Finding ideal tenants can be an overwhelming task for landlords and property managers, but it is even more tricky to retain those tenants once you find them. A vacant property isn't generating income. Retaining tenants ensures a regular stream of cash inflow and saves the hassle of screening for new tenants. But the 64 thousand dollar question is, what makes tenants stay for longer?
Tips for retaining tenants##
The following are some tips for retaining tenants for the long-term.
Focus on maintenance##
It is worth noting that the top reason why tenants decide to leave is that landlords don't respond positively to maintenance requests. One bad maintenance experience is capable of motivating a tenant to look for other places. Being responsive to maintenance requests ensure tenant retention for longer.
Although it is not possible to be in reach 24/7, you can always ensure timely communication. Tenants can submit their repair requests on HomeKasa - you can access this from anywhere and direct it to the right repair services. Even if your tenants don't communicate with you, you should reach out to them every once in a while. Keeping active communication is a key skill for property managers and it can also help in knowing your tenant type.
Keep units updated##
Are your appliances working fine? Is there a need for a bathroom update? Updating your fixtures and appliances to modern standards will help you in retaining tenants and keeping them happy. People like homes that are kept up instead of being stuck in a style that is 4 decades-old. The new generation of tenants expect more than the basic stove and oven in the unit. While it's expensive to embrace every new technology, pick a few to update your property.
Offer renewal incentives and upgrades##
Enable your tenants to choose from some options of upgradeable items, including new floors or light fixtures. Even providing a carpet cleaning will help you in fostering goodwill. Upgrades can help you in retaining your tenants and it also is a great way of improving your property's value and increasing the rent.
Respond immediately to crime/noise complaints##
If your tenants are complaining about noise, it is wise to address it. Noisy neighbors might be affecting several other people who are not speaking up. Dealing proactively with such situations can help in improving their satisfaction. Otherwise, the good ones will move out while the noisy ones will stay, increasing your tenant turnover.
Offer advance notice of maintenance##
Provide sufficient notice for planned repairs such as roadworks, roof replacements, water shutdowns, etc. This consideration will play an essential role in fostering a good relationship.
Enforce rules uniformly and fairly##
It is important to be fair with your rules. For instance, if you decide to allow tenants with pets, you should enforce the same policies to all tenants with pets such as ensuring that the tenants clean after the pets properly. The same applies to smoking. It is also crucial to be uniform because arbitrary enforcement implies that no one is paying attention.
Create flexible leases##
Another important reason why tenants tend to consider other options is due to rough leases. It becomes difficult for them to cope up with unstructured or unfair lease terms. Therefore, show some consideration while crafting rental agreements for retaining your tenants. HomeKasa has leasing documents that you can use.
It is possible for tenants to put up with several issues like slow drain without complaining about them at all. It does not necessarily mean that they are happy. Sometimes they don't have an easy way to contact the property manager or the landlord. Therefore non-urgent issues go unreported. You cannot rely on the maintenance by tenants. Instead, have a regular schedule for property inspections. Address important, non-urgent issues before they become urgent. Otherwise, you'll have to wake you up in the middle of the night to take that phone call and find a solution. You can easily communicate with the tenants using our property management platform. Tenants can open cases and request repairs on HomeKasa.
Create a personal relationship##
Creating personal relationships with your tenants can also help you in increasing tenant retention. For instance, you can send a note or a card for birthdays and annual events. It serves to create a sense of belongingness and being accepted openly.
Negotiate special deals with local businesses##
Some great places to start are local pizza delivery, beauty spas, and even hair salons. Many will be more than happy to advertise to your tenants, and you can offer a discount of 10 percent for living at your unit.
Publish a community blog##
This plays a crucial role in creating a sense of community. Even a few articles in a month with city or community events will help your tenants feel more invested.
Build a rewards system##
Think about the behaviors that you wish to encourage and assign points to them. Then, enable your tenants to use these points for different rewards such as gift cards or minor upgrades for the house. It is a great way of retaining your tenants.
Sponsor different community events##
You can sponsor charity fundraisers and use a newsletter to invite your tenants. You will not need to pay anything if they opt not to go; and purchasing bulk tickets might get you special discounts.
Be active on renewals##
It is always better to give reminders to your tenants that their leases are to be renewed soon so that they are not surprised. If you plan on increasing rent, let the tenant know in advance. Some states require a 60-day notice, while others require 30-days. An advance notice helps your tenant to plan and prepare. You can use the template available on HomeKasa to send this notice.
Overall, these are some tips that you can consider to retain your tenants. One important thing to note is that you should focus on effective communication with your tenants as it plays the most important role in retaining them. HomeKasa offers one place to manage all your tenant interactions including communications. Our free property management software lets you stay on top of the tenant needs, a key part of tenant retention.