Finding new tenants and renewing a lease is more than just a headache. The process of finding a new tenant often costs more than you expect. The effort to find a new tenant is reason enough to keep your lessees longer, but the advantages of having a trustworthy and reliable tenant can be an even bigger draw. If you value your tenants, help keep their lease active year after year by regularly demonstrating how much you appreciate them.
Keeping a Good Tenant Happy
As a lessor, taking on a new tenant carries a certain amount of risk. Having an unreliable or unreasonable tenant can be a significant burden, especially if your property is damaged or you’re forced to evict someone. When a quiet, reliable renter comes along, try to retain them as long as they’re willing to stay.
There are lots of ways to help your tenants feel appreciated and encourage them to renew their lease at the end of the term. Tenants leave for all sorts of reasons, but if your property or management practices inconvenience your tenants, they may decide to seek greener pastures. These five tips will help you increase the likelihood of lease renewals and keep your tenants feeling valued.
1. Keep Up with Maintenance
No property is perfect; maintenance is an inevitability, and the inconvenience of a breakdown can be a major sticking point for tenants. If you have frequent issues with the property, your tenants may have a hard time developing trust in your ability to address issues—and may decide to move on once their lease is up.
Taking preventative steps can reduce their frequency, giving your tenants a better experience overall. Preventative maintenance is just as important as fixing something when it breaks, and regularly checking over your property will save you from worse issues down the road. If you do find any issues when checking the property, fixing the problem quickly or hiring a contractor shows your tenants that you care about their needs.
2. Provide Additional Amenities
Going above and beyond what other apartments in the area offer can help retain tenants longer. You can offer your tenants a bit extra by providing utilities as part of their rent, and access to high-speed internet can be a huge draw for many tenants. Additional packages like cable TV or a streaming device are often worth the investment if it convinces a good tenant to renew their lease.
Providing appliances is another way to retain tenants. Many tenants don’t want the hassle of owning their own appliances, and a fully outfitted kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom can significantly boost the value of your space. Even adding smaller appliances like coffee makers or blenders can give your property extra points with renters. If a tenant has no trouble making a cup of coffee in the morning, they’ll have no trouble feeling at home over the long term.
3. Reduce Rent Costs
At the end of the day, keeping a great tenant for another year will help you save a substantial amount of money and time. Passing that benefit on to your tenant by leaving their rent the same or offering a rent reduction lets them see your appreciation. Giving back to a trouble-free tenant doesn’t have to be expensive; a discount of $50–$100 sends a very positive message.
If a tenant has lived in the space for a year or more without any significant maintenance or damage issues, giving back their security deposit demonstrates trust and mutual respect without costing you anything in the process. When it comes time to renew the lease, the extra income offered by a returned deposit can be a big motivator for your renters. Money talks, and nothing showcases the way you value your tenants quite as eloquently.
4. Communicate Effectively
Lessor-lessee relationships depend on effective lines of communication. Being responsive and understanding when your tenants mention an issue with the property highlights your attention to their needs. Make sure your tenants feel they’re being heard, even if you can’t directly address their concerns.
Your presence lets your tenants know you care about their well-being. When they move in, be there to welcome them into the property and take the time to show them around. In the event of a maintenance issue, being available in person when a contractor or repair technician is scheduled to arrive indicates to your tenants that their comfort is a priority and you take the inconvenience of a repair seriously.
5. Go the Extra Mile
Awesome property owners go beyond their legal obligations to make sure their tenants feel happy, comfortable, and safe in their apartments or homes. If your property is in an area with a high amount of lessee turnover, your extra effort can make a big difference. Small gestures of appreciation or friendliness send a loud message when it’s time to renew a lease.
Consider offering your renters a housewarming gift as they move in to help them feel at home in their new space. A holiday card is another great way to build a positive relationship between you and your tenants. Be cautious about going overboard when checking; you don’t want them to feel overwhelmed or harassed in any way. Giving your tenants some space can also help them feel more at home.
While your relationship with your tenants should always be professional, being courteous, helpful, consistent, and attentive builds invaluable trust over time. Keeping your tenants happy should be your first goal; you’ll benefit financially over the long run by avoiding property damage and high turnover rates. When your tenants invest themselves in your property, everyone wins.
If you liked this article, subscribe to Rentometer's email newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in rental housing.