The Tenants Have Spoken: Here is the Secret to Retaining the Best Renters

The Tenants Have Spoken: Here is the Secret to Retaining the Best Renters

2 min read
Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and podcaster. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has taught millions of people how to find, finance, and manage real estate investments.

Brandon began buying rental properties and flipping houses at the age of 21. He started with a single family home, where he rented out the bedrooms, but quickly moved on to a duplex, where he lived in half and rented out the other half.

From there, Brandon began buying both single family and multifamily rental properties, as well as fix and flipping single family homes in Washington state. Later, he expanded to larger apartments and mobile home parks across the country.

Today, Brandon is the managing member at Open Door Capital, where he raises money to purchase and turn around large mobile home parks and apartment complexes. He owns nearly 300 units across four states.

In addition to real estate investing experience, Brandon is also a best-selling author, having published four full-length non-fiction books, two e-books, and two personal development daily success journals. He has sold more than 400,000 books worldwide. His top-selling title, The Book on Rental Property Investing, is consistently ranked in the top 50 of all business books in the world on, having also garnered nearly 700 five-star reviews on the Amazon platform.

In addition to books, Brandon also publishes regular audio and video content that reaches millions each year. His videos on YouTube have been watched cumulatively more than 10,000,000 times, and the podcast he hosts weekly, the BiggerPockets Podcast, is the top-ranked real estate podcast in the world, with more than 75,000,000 downloads over 350 unique episodes. The show also has over 10,000 five-star reviews in iTunes and is consistently in the top 10 of all business podcasts on iTunes.

A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie and son Wilder) spends his time surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the ocean near his home in Maui, Hawaii.

Brandon’s writing has been featured on,,, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media.

Instagram @beardybrandon
Open Door Capital

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Right now, I have more vacancies than I’ve ever had.

That said, that’s only because I just bought a new triplex and have yet to get them finished and filled. However, it still grinds my gears a bit to have to write out a check to the mortgage company but not get any income from the tenants.  I need to fill those vacancies quick.  After all, as I mentioned in a previous article “The Two Most Painful Words a Landlord May Ever Hear” – tenant vacancies are the #1 largest expense for a landlord over the long run.

This is why a recent study done by Property Management Reviewer stood out to me when I was made aware of it this week. In the survey they conducted, they asked approximately 4,600 renters about the incentives that they would most like to see to encourage them to renew their lease and sign for another year.  (Yes, the survey focused on retention, but I think the results would apply the same for attracting new tenants.)

The results were very interesting!

I thought I’d share with you what they found out – so you may be able to offer the best perks to get your tenants to re-up their lease!

Monetary Discount or Special Upgrade?

To encourage tenants to renew their lease, is it better to offer some sort of “monetary” benefit… or something less tangible (like new appliances, upgraded, unit, etc?)

Overwhelmingly, tenants chose a monetary benefit:


What Kind of Monetary Benefit?

So, 52% of tenants would prefer a “monetary benefit” – which is not too surprising. We all like money, right?

But… what exactly are we talking about? Handing a wad of cash over? Discounting rent?

According to the tenant’s surveyed…


What About Unit Improvements?

Okay, maybe you are not able to offer discounts on rent or cash.. but perhaps you could improve the unit some. After all, according to the first graph I showed you, 27% of tenants would prefer a unit upgrade.

The great part about improvements as retention tools is that certain upgrades can actually increase the value of your property – so it’s often a win-win.  So, what could you improve, as an incentive, to retain the best tenants?

This is where it gets even more interesting.  According to the study, it’s a close three-way tie between “new carpet,” a “washer/dryer upgrade,” and “kitchen appliances.”


Other Incentives

Finally, perhaps the most surprising part of this study. What if you wanted to get creative and offer another perk… something “off site?”  What would the tenant prefer?

According to the study – survey says… a Gym Membership!



If you want to read the rest of the results of the survey, check it out here.   You’ll learn some interesting things – like “when is the best time to offer incentives” or “who does a free TV most appeal to?”

Whether or not you plan to offer incentives to your tenants is up to you – but remember… vacancies are the #1 cash flow killer for real estate investors. By offering some kind of incentive to either sign up or re-sign up a tenant, you can hopefully cut that expense considerably and add more to your bottom line.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I’d love to hear what YOU are doing for incentives to retain great tenants. Leave your comment below!

Data: Survey Reveals the Best Incentives for Retaining Tenants