While it can take a lot of time and effort to find the right tenants for your rental property, it is the most important part of owning rental property. The best way to find quality tenants is to offer prospective tenants the right selling points and then offer them a positive living experience. This will help you minimize turnover and keep the right tenants in your rental units.
Part of the problem with most rental companies and landlords is that they spend too much time focusing on the acquisition part and nowhere near enough time on the retention part. According to an article published by Khalid Saleh of Invesp entitled “Customer Acquisition Versus Retention Costs”, it costs five times more to find new tenants than it does to retain the ones you have.
Here are 5 tips to help with tenant retention
Build Your Tenants into a Community
One of the biggest reasons social media has become so popular is that people like to feel as though they are part of a community. You can do the same thing by putting together a website, blog, and a variety of social media accounts that your tenants can use to connect with each other and you. Once they feel as though they are part of this community, many will be less inclined to move on.
Stay in Touch with Your Tenants
While creating a social community online for your tenants is a good start, you need to stay in touch with them as well. Consider using tactics like a welcome letter, sending them a birthday card or gift basket, perhaps creating some type of rewards program for those who consistently pay their rent on time. In other words, let your tenants know you care about them.
Keep on Top of Maintenance
No one wants to live in a rental unit that has repairs that never seem to be taken care of. If you stay on top of routine maintenance, your tenants are likely to be much happier. Consider sending out a monthly questionnaire to your tenants that asks them to list any maintenance problems they have. Not only can this save you from more costly repairs down the road, it will go a long way towards improving tenant retention.
Go Over the Rules
Starting with day one, make sure each of your tenants is fully aware of the rules. In fact, there should be a copy of the rules in your welcome package. Going over this list is a good way to establish open communications with new tenants and getting to know them. Cover things like trash services, the internet or electrical issues, depending on which of these services you provide as part of their rent. The more you take the time to explain these rules, in the beginning, the more your tenants will appreciate it later.
Make It Easy for Tenants to Contact You
Your tenants should always have an emergency phone number they can use to reach you, even if it only reaches a voicemail. Today, however, most tenants want a way to stay in touch with you 24/7. One of the best ways to do this is to provide online access that allows them to leave messages, register maintenance needs, pay their rent online, sign their lease, and any renewal agreements. Most tenants not only desire this type of access but are beginning to demand it.
The best way to retain quality tenants is to provide them with the best possible customer service experience. What you will find is that happy tenants tend to stick around for longer, reducing the amount of time and money you need to invest in finding new tenants on a constant basis.