Tenants are, quite literally, the lifeblood of any property rental business, which is why it's in your company's best interest to keep good tenants. Aside from the loss of rental income you can experience when a property is vacant, your business also has to consider costs associated with turnover such as advertising, showing, cleaning, and repairs to find your next occupant.
While there is no sure-fire way to prevent tenants from moving following a significant life event, property managers can still prevent local moves and boost retention to focus on a great tenant experience. So, below are five easy ways to do just that.
Introduce Incentive for Lease Renewal
Renewal season presents an excellent opportunity to encourage tenants to stay put. Depending on your budget, you can offer your residents many incentives to show your appreciation and help ensure another year's worth of rental income. Gift cards, appliance upgrades, carpet cleaning, and lawn care are just a few things you can do to motivate tenants to stay – some of which you would have to do if they moved out anyway.
Start a Referral Program
One tactic you can consider is a referrals program. They work great for single-family or multi-family properties. Much like a regular referral program, this entails enlisting your current tenants as informal agents. You can then provide incentives — like a discount for their first month's rent — for the friends and family who move in. You can even do special promotions when they move in during your high turnover season.
Starting a referral program for residents can help boost retention. After all, most people would love the idea of their loved ones being just a few doors down, and the stronger community spirit is a plus.
Take Maintenance Seriously
Nothing kills tenant-manager relationships faster than poor maintenance management. Taking several days or weeks to respond to a maintenance request can damage your relationship with tenants. Taking maintenance requests seriously helps maintain your property's condition and ensures its longevity of tenants.
Aside from making sure maintenance requests are promptly addressed, you can also be proactive. Don't wait for tenants to come to you with a problem. Instead, check-in with tenants and ask if you can conduct regular maintenance work in their home. Spring, for instance, is a great time to perform roof, rain gutter, foundation, and HVAC inspections. You can also replace batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as prioritize lawn care. And while you're there, why not get a feel for their satisfaction with their residence? Communicating regularly to tenants can help you with future plans and let your tenants feel more listened to and valued. Perfect segway into our next tip: maintaining communication.
Maintain Excellent Communication
Often overlooked, excellent communication can be your biggest strength as a property manager. It should be easy for your tenants to reach out to you, and, as mentioned above, your prompt response is equally important.
Pro communication tip: Includes several ways to contact you in your welcome kit.
Lease renewal and late rent, important notices are best dealt with via a call, which can be much more personable than simply sending out plain cold letters (though those are important, too). Regularly communicating with tenants opens up the opportunity for you to explain new programs and incentives – most importantly, regularly communicating with tenants builds trust.
If you're juggling too many tenants, it might also be a good idea to invest in good property management software to help improve your efficiency and communication with residents.
Work with a Landscaper
Last but not least, consider working with a landscaper. After all, outdoor living spaces are more valuable than ever for 90% of Americans. Paying attention to your property's lawn and garden spaces can go a long way in keeping your tenants happy. Just be sure to notify them before any landscaping work is done.
That said, do have a look through our lawn maintenance services to plan out beautiful and comfortable spaces for your residents that can make them feel — and stay — right at home.