June 1, 2017

One of the best ways to cut down on your costs as a landlord is to reduce the amount of time you spend dealing with vacancies. The best news a landlord can hear is that a responsible tenant wants to extend their lease. How exactly do you retain tenants, though? If you are a landlord and you want to learn how to best incentivize tenants to stick around, check out what things have the greatest impact upon keeping good tenants around.

Why You Should Care About Extended Leases

Before we cover the areas you can work on to keep happy tenants, first, let’s talk about why it is important to have tenants who wish to extend their leases and how these tips will help you achieve that.

#1: The first benefit to having a tenant extend their lease is that you will lower your vacancy rates. This is especially critical for landlords who have properties in markets where it is more difficult to rent out properties once they are vacant. The best thing you can do for yourself is to build a strong relationship with responsible tenants and spend less time investing in tenant turnovers.

#2: Knowing what tenants are looking for will help you create better ad copy when you do put your rental on the market. Marketing your property in a way that attracts a variety of applicants gives you a better chance of choosing a responsible tenant who is worth keeping long term in your property.

#3: Understanding what helps keep long term tenants will allow you to better invest your money. If, for example, you find out that tenants don’t care about the yard’s landscaping, it might not be worth investing a high dollar amount into the yard. Learn how to best use your funds to garner the highest return on investment.

What Tenants Want Most

One of the first things to keep in mind when focusing on tenant retention is to understand the demographics of renters. The majority of renters are under the age of 35, which means the most valuable upgrades should revolve around their interests.

Free Wi-Fi

If you are looking to lure in renters in a competitive market and keep them, consider Wi-Fi as an included utility. While cable television used to be an amenity some rentals included as a perk, internet now outweighs TV on the list of upgrades renters are interested in

New Flooring

Another upgrade that renters favor is new flooring. If your rental has outdated, stained carpets, it might be time to upgrade the floors. If you invest in a quality, durable flooring material, you will have less upkeep than carpeting requires. Consider something easy to clean like vinyl, tile, or laminate. By spending money on a flooring upgrade you will not only be improving your rental for the long term, you can also incentivize responsible tenants to stick around.

Covered Parking

One perk that renters are drawn to and can help keep them as a long term renter is covered parking. This is particularly true in areas that see a lot of inclement weather. If your property does not have a garage, consider implementing a carport. You can have a carport installed for a much lower price point than a garage, and this investment will improve the value of your property for current and future renters.

Easy Communication & Easy Rent Pay

Another way to keep good tenants around, and at zero monetary cost to you, is to make sure you are communicating with them. You can easily lose quality tenants if they feel like you do not respond to maintenance requests and that you are impossible to contact. Make communication easy and always respond to tenants in a timely manner. This can go a long way in keeping around happy tenants for years to come. Make paying rent simple as well. Don’t ask your tenants to mail checks or run to your bank to deposit their rent. Set up online rent payments so they can quickly pay without hassle. When choosing how to invest your money in upgrades for your rental property, it is important to always take into consideration your target audience: renters. While you may personally value some items over others, put yourself in the shoes of those coming to look at your property. If you have tenants that have been around for years and always pay you on time, you might want to consider talking to them about any upgrades you are considering investing in. Working with responsible tenants goes a long way towards cutting down on vacancy costs. With the right upgrades and quality communication you can inspire responsible tenants to extend their leases, lowering your vacancies.

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