Managing tenants can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Long term tenants can save you money as a property manager or owner because it limits turnover costs and vacancy. So when you find a good tenant, how do you keep them around? While not every tenant can be (or should be) retained, there are a few small things that can be done to help keep them around longer.
Here are our 7 tips for maintaining good tenants:
1. Be clear about your expectations
It’s easy to focus on getting your tenants move-in walkthrough completed as quickly as possible, but in the long term it will be more beneficial for you to spend time with them and clearly outline your guidelines and expectations. By communicating clearly upfront, you’ll be able to follow up with your tenants about potential violations with little complaining.
2. Keep your property well maintained
If your goal is to keep tenants around you’re going to need to keep your property well maintained. It’s important to keep up with regular maintenance such as air filters, exterior window cleaning and landscaping. These small projects keep tenants happy, give them pride in their residence and make them more likely to stay.
3. Be proactive
Instead of waiting to hear from your tenants, be proactive about communicating with them, even if it’s simply to inform them of regular maintenance. Knowing you are available will be comforting to your tenants and give them confidence in your care for the property.
4. Offer a rewards program
Do you have almost perfect tenants who may need a little more incentive to stay? Consider instituting a rewards program. Offer carpet cleaning or painting of an accent wall as a reward for signing a new lease. Living in the same rental for a long time can begin to feel stale. Offering rewards to help clean it up or spice it up can be a huge perk for tenants!
5. Provide incentives for quality tenants
Simple little gifts can leave a large impression. Try sending birthday cards or giving your tenants a $25 gift card after their first 6 months. The small cost associated with these little gifts will help prevent you from incurring costs related to vacancy and turnover. Putting a smile on your tenant’s face goes a long way!
6. Be upfront about rent increases
Communicate as quickly as possible with your tenants about future rent increases. Many people are living on a reasonably tight budget and even $100 extra a month needs to be planned for. When tenants receive very little notice on rent increases, it can lead to quick decisions to move out.
7. Offer longer leases
While the one year lease is the industry standard, consider offering excellent tenants two year leases. This almost guarantees you to have a filled unit with quality tenants for two years! While you may see this as potential loss due to the inability to increase rent after a year, focus on the savings of not having to find a new tenant.
By implementing these 7 ideas you will see longer retention rates from your tenants and enjoy a more relaxed management experience. If you’d prefer not to manage tenants on your own, we’d love to help. Reach out today!