Tenant turnover is the bane of landlord existence; if you want things to go smoothly in that business, you have to put some effort into tenant retention. This is particularly true if you’ve got great renters already living in one of your properties. The last thing you want is for those tenants to go when their lease is up or, even worse, before then. To avoid it, make them happy! Read on for the best ways to keep good tenants in your rental.
Start With a Good Screening Process:
Properly vetting tenants in the first place is key for real estate success. You might be tempted to go with your gut or hunch on some renters but fight this urge! There could be a lot of skeletons in the closet. You’ll need to administer a thorough application, background check, and credit check, check references and verify employment to show an ability to pay and call past landlords. It sounds like a lot of work, but you’ll be glad you did once you’ve weeded out the shady prospects. Find eviction records and eviction screening services to help get your applicants and make your choice easier.
Be Friendly (But Not Too Friendly!)
This might be hard if you own an apartment building, but if you are renting out a house or another stand-alone property, make an effort to introduce yourself and get to know your tenants. That little personal touch can do you a huge favor when it comes to making that person a long-time renter. You don’t have to send them birthday gifts, per se, but many landlords do give out some sort of present during the holidays. Note of caution, however: There is such thing as an overly friendly landlord. The frequent pop-ins are a definite no-no, and illegal!
Let’s Hear it for Incentives:
You’ve landed the dream tenants. They pay their rent on time. They hardly ever call with issues. The other neighbors love them. And now their one-year lease is coming up for renewal. Consider offering them some sort of incentive—like a discount on the first month’s rent in the New Year. If they were thinking of looking elsewhere, you could have very well just sealed the deal for another year with your gesture. For you, it’s a blip on the financial radar but, for them, it could be a game-changer.
Address Issues Promptly:
Maintenance issues and the like are an inevitable task of being a landlord. Whether it’s you who handles this or you’ve hired a property management company, make sure phone calls, emails, and texts are returned promptly and that things are fixed as soon as possible. Again, this will go a long way in keeping tenants happy and making them long-term renters.
Provide Nice Amenities:
While you might not shell out for things like top-of-the-line washing machines and dryers, you also don’t want to go to the other end of the spectrum. Not only will a super cheap amenity look terrible in your rental, but it will also likely function poorly—and then you’ll be the one who gets the calls for repair. Make sure you buy sturdy, well-reviewed products that get the job done and look nice to boot.
Consider Being Flexible On Your Pet Policy:
Fact: Many, many Americans have and love pets. If you flat-out refuse to have them on your property you could very well be excluding some great tenants. Consider allowing small dogs with a damage deposit for each pet—you’ll certainly widen the net when it comes to responsible renters.
Follow these tips on tenant retention and you’ll save big, and have more peace of mind about who’s living on your property.