As a landlord, you’re likely well aware of how important it is to keep great tenants happy in your property—and how costly and time-consuming it can be to replace tenants who leave. High-quality, timely tenants that are respectful and reliable are unfortunately hard to find, but there are strategies you can use to improve your rental property’s retention rate. Keep the following tips in your arsenal and improve your bottom line.
Always Run Background Checks
Keeping a good tenant requires you to find a good one in the first place. You’ve invested a great deal of money into your real estate—don’t throw it away by allowing a lackluster renter to come in and damage it. Check credit history to get a better idea of whether or not your tenant will be able to pay their rent in full each month, and be sure to check criminal records for any tenant that will be living in your multi-unit complex.
Establish a Strong Landlord-Tenant Relationship
It’s important to establish a positive relationship with your tenant. Be polite and courteous in every interaction, whether it’s in person or over the phone. Be respectful of your tenant’s space, and follow rules regarding when and how you’re allowed to visit the property for an inspection. In most states, landlords must give tenants at least 24 hours before coming over to the property, so check on local regulations and stay on the right side of the law—and your tenant’s good side.
Complete Maintenance Requests in a Timely Manner
Be prompt with responses when a tenant reaches out with questions or problems. If your tenant has maintenance requests, deal with them immediately yourself or hire a trusted professional to complete the tasks for you. Ignoring a request can make a tenant feel as though you don’t care about them or your property, and in many cases, repairs may be legally required—especially if they’re essential for keeping the property a habitable place to live. If you find your tenant’s maintenance issue is something you don’t quite know how to handle, respond to your tenant to let them know you’re working to come up with a solution.
Offer the Amenities Tenants Want
If you want to remain competitive in this rental-rich market, be sure to retain tenants (and entice new ones) with upgraded amenities. Depending on your budget and the property, there are plenty of features you add, including energy efficient appliances, hardwood floors, new windows, smart home features—the sky truly is the limit.
Make Renting Convenient
Convenience is king, and finding ways to make your tenant’s life easier is a surefire way to retain them. Services that improve a resident’s life simultaneously improve your chances of garnering a lease renewal. Make it easy to pay rent each month through an online service, set up an emailing system that allows tenants to easily request maintenance, or create office hours during which tenants know they can reach you. The easier you make it on them, the easier they’ll make it on you.
Offer Renewal Incentives
If you’re looking into renewing a lease agreement with a high-quality tenant, consider offering them an incentive for doing so. If you’ve got a great tenant that’s coming up for a lease renewal in the near future, contact them at least a month before their end date to inquire about their plans. If they are still trying to decide, offer a renewal incentive for them to stay. Some landlords choose to offer cash bonuses, others offer carpet cleaning, and some even go so far as to offer electronic gifts.
Even the most airtight of retention strategies can fail; sometimes, a tenant simply needs to move on. If they’re set on moving out even after you’ve offered a renewal incentive, feel free to ask why and use their responses to further refine your strategy.
In 2018, make it a priority to improve your rental business’s retention rates. With these strategies in mind, you’re well-poised to retain your favorite tenants and ultimately increase rental revenue.