatest shows of all time. Pop culture is created to reflect real human behavior so while our points may be funny, they’ve got some truth to them too. Next time you’re at home relaxing in front of the TV, keep your eyes peeled for things that may apply to your life. You never know what you might learn.

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