Losing a good tenant means more than just a temporary reduction in rental income. It also means an increase in costs for things like advertising, screening and getting the unit ready to re-rent. So, not only do you not have revenue coming in, but you’re expenses go up at the same time. For obvious reasons, the goal is to keep vacancy rate at a minimum, and to do this, you need to reduce tenant turnover. Let’s explore a few of the proven ways you can achieve this goal.
They say the best defence is a good offence. One of the most effective ways to improve your tenant retention is to make sure you’re renting to high quality applicants in the first place. To do this, make sure you are thoroughly screening all candidates with a background check, credit report and reference check. This can help weed out the bad apples that would be more likely to skip out or require eviction. It may take a bit more time and resources up front, but it’ll pay off in the long run.
Good communication is one of the hallmarks of tenant satisfaction. When your renters know they can count on you to answer their questions, address their concerns and handle any issues they have in a timely, professional manner, they’re more likely to stay. Make a point to respond to incoming calls, texts and emails promptly – especially if it involves a maintenance issue. (Pro Tip: Utilize property management software to automate and optimize tenant communications and maintenance requests.)
You won’t know if you’re doing something that’s driving tenants away unless and until you ask. Inviting feedback from your renters can help you determine what’s working and which areas might require some attention and improvement. Send out surveys from time to time and allow tenants to respond anonymously. Also, whenever a tenant moves out, you should conduct an exit interview so you can find out if there are any things that you can and should be doing better.
Nobody wants to be the bad guy, but setting rules and enforcing them fairly and consistently is an essential part of maintaining a peaceful rental property community. An unruly tenant that is allowed to go unchecked could easily drive away one or more of your good renters, so don’t take chances. Deal with issues promptly and take action when necessary. It may not be the most enjoyable aspect of your job, but it’s a necessity if you’re trying to maximize occupancy.
When it comes to things like establishing rules or raising the rent, be sure to consider all aspects of your tenants’ situation. You want to be fair and reasonable, otherwise you could end up shooting yourself in the foot. Ask yourself if the proposed change is worth the possibility of losing a good tenant and whether you’d be able to recoup your losses if that does, indeed, happen. If the answer to these questions is no, then perhaps it’s better to leave things status quo.
A low tenant turnover rate equates to a higher ROI and a better bottom line. The five tips above should help you keep your existing tenants happy and engaged, improving the chances of lease renewal and keeping vacancy levels as low as possible.