Tips for Tenant Retention
Tips for Tenant Retention
When it comes to single-family rental properties, tenant retention and renewal is an important factor in maximizing owner returns. The inevitable costs of refreshing a rental property, making repairs and replacements as needed, advertising a vacancy, conducting property showings, collecting applications and screening tenants, and of course the off-rent time while you search for and select a new tenant, are all costs that add up quickly when managing tenant turnover.
As the saying goes, ‘it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to sign a new one,’ and this certainly applies to tenants for rental property owners as well. Successful implementation of a few tenant retention strategies can go a long way to improve tenant satisfaction and increase retention and renewal.
Establish and Maintain a Positive Relationship
Tenants who have had problems with their rental and/or landlord are of course more likely to seek other arrangements at the end of their lease. By staying responsive to tenant requests, providing prompt return calls, notifying them of the status of their requests when appropriate, and approaching interactions with a friendly and respectful attitude, you can improve your landlord/tenant relationships.
Landlord engagement with prompt and meaningful responses helps tenants feel welcome and at home. Tenants appreciate a landlord who keeps communication open and who is, at least, willing to listen and discuss their concerns or requests, and that appreciation will add a big selling point for your tenants when it comes time to renew.
Create Community Among Residents
In addition to your tenant/landlord relationship, you can foster community among your tenants themselves. Creating a sense of belonging will make your tenants want to renew!
Holding neighborhood events, parties, cookouts, game nights, etc. can all build a cohesiveness among tenants as well as provide an additional value in your property. For areas with a central clubhouse or office, you could set up a community garden for residents. If no community spaces are available, consider renting a location to hold regular gatherings (even if these are only yearly events, they will still have an impact on your community). Neighborhood or park trash pickups are another great way to get your residents working together on something that will benefit them and their surrounding area, as well as create a sense of pride in their location.
Encouraging your tenants to belong to a community will increase their feeling of being at home in your rental. The more comfortable your residents are, the more likely they are to want to stay.
Another easy and effective way to encourage tenant renewal is to offer incentives and perks.
If you were to have a tenant leave and need to manage the rental’s turnover, you would have to do typical maintenance such as interior painting, carpet or flooring cleaning, and perhaps even upgrading appliances prior to re-renting. The maintenance that would be done at turnover are all things that can be offered to residents as incentives with renewal, and at no real additional cost to you. Allowing residents to have their rental home updated upon renewal will give them an opportunity to have their living space easily and conveniently refreshed without the hassle of moving.
If you’d like to go beyond the incentive of a refreshed space, you could also consider offering one-time cleaning services provided by professionals. Installing improved landscaping with renewal is another way to impress tenants, encourage early renewal, and increase the property’s value all at once with little additional cost to you.
Incentives can also be tailored to the individual tenant. If your residents have children, you could consider including passes to local family attractions and entertainment. Gift cards to relevant businesses, such as coffee for business professionals, vouchers to pet groomers for pet owners, and gift cards to local breweries for college students are all ways you can personalize your incentives to make them more valuable to residents. Local businesses are often willing to partner with landlords to offer discounts that can be used as incentives as well.
By creating a sense of belonging, and making your tenants feel appreciated and welcome, you can increase tenant retention and your overall profits.
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