High apartment turnover rates can have a significant impact on the success of a rental property. If you feel like you have been having trouble keeping your best tenants, you are not alone. The apartment turnover rate for 2017 was 46.8%; a record low going all the way back to 2000.
Whenever a renter leaves, you have to put time and money into preparing the unit for the next tenants. During that time, you are also missing out on the rental income that you rely on. With turnover being as costly as it is, landlords should do what they can to keep the existing tenants they already have, especially if they’re reliable.
It’s far more desirable to hold on to renters that have things like apartment insurance and pay their rent on time than to potentially have difficult tenants. Even spending a little money on your tenant retention efforts could potentially save you more in the long-run.
When you consider the time, effort, and lost income that is associated with rental unit turnover, it’s clear that making a small investment to keep good renters is worth it.
Know What Tenants Want
One way to keep tenants is to give them what they want. Study some of the trends concerning the things renters look for when they go apartment hunting. Many of the features that attract new tenants will also serve to keep your existing tenants satisfied. If some of the appliances are getting old, you may want to replace them. You could also consider other upgrades like installing new flooring or hardware for the kitchen cabinets.
If some tenants do move out, you could use it as a good opportunity to do some remodel work. Things like remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can be good for attracting new renters. Even better, if they are satisfied with the quality of the upgraded unit, they will be much more likely to stay when the lease is up.
Stay Ahead of Maintenance
You won’t keep good tenants for long if the rental units are poorly maintained. You should try to handle all maintenance requests quickly, but you don’t even need to wait for the tenant to report an issue. Perform regular inspections and address potential issues before they become a problem for the tenant. Set yourself up with a maintenance service like Latchel so that your tenants can easily report issues and they’ll get taken care of even when you’re on vacation.
Staying ahead of the maintenance has more benefits than just keeping your tenants happy. When things like hot water heaters, air conditioners, and furnaces receive regular maintenance, they last longer. Additionally, keeping a regular maintenance schedule will save you time and money when the units do turnover. When you stay on top of things, there is far less work for you to do when you need to prepare rental units for new tenants.
Sign Longer Leases
Another way to keep tenants is to get them to commit to longer leases. If they are already signing on for six-month leases or even a year, see if you can get tenants to agree to a two-year lease. You might need to incentivize this by guaranteeing no rent increases, but doing so is worth it to avoid some turnover.
You should also consider talking to existing tenants about extending their lease. Instead of waiting for the last month to send a reminder with the new lease, talk to them a few months ahead of time. If the tenant tells you they are already thinking about leaving, this will give you time to address any issues they may have. By speaking to them early on, you have a chance to learn about any issues and possibly fix them before the tenant decides to leave.
Make an Effort to be a Good Landlord
There is much to be said for being a good landlord and meeting your obligations. You should try to always be courteous and respectful when dealing with your tenants. If they come to you with concerns, listen to them and try to do what you can to solve any problems they may have with the unit. You also want to keep the lines of communication open and make sure your tenants know they can come to you when they have a problem.
If tenants feel like you do not care, they are not going to want to live in any rental unit you manage. Furthermore, you shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep. If you tell a tenant you are going to do something for them and it doesn’t happen, they are not going to be satisfied with your performance as a landlord. Focusing on building a relationship with your tenants will help you hold on to the best of them.