A key aspect of improving your real estate ROI is finding and retaining high-quality tenants. Why? Because even though it’s a landlord’s market now, good tenants will always be relatively rare and, therefore, highly sought after.
Let's take a look at the exorbitant costs associated with finding a new tenant:
- The cost of placing a new ad to find tenants
- Paying commissions to brokers for setting up leases and contracts
- Performing rent ready maintenance in anticipation of a new tenants move-in
- Your time and money associated with screening applications
It's no wonder why most landlords do everything reasonable to provide their tenants with a great living experience. To ensure your tenants stay for the long haul and renew the lease, we’ve put together a list of 6 tips that are easy to follow.
Properly Screening Tenants
A thorough tenant screening provides clues to the tenant’s long-term intentions, including their ability to make rental payments on time. You can learn much about a tenant by looking at their rental history. For example, reliable tenants are less likely to move often. This is because they have stable jobs that require them to stay in the same area, so they have more incentive to renew the lease.
If the tenant screening reveals that they are not a good fit for your rental unit, it’s better to find a new renter.
Ask Your Tenants About Their Experience
The easiest way to learn if you can improve your tenant’s living experience is to ask them to review their experience. You could do this by setting up an official meeting or send surveys that can be submitted anonymously. Tenants may be more comfortable voicing their honest opinions without worrying about repercussions.
Learning what your tenants think about your rental unit and what improvements they would like to see is important for improving your tenant retention rate.
If your tenant insists on leaving, perform an exit interview with them to learn more. Ask questions such as:
- The reasons for leaving
- The type of rental unit they are moving to
- What incentives could you offer so they would extend their stay?
Be on Friendly Terms with Your Tenants
Is it worse to be a nosy landlord or an unresponsive landlord? The answer is both. You should take your tenants’ calls and return their calls in a timely manner, especially during emergencies. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of landlord that intrudes on the tenant's privacy, they’ll move away just to get more privacy.
It’s probably a good idea to send handwritten notes on special occasions to remind your tenants that they are appreciated. These cards don’t have to feature flashy graphics or extensively drawn out just a few words of gratitude are all it takes to improve your relations.
Stay on Top of Maintenance
Allocate more of your budget into maintenance every month. Whether this goes into general maintenance, major repairs, or small renovations, your investment will make a difference. A key reason tenants move on from a rental unit is lack of maintenance, so try to stay on top of yours!
Pro tip: Don’t have time for property maintenance? Hire a property manager to handle the maintenance for you. These professionals are in the know when it comes to the best vendors and handymen in the area to handle maintenance - at a budget that doesn't break the bank.
Offer Upgrades to the Rental Unit
At first glance, it may seem counterintuitive to offer upgrades to your tenant because it undercuts your profit. But offering upgrades not only improve your property’s value, but it also plays a big role in tenant retention. You can choose from a raft of updates such as adding new light fixtures, repainting the walls, or adding new tiles.
Be Flexible With Your Policies
It is good to be flexible with your approach to certain policies, such as minor renovations or having a pet. Some tenants are more than happy to pay a ‘pet rent’ every month just so they can stay close with their companions.
It’s not difficult or expensive to provide a great living experience to tenants. In most cases, you simply have to work on your communication skills and stay on top of your maintenance checklist.
Need help? Work with an experienced property manager near you and create amazing experiences for your tenants.