Searching for new tenants can be worrisome and costly. When you have a good tenant, you not only have peace of mind but you know your rent will arrive on time and in full and your property is safe.
Retaining you tenants is something that can be done. By using these 5 strategies, you may improve your tenancy length and keep your properties occupied and rented.
1. Have a Commitment to Property Maintenance
When a tenant needs to report a maintenance issue – whether it’s a broken refrigerator or a leaky toilet, a responsive landlord is at the top of the list. Knowing that when they text, call or email a landlord, that they get a return call can make a bad maintenance situation a bit more tolerable. When tenants are contemplating a move, they may think back to the responsiveness of their landlord when a problem occurred. They may realize the value of having a landlord who is quick to respond.
2. Polish Your Interpersonal Skills
Issues can often come up during a tenant’s lease. These can include late rental payment, property damage, or complaints from neighbors about noise. The way a landlord handles these situations can affect a tenant’s decision to extend their lease. For example, if a rent payment is late, instead of sending threatening emails alerting them about late fees, a kind call or text to inquire if all is alright is a better way to handle the situation. You can even allow your tenant a one-time grace period if their budget is particularly tight one month.
Another scenario could be property damage. For instance, if your tenant was installing new window treatments and accidentally damaged a wall, instead of creating a big fuss, give them a chance to fix the damage.
In other cases, if a neighbor makes a complaint about a party or excessive noise, it may be a better approach to give your tenant a warning and remind them of the rules of the property. It’s smarter not to escalate first-time issues with a tenant. When the tenant is up for a lease renewal, they will remember how you gave them a second chance.
3. Allow the Tenant to Make Small Upgrades
When a tenant moves in, it’s not unreasonable that they would want to make small changes to incorporate their own taste and style. Allowing tenants to do this may work in your favor. If they can hang shelves, or paint, or have a TV installed on a wall, this may make the tenant want to stay in the apartment for longer than one year. This extended tenancy will save you time and money as you search for a suitable and qualified tenant.
4. Offer Incentives to Stay
Tenants don’t want a rent increase. If you tell them that you won’t increase their rent, they will be more likely to stay. Not increasing rent may be a tough decision, but this will save you time and money in the long run. Furthermore, if this tenant leaves, there’s a chance that your rental could stay vacant. This will cost you money.
5. Be Proactive with Lease Renewals
About 3 months before their lease is set to expire, contact your tenant about renewing the lease. Because you are giving them early notice, they may begin contemplating their options. This is the time to discuss incentives to stay. You can also tell them you really want them to stay. Everyone likes to know they are valued—and this includes tenants.
Why it’s in Your Best Interest to Strive for Tenant Retention
Tenant retention is important because if a tenant leaves, it can be expensive. Not only are you losing rental income, you can incur expenses like advertising and marketing your apartment, paying for upgrades to refresh the unit and screening new applicants. By incorporating these tips, you have a better chance of keeping qualified renters.