Replacing tenants regularly is bad for business. Not only does it take time, but it can be a costly affair. The following are some of the costs associated with tenant turnover.
- Lost Income: A vacant rental property means zero rental income at the end of the month. If you are relying on your rental income to cover your mortgage payment, it means you’ll have to look elsewhere for the money.
- Repair Costs: When a renter moves out, it’s usually the best time to do property repairs. Repairs, however, cost both time and money. As a result, this may delay the move-in date of your next tenant, resulting in continued lost income.
- Application Processing: To improve the chances of landing a good tenant, many landlords usually screen all their rental applicants. Doing things like verifying a tenant’s creditworthiness, rental and criminal history also cost money and time.
- Marketing Costs: Marketing your rental property can add to your bottom line. While some marketing platforms like listing sites are free, others like newspaper ads can cost you a tidy sum.
Clearly, minimizing tenant turnover is key to the success of your rental business. As such, it’s worthwhile to keep your existing renters happy and satisfied. With all the costs aforementioned, you could say good tenants are worth their weight in gold.
7 Ways to Keep Your Tenants Happy and Satisfied
1. Have a detailed lease or rental agreement.
Be straightforward right from the start in regard to the rental rules. The last thing you or your renter want is a misunderstanding. By having properly laid down rules your tenant will see that you take your business seriously.
And, chances are they will take the rules seriously as well.
Make sure your agreement covers all major aspects. From who is responsible for lawn maintenance to where rent should be paid. If you need help drafting one, please make sure to seek professional services.
2. Give them their space.
Once you have rented out your property, allow your tenants to live in peace. Tenants have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their home. You cannot barge in on them as you like, even to if it’s for friendly reasons.
If you need to access the property for whatever reason, always notify the tenant beforehand. The law requires it. On top of that, it will show your respect for their privacy.
The amount of notice depends on a particular state, as rental laws differ from state to state. But generally speaking, most define ‘adequate notice’ to be anything between 24 hours and 48 hours.
The reason for the entry must also be within reason. For example, to inspect the property, repair, and maintenance, or to show the property to prospective tenants. It goes without saying that the timing, too, must also be reasonable.
3. Reward good tenants.
This is a good way to incentivize good tenants to rent for longer. In the end, it’s all about having a property that continuously brings in revenue.
You can consider rewarding your tenant for doing certain things, like renewing their lease agreement.
So, how exactly do you reward loyal tenants? For one, you can make connections with local restaurants and shops to get discounts for your loyal tenants. If that proves to be difficult, you can buy a local coupon book and offer it to them.
By rewarding tenants, they will see how much you value them and their happiness. This will help them feel comfortable in your property.
4. Keep your property in good condition.
This is huge! This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of landlords that don’t pay attention to this.
Not sure whether or not your property is in good condition?
Take a look at the appliances. Are they looking old and dingy? If so, spruce them up with some faux stainless steel. Is the lawn looking weather-torn and tired? If so, it’s time to invigorate it. Does your unit need a fresh coat of paint? If that’s the case, maybe ask your renters what color they prefer.
If you wouldn’t want to live there, what makes you think your tenant would? By maintaining and upgrading your property you will surely reduce tenant turnover.
5. Communicate properly.
Communication is key to the success of any business.
That being said, you also want to accommodate your tenants' preferred method of communication. Are you renting to a millennial? If so, then consider keeping touch through emails and text messages.
If renting to traditionalists and baby boomers, then you may find they prefer phone calls and face-to-face meetings.
The point is: no two tenants are the same. Each may have their own preferences in regard to communication. So, adjust accordingly and keep everyone satisfied.
6. Consider allowing pets.
The United States is a nation of pet-lovers – an estimated two-thirds of our households include pets. With this in mind, it only makes sense to allow pets into your property.
Yes, with pets comes increased risk of property damage. The thought of having to replace the carpets is not great.
But try looking at it this way. If most other landlords have a “no pets” policy, then a tenant living in your property may have to think twice about moving out.
7. Respond to maintenance problems as quickly as possible.
Renters want to live in a well-maintained property. That is, a property that is not only nice to look at, but it’s healthy to live in too.
So, take care of that non-functioning appliance or a jammed window promptly. If a renter messages you with a maintenance request, don’t blow it off. Reply to them a.s.a.p and show them just how important they are to you.
These are the seven important ways on how to keep your tenants happy with you and your property. Remember, happy tenants mean fewer vacancies, damages, and negative cash flow!