The most valuable asset a landlord can have are quality tenants. These people follow the rules and pay their bills on time without leaving damage and disruption in their wake. Every property manager should make it their priority to retain these tenants.
It’s worth going the extra mile for good tenants and to give them a reason to sign the lease for another year. Devising strategies to keep tenants happy should be an integral part of your business model. Here are some ideas to keep your best tenants coming back for more.
1. Invest In Desirable Amenities
Investing in the right amenities is a smart move. It’s a great way to attract new tenants and retain the ones you already have. Some types of amenities can improve property value too which means a better return if you decide to sell the property.
When it comes to putting in new amenities, they are not created equal. Spending your money on the right ones will make all the difference. It’s important to weigh the initial cost of installation as well as long term maintenance expenses against the potential enjoyment that tenants are likely to get out of that particular amenity.
Useful amenities such as storage lockers, parking, and laundry facilities are a safe bet and will likely make your property more competitive. Recreational facilities like pools or tennis courts might help you attract a different group of tenants. Investing in beautification such as gardens can elevate your property to a higher level.
2. Clear Communication
Communicating in a clear and direct way can help avoid the kind of conflicts that might drive tenants away. From the start it’s important to make sure that each tenant understands their lease and all the rules within it. Communicate important information in writing and respond to all questions and comments clearly, openly, and without delay.
3. Make Maintenance Requests Easy
When things go wrong tenants want them dealt with without a major disruption to their lives. Submitting a maintenance request should be simple, convenient, and easy. Giving tenants the ability to submit a maintenance ticket online simplifies the process for them and reduces the number of calls and emails for you.
Making the maintenance ticket submission process painless is important but it will do little good if those requests are not dealt with promptly. It’s not fair to expect tenants to live with broken parts of their home and doing so can quickly make people look for a new place to live. When there is a problem it’s up to the landlord to ensure it is dealt with quickly and appropriately.
4. Make Yourself Available
Tenants don’t enjoy having to track down their landlord when they have a problem. Agree on communication preferences at the start and always be sure to respond to tenants in a timely manner. Check in with tenants from time to time to make sure they are happy and that everything is going well.
5. Invest In Upgrades
Retain quality tenants by rewarding them with upgrades to their unit. Swap out old appliances, worn carpets, and dated fixtures for fresh ones. When it comes to your best tenants, make them feel appreciated by upgrading basic items for ones of better quality.
It’s a good idea to notify tenants of upgrades soon after you conduct the annual inspection. This sends the message that your inspections are more about ensuring the property is in good working order rather than focusing on how well a tenant is maintaining their home. It will put a more positive spin on inspections and make tenants less resentful of them.
6. Offer Lease Renewal Incentives
When it’s time to renew the lease offer your best tenants incentives to stay. You can waive certain fees, skip the annual rent rate increase, or let the tenant choose an upgrade to their unit. Be creative and show your best tenants that you appreciate them.
7. Deal With Disruptive Tenants
In multi-family properties it’s very important to have a pleasant atmosphere where tenants feel safe, secure, and comfortable. Nobody wants to deal with bad neighbors. Don’t force your good tenants to deal with your bad apples. That’s your job!
The best way to deal with bad tenants is to never have them at all. Screen applicants thoroughly before you offer them a lease. If one slips through the cracks, deal with them quickly and never let them undermine the peace of the community you are building.
8. Be Pleasant To Deal With
Nobody wants to deal with difficult people. Be a good landlord by keeping expectations realistic and being kind, honest, and understanding. It’s important to remember that your tenants are people too and your property is their home.
9. Give Tenants Their Space
It’s important to acknowledge that your property is a home and your tenants expect it to be a refuge from the stresses of their day. It’s difficult to decompress when your landlord is always around. Avoid micromanaging tenants and give them their space.
There will be times when you will need to gain access to the property for various reasons. When this happens be sure to give plenty of notice in the tenant’s preferred method of communicating with you. Limit these visits to no more than twice per year and always be respectful of the tenant and their belongings when checking in.
10. Don’t Underestimate Tokens Of Appreciation
A small token of appreciation can go a long way. A personalized card during the holidays or a gift certificate on their birthday is a small but thoughtful gesture that can make a tenant feel happy to have you as their landlord. It shows you appreciate them and that they are more than just a paycheck to you.
Every landlord and property manager should see the value of good tenants and make an effort to retain them. Property Matrix can help you arm yourself with the tools to make the job easier. Stay organized and make communication easier to serve your amazing tenants better.