Turning over property from one tenant to another can be a very expensive process, especially if your rentals aren’t exactly spring chickens. The older a home gets, the more costly those turnovers seem to be.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your tenants longer and avoid costly turnovers:
- Timeliness. From the moment an applicant contacts you about a rental home, it is imperative that you respond quickly and continue to do so throughout their tenancy. When a tenant sees that you are quick to respond to their needs, they will be more likely to renew their lease. This stands for minor inquiries up through emergency maintenance issues. Treat them like your number one priority and they are far more likely to stick around for another year.
- Incentives. Offering an incentive to a tenant to renew their lease does not have to be a costly affair. Upgrade an old appliance, add a dishwasher or microhood, offer a complimentary carpet cleaning, or other minor improvements may be enough to encourage your tenant to renew for another year. Consider asking the tenant what they would like as a bonus for renewing — is it an accent wall? A new front door? A closet upgrade? Most tenants are hesitant to ask for anything because they expect the answer to be no. Let them know that you’re open to making small improvements to keep them happy and they will thank you for it.
- Long-term leases. Sometimes tenants know they intend to stay for the long haul. Offer them the security and peace of mind of a long-term lease. You’ll want to account for rent increases over the duration of the lease term by doing a mid-range increase, but still less than what you might charge a new incoming tenant. Just be sure that your lease breaking fees are clearly included in your lease packet to protect yourself from the unexpected happening in the middle of a 3-year lease.
- Maintenance. Keeping up with regular maintenance will go a long way with tenants. Semi-annual property inspections and quarterly maintenance will not only keep your property in top shape longer, it will also show the tenants that you care about the quality of your rentals as well as their comfort and security.
This list is not all-inclusive and may not be effective with all tenants in all areas. However, it’s a good start and will not only help you keep your tenants longer but also improve your reputation. As word of mouth spreads that you are an exceptional, attentive landlord, high-quality applicants are going to start calling to rent your properties.