Contacting you when there’s an issue. Always paying on time. Respecting your property and the neighborhood. Finding great tenants that do all of these things isn’t easy, but once you lease to renters who take care of your place as if it is their own, you never want to see them move out.
This quick guide will show you how to convince great tenants to keep renting from you.
Statistics from the National Center for Housing Management show that 54% of apartment turnover to new occupants each year. Enticing an excellent tenant to stay is essential for landlords. Not only does it cut down on the costly turnover process, but a replacement for that great tenant is also hard to find. To help improve your odds of keeping good tenants, follow these tips below.
One of the best ways to ensure that you get reliable renters is to make this a mandate right from the start and screen potential residents. There are now services available to assist in this, but it can be one of the fastest ways to discover, for example, that someone has a consistent history of late rent or not paying at all.
Screening potential residents takes a bit more effort upfront, but when done successfully, it ensures minimal trouble and effort throughout a resident’s time living in the property.
Address Maintenance Concerns Quickly
Keeping your tenant happy is crucial, especially if you're going to ask the tenant to extend their lease. By being proactive with property maintenance and routinely performing property inspections, your tenant may be more likely to agree to your proposal.
Few things are more frustrating for a tenant than having unaddressed maintenance requests. You want to show them that you want to give them a nice place to live. This can be a big deciding factor when your tenant is considering a lease renewal. Incentives like carpet cleaning or deep cleaning by a professional cleaning service can be very attractive to long-term tenants and may make them feel appreciated, without breaking the bank.
Be a Good Landlord
Never underestimate the importance of the human factor when it comes to tenants. Your renters may be more likely to want to stay if you're a friendly and cooperative person. Obviously, that goes for all of life, but even more so when you want people to happily pay you every month.
Be timely with your responses and make it easy for the tenant to contact you. Maintain open communication to help reduce misunderstandings and create a better overall tenant-landlord relationship. Being courteous and respectful goes a long way to make a tenant feel comfortable in the unit.
Advocate for a Longer Lease Term
Offering a longer or more ideal lease term for a reduced rate can help keep tenants in place. For example, if they currently renew each year, offer an 18 or 24-month term at a slight discount. Weighing the small amount you would lose over trying to fill a vacancy might be well worth it.
Treat Tenants Fairly
Not only is this just good business practice, but it is also the law. Landlords must familiarize themselves with federal, state, and local Fair Housing Laws to avoid tenant disputes or accusations of discrimination. However, responding to everyone with the same care and concern is what you need to do anyway to maintain a great professional relationship with your tenants.
Anticipate Wants and Needs
Understanding what your ideal tenants are looking for will help in keeping them in place. As we mentioned, rental market competition is fierce, and owners need to do what they can to set their property apart. Thoughtful upgrades like hardwood flooring, stainless appliances, added storage solutions, or central air might cost money outright but will pay off in the long run by attracting a wider group of prospects. So, get to know the neighborhood and scope out the competition to ensure your property is up to snuff.
Enforce Rules without Going Overboard
Whether they relate to safety, pet security deposits, waterbeds, or clogged toilets, before the lease is signed, you need to put your property rules in writing. It pays to go a step further and indicate the consequences of failing to follow these rules. This helps your renter understand their responsibilities and your expectations.
If your long-term tenant starts to break rules or policies that you have set in place, then talk to them before taking action. You may be getting complaints from neighbors, but you'll want to hear from your renters to get their side of the story before jumping to conclusions.
Reward Good Behavior
A small thank you or lease incentive can go a long way with tenant relations. When it comes time to renew, consider offering a discount as an incentive to renew, which also serves as a thank you for being a great tenant. For example, you could offer $100 off the first renewal month as a bonus. Another option is to reach out to local businesses and negotiate special offers. Is the local gym willing to offer a discount or free sign up fee? How about a 10% off pizza delivery?
Provide Good Customer Service
Good property management is about understanding that apartments are inhabited by people, not revenue generators. When you provide customer service, interacting with your residents in a friendly, respectful manner, this reflects on the entire building.
Similarly, collecting rent and treating residents poorly will often result in people vacating apartments and forcing a building to seek new renters. This becomes harder as time passes if online reviews and other content paint the building with a reputation for treating residents badly. Treat residents well, and they are not just more inclined to stay but often will be far more receptive and cooperative in future interactions, making them even more reliable and valuable as renters.
If you’d like to help better manage your property rental investments, contact Overland Management and let us help.