There are numerous reasons your current tenants might decide to move — new job, growing family, etc. While some of these reasons are out of your control, there are other reasons that are entirely in your control.
Sometimes tenants move because of issues with your property, lack of communication, etc. You can take steps to decrease the number of move-outs for these types of reasons so that your retention rates for 2014 are solid.
Listen to What Tenants Have to Say
Often if you take the time to listen, you’ll hear a lot about what tenants think of renting from you. Listen to their feedback, including any good or bad feedback. If someone has a suggestion for improvement, really take it into consideration. Consider having annual or semi-annual surveys passed out to the tenants to get a constant stream of feedback.
There are times renters move because appliances and interiors are too out of date. Give apartments an update, such as newer appliances, paint or replacing the carpeting. Simple, affordable updates can make apartments feel cleaner and better cared for. You don’t have to do extensive remodeling and there are plenty of updates that can transform your units for just a few hundred dollars. But, by taking the time to update you can keep your property competitive with newer units or those that have been renovated in the area.
Think Before You Raise the Rates
Naturally you will have to increase rental rates, but there is a right way and a wrong way to increase them. Always be honest with your tenants, and tell them why the rates are going up. Be courteous to your current residents as well, giving them a few months’ notice before you actually raise the rent.
There is nothing wrong with showing appreciation to your tenants. Send out greeting cards for the holidays or offer community meetings where residents can get a free meal or snack. The more appreciation you show for their loyalty, the more likely they are to continue being your resident. Consider offering a referral incentive to current residents. Such as a $50 gift card for referring a new tenant or $50 off their next month’s rent.
Respond in a Timely Fashion
You’re busy running a property, but ignoring your current tenants’ requests and maintenance issues won’t keep tenants when it comes time to renew a lease. Always respond to your resident in a timely manner. Even if you cannot perform a repair right away, let the tenant know the request has been received and give them a timeframe for when they can expect a repair. Just taking the time to acknowledge their requests can go a long way.
Remember that it is cheaper to keep current tenants than find new ones. So by taking the time to really keep your current residents happy you will have plenty in the budget for updates, appreciation gifts, etc. Just by implementing a few of these tips you might see an increase in retention rates this year and for years to come.