HOW TO KEEP A TENANT LONG-TERM
As a landlord, you know that vacancies will hit you hard financially. Not only are you going to shell out money to maintain the property, tenant screening will add to the cost as well. An empty house means lost revenue. It’s one of the reasons why having a long-term tenant is the goal, as it provides a consistent and positive cash flow. Tenants who have been treated well are more likely to renew their lease contracts for an extended period of time. In fact, one study has shown that tenants are 3x more likely to stay in a unit being run by a property management company, which is why ProWay Property Management is here to make sure your tenants are happy and will stay long-term. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re a landlord.
If you never address your tenant’s concerns, the next phone call you receive might be from them wanting to end their contract and move out. Be responsible and proactive in addressing their needs. There are numerous ways to establish communication channels with your tenants.
Allowing your tenants to be one click, or just a phone call away whenever they need your assistance, will ensure the image that you value them. It indicates that you’re accessible. Property management services normally use online portals so tenants can voice out their concerns and receive answers as quickly as possible. It’s important to answer their phone calls or emails before anything escalates.
It also helps to set a certain daily time frame that you are most available, so they know the best time to contact you, for non emergency issues. Keep these time frames the same week to week, and make sure to be accessible during these times. Accessibility is what tenants like to see.
Being dependable is another important attribute. If you set a certain time for the tenant to call you, or for you to call the tenant, make sure you meet that time. After communicating with the tenant, if there is an issue for you to resolve, make sure you address it in a timely manner.
Maintain the property, and quickly address maintenance needs, and repairs.
Be cautious when raising the rent
At the end of the lease, you may be thinking of increasing the rent. Inform your tenant at least one rental cycle ahead of time about your plans to increase the rent. If your tenants are being charged monthly, inform them a month before; if your tenants follow a weekly schedule, inform them a week before. Explain your reasons in detail with proper justification about the rental increase as more of a ‘need’, not a ‘want’.
If they’ve been a good tenant, you want them to stay. At the same time, you need to make a profit on your rental home. A reasonable rent increase will be easier to announce, if you’ve been a good landlord, managing the property well. If the tenant feels good living in the house, and renting from you, they won’t want to leave. It’s a hassle for a tenant to go searching for a new house to rent. It goes back to communication and mutual respect.
A reasonable price increase can be determined by using the Consumer Price Index as a basis. This is a detailed overview of the inflation of consumer goods and services such as transportation, food, medical care and others that are used by households.
Don’t be a stranger!
Don’t just collect and cash the rent checks. You can do little extra things like: thank them for paying their rent on time; wish them well on any special event coming up; send a birthday card; something that makes a little connection. The good thing about being nice to your tenant, it costs very little, or nothing at all, but the results can lead to a good long-term tenant.
If the lease agreement is ending soon, offer them some sort of renewal incentive. You can offer rent discounts, or an option to choose a minor, approved home update, such as a new paint job to refresh the feel of the house. Make them feel valued as a resident of the property, not just as a source of income.
Maintaining a good relationship with your tenants will help you keep them in the long run. This requires your time and effort throughout the lease. There may be times when you have a bad tenant. You still need to act professionally, listen to them, and try to address their concerns the best you can. Your consistent approach, communicating with your tenants, taking care of problems and providing a nice rental home and experience is your best way to keep long-term tenants. Keeping long-term tenants means an occupied rental home, which means consistent cash flow.