Reducing vacancies in your rental properties saves time, money, and a lot of hassles -- as long as your tenants are the kind you’d like to keep long-term. A bad tenant can cost you more than a vacancy -- late payments, damaged property, legal costs for eviction, the list goes on. Make your landlord life easier and retain your best tenants.
Once you get a good tenant, you want to keep them. Thinking about how to do that shouldn’t begin 30 days before the lease ends. It starts from the very beginning.
Identify Your Best Tenants
The best tenants aren’t always the ones who are willing to pay the highest amount of rent. Think about the tenant that makes your life easy -- that’s who you want to keep. How can you tell who your good tenants are? They’ve got a few common traits.
● Good tenants pay their rent on time.
● Great tenants take care of the property as if it were their own.
● They also communicate well -- to let you know about problems before they become disasters.
Get Feedback Long Before Lease Renewal
You should do this with every tenant, but with your best tenants, you’ll go a long way in forming a good working relationship if you get feedback. Yes, you want to know when something breaks or gets damaged. Of course you need to know about the problems. But what about the small inconveniences or the things that could be better? Everyone wants to be heard and acknowledged, including your tenants. By asking for feedback on their experience with the property, you’ll send the message that you care.
The next step, of course, is to act on the feedback you receive. You might not always be able to offer every upgrade or change things drastically. But where you can fix a problem for a tenant, do it. They’ll know you take their feedback seriously and be more likely to rent from you long term.
Communicate Early and Often
Thirty-one days before the lease expires isn’t the time to ask your tenants, especially the ones you want to keep, if they’re staying. People don’t make decisions about moving that quickly, if they can help it. Reaching out early to discuss lease renewal helps people prepare. This is even more important if you’re planning a rent increase.
Talk to your tenants 60 to 90 days before the lease ends, and then follow-up every couple of weeks. Make sure you’re available to answer questions or address concerns. Communicate with your tenants. Lock-in your tenant’s renewal as early as you can so it’s one less thing either of you have to think about.
Make Renewal (and Renting) Easy
Many people will pay a little more for convenience. We’re all busy, and we all want our lives to be as easy as possible. This is true for your tenants, too. Upgrade your systems to make renewing their lease and renting easier.
● Offer online lease renewal -- allowing tenants to agree to the terms of the new lease with digital signatures or simply sending their lease by email instead of snail mail.
● Accept online rent payments. You’ll receive payments sooner and make tenants’ lives easier.
● Communicate by text, email, or even social media -- let your tenants get in touch with you in a way that’s most convenient for them whenever possible.
When the lease expires on a bad tenant, choosing not to renew is the best option. It frees you up to find a better tenant who will pay on time and take care of the property. But when you’ve already got a great renter, small things can make the difference between a lease renewal and a vacancy.
Need help with tenant retention or finding good ones for vacant rentals? Work with the property management company that has the knowledge, experience, tools, and (most importantly) skill to find the best and keep them for multiple lease renewals. Work with ERA American Real Estate. Contact us today!