As a landlord, did you know that retaining tenants is cheaper than constantly searching for new ones? A great, responsible tenant is worth keeping around long-term!
That said, many first-time landlords still make mistakes that lead to high tenant turnover rates. Examples of common mistakes include hiking the price of rent consistently, failing to respond to maintenance issues promptly, and failing to have a good communication system in place.
In this article, we’re going to share with you 7 tips on how you can retain your best tenants long-term.
Tip #1: Give them a welcome package.
After a successful leasing process, consider giving your new tenant a welcome package. This is a good way to make a good first impression and create an initial relationship with them.
By giving your tenant a welcome package, you show them that you genuinely care about easing their move. And the best part is, a welcome package doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
The following are some items you can consider including in the package.
- An information packet: This can include things like your contact info, a copy of the lease agreement, and relevant information regarding the property.
- A book of coupons: To ease the financial blow of moving, consider giving your new tenants a coupon book. Usually, some businesses may be more than willing to give you one in the hopes that your new tenant will become a loyal customer. So, start asking around and see what deals you can find.
- A gift card: Everyone loves a good gift card. To impress your tenants, find out what their favorite restaurant is and hand them a gift card to that restaurant.
- Some food and drinks: After a long day of moving, your tenant is sure to appreciate some snacks to help keep their energy up. Consider providing them with chips, candy bars, trail mix, soda, and cold bottles of water.
Tip #2: Make improvements to the property.
If you want your tenant to continue renting for many years to come, you need to constantly engage in efforts geared to make your rental property desirable.
One inexpensive upgrade you can make to your property is adding a new coat of paint whenever requested. You may even let them personalize the space by agreeing to their color choice so long as their choice isn’t crazy.
Tip #3: Make upgrades to the landscaping.
Landscaping is one of the best investments you can make to your property. Some of the things you can do for your tenants once a year include:
- Cleaning the gutters
- Trimming overgrown shrubs
- Spraying the lawn with nutrients for the grass and weed killer
- Adding a welcome mat
- Buying flowers for window boxes
Tip #4: Make improvements to the security.
Today, an increasing number of landlords are installing smart locks to their rental properties. In fact, most real estate experts see it as being standard for rental properties in the next couple of years.
Smart locks offer a myriad of benefits. For one, your tenants will find the keys easy and convenient to use. To enter, all they will need to do is make a few taps on a keypad or unlock the system remotely using a smartphone app. As a landlord, this will help save you both time and money on re-keying your properties when tenants vacate.
Two, smart keys help ensure maintenance issues are handled quickly and conveniently. Your tenants don’t even have to be present to let the technicians in. As a landlord, you’ll get mobile alerts having accurate timestamps indicating when technicians will be entering and exiting.
Beside smart locks, you may also consider installing security cameras or a driveway alert system. This is particularly key in areas with a notable high crime rate.
Tip #5: Invest in energy efficiency.
High utility costs are a big concern for savvy tenants. The following are some tips to help you make your property energy efficient.
- Install a programmable thermostat: One of the biggest energy hogs in a property is heating and cooling costs. Programmable thermostats cost under $50 and will go a long way in saving energy.
- Caulk and seal doors and windows: It’s common to find air leaking out of window frames, door panels, and the sashes. Caulking cracks on doors and windows is not only inexpensive, but it can also be your best bet to reducing your property’s carbon footprint.
- Stop heat loss using window shades: If you think curtains and blinds are all about the interior décor, you’re wrong. Window shades can help protect a home against heat loss. In the winter, heavy curtains will help stop heat loss through the windows. And, in the summer, they will help shield the home from external heat.
- Install energy-efficient bulbs: Energy efficient bulbs can go a long way in reducing a home’s eco-footprint, thus they save money. In addition, they last significantly longer, and are available in a myriad of colors and light levels.
Tip #6: Be responsive and proactive.
If you want your tenant to stay with you, you must ensure you are responsive and proactive. For example, you should answer calls and reply to your tenant’s requests and complaints promptly and efficiently.
Tip #7: Observe fair housing practices.
Another thing you can do to retain your best tenants is to treat all tenants fairly and equally. First and foremost, ensure you don’t overcharge your tenants in rent. Second, don’t discriminate against tenants (both existing and prospecting). As a landlord, the 1968 Fair Housing Act illegalizes discrimination on tenants based on 7 classes. The classes are: sex, race, familial status, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, and religion.
A low tenant turnover means cost and time savings for you. If you need help finding and retaining tenants, REMAX Infinity Property Management can help. We have been proudly serving Pace, Milton, Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre areas since 2008.