Does Your Location Foster Long Term Tenants?

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Selecting good tenants is one of the keys to being a successful landlord.   Getting those good tenants to stay for the long term is another.  Long term tenants are good for business as they reduce the costs associated with tenant turnover.  However your property’s location and the associated tenant base may not foster long term tenancy.

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Renting to the Hip and Trendy

Many of my properties for example are located in what could be called the “hip and trendy” part of the city.  It has a lot of the cool restaurants, clubs and other amenities that attract the so called “young urban professional.”  As such, it is a strong rental market (and thus attractive to people like me) and by using our tenant selection criteria we locate and rent to many great tenants.

The flip side of the above is the fact that most of these “young urban professionals,” while being great tenants, are in that stage of their lives where change is a constant.  They graduate school, take new jobs, move in with significant others, break up with significant others, get married, have children, buy houses and a whole host of other things that cause them to move on in their life.  All of which tends to increase the level of tenant turnover.

I often talk with landlords who own properties in other parts of the city who see a complete reversal of my issue.  While they may not get the most creditworthy tenants, they search for and get tenants that will stay for the long term.  Their tenants are generally in a later stage of their lives and have friends or family nearby, want their kids to go to a particular school or their job is in the area.

As I said, our tenants are generally pretty good and we generally get our properties back in great condition.  But there is always “normal wear and tear” with little things that need to be fixed or touched up.   Being in a strong rental market also means that we can usually re-rent our properties very quickly.   But turnover does cause some administrative expenses.  There is paperwork to be filled out and reviewed, property showings, ads to be placed, etc.  In short, turnover costs us time and money.

The Takeaway

So be aware that some strong rental markets may not be the best rental markets.  Ideally you want tenants who can and will pay and who will also stay for the long term.  My rental market is just not conducive to both.  Am I complaining, not really, well maybe just a little, but we generally do pretty well by offering a quality product at a competitive price.  It is however amazing what you can see with hindsight.

I am interested to hear others take on this subject.  What is your rental market like?  What type of tenants does it provide for your rentals?
Photo: Keoni Cabral

About Author

Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is co-founder of Kevron Properties, LLC with his wife Terron and has been involved in real estate investing for 10 years. Kevin invests in and manages rental properties in Memphis, TN and is a past president and vice-president of the local REIA group, the Memphis Investors Group.


  1. Great article! I almost made an offer in a trendy part of town last year, but there was something that kept popping up–how was the owner able to garner such high rent? I came to my own conclusion that the high rent could indeed be gotten for the property, but at the cost of frequent turnover or more people in the unit (thus more wear and tear) than I wanted.

    You’ve provided another useful nugget of information for my landlord toolbox. Thanks.

    • Kevin Perk


      Thank you for the kind words.

      Perhaps you could have adjusted your offer a little based on the addition repair costs? If you select your tenants well, the wear and tear is not too bad. More of a headache really.

      Thanks also for reading and commenting,


      • Kevin,

        I did make the adjustments, and they declined. However, I have a nagging feeling this seller may resurface down the road. If that happens and they accept my lower offer, I’ll be much better off having held firm and waited.

        • Kevin Perk

          Sometimes just waiting is best. I have closed several deals where I just waited and the seller came back to me. I hope it works out for you.


  2. Keven,

    Good topic.

    In the national renters survey sponsored by Premier Property Management Group in February, we found that one of every four single family tenant plans to stay in place five years or more, compared to one out of five apartment dwellers.

    Cleary single family rentals will attract more long term tenants than apartments, and that should be a factor in their marketing strategy. Long term renters tend to be better tenants by taking good care of the property since they plan to be there awhile. For many, the only differences between long term renting and owning is they spend less on housing, dont pay property taxes and call someone else to fix problems.

    • My experience seconds the findings of that survey.

      Tenants renting single family properties are as Kevin pointed out at a different, more stable phase of their life where they can make long term decisions and stay in a place for a number of years.

      • Kevin Perk

        In my location, even my single family rentals tend to have more turnover than other parts of town. It is just the nature of my particular area and who is attracted to live here. Some are longer term, but as I said in the article, most are younger and “on the move” so to speak.

        But I think both Steve and Erion are right. Single family dwellings will in general attract longer term tenants than will multi-family units.

        Thanks to both of you for reading and commenting,


  3. Brandon Turner

    Hey Kevin, I agree. I use to feel kinda bad about the fact that most of my tenants were lower income families and not cool, tredy hip people my age. However, those families are still with me years and years later! I almost don’t like to rent to young people anymore because they are so transient! Thanks for the post!

    • Kevin Perk


      You at least have the advantage of being able to select to not rent to younger tenants. That is generally my tenant base. Most are however as I said in the article great tenants, but tend to be “on the move.”

      Thanks for reading and commenting and for your great work on the blog!


  4. Kevin,

    Great ‘different’ perspective on tenants. In my last article I was talking about tenant quality but really only from the more black and white perspective of good tenants versus bad tenants. I didn’t bring in the variations of those two categories… like with what you say, you may have a great tenant but they leave every year or two versus maybe a not as great tenant who stays forever and does pay.

    Excellent point for all to consider, including myself!


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