Over the last few years, there’s been a significant increase in the number of people renting homes instead of buying them.
With this increase in numbers of renters throughout the country, there’s also been an increase in earning potential for landlords.
If you own a rental property and want to see a better return on your investment, the key is to make sure you’re retaining tenants.
Read on to learn some techniques that will help with tenant retention and allow you to enjoy a better ROI.
Higher tenant retention rates start before you ever approve someone’s rental application.
The better job you do of screening your tenants, the more likely you are to bring on good ones who will take care of your property and stick around for years to come.
Most landlords know to be wary of applicants who have been evicted or have a history of damaging property.
There are other characteristics to keep in mind during the screening process, though. For example, you can minimize turnover by looking for renters who have a history of staying in a home for extended periods (at least three years is great).
Be sure to run a credit check, too, and make sure their finances are in order before you approve them to move in.
Get to Know Your Tenants
Happy tenants are more likely to stick around than unhappy tenants. How do you get happy tenants? By showing an interest in their lives and getting to know them.
Take some time to learn your tenants’ names, as well as their likes and dislikes. Some landlords even keep quick-reference files on their tenants on hand, so they have a conversation starter when they run into them.
Even if you don’t go this far, the more you know about your tenants, the more likely they are have positive feelings about you and your property.
Offer Multiple Renewal Options
It’s expected that rental rates will rise each year. To keep tenants around even when you raise the rent, it helps to offer them multiple renewal options.
For example, you can allow them to renew on a month-to-month basis and pay a higher monthly rate. Or, you can let them renew for a full year with a smaller rent hike.
Many tenants will sign on for longer renewal contracts if it means they have to pay less monthly.
Call Your Tenants
Technically, you only have to give tenants written notice when you need to tell them about something or need to enter their apartment to repair.
By going the extra mile and giving them a call, though, you can create a more personal connection with the people who rent your properties.
People appreciate little touches like this — they mean a lot more than just having a generic, typed up notice taped to the door.
Tenants are more likely to stick around your properties if they know that their landlord will respond to their questions and concerns promptly.
Do your best to be responsive and return calls and emails soon after you receive them.
This shows your tenants that you care about them and their experience, and it increases the likelihood that they’ll continue to rent from you in the future.
Allow for Minor Changes
By allowing for small changes to your properties (things like painting the walls) can help tenants feel more at home when they’re renting. This, in turn, can motivate them to stick around longer.
They may also want to spend more time renting your property, so they don’t have to repaint the walls when they move out.
If you’re going to allow minor changes to your properties, be sure to outline what these changes are clearly. That way, you won’t have to deal with the aftermath of a major renovation the tenant thought was acceptable.
Start a Referral Program
What if you could retain your current great tenants and also bring in more tenants who are just like them? You can do this when you start a referral program.
Many landlords offer tenants a discount on one month’s rent when they refer a friend.
You’ll still need to use good screening practices to make sure their referrals are a good one, but this is a great way to motivate tenants to make recommendations and get more good tenants renting your property (or properties).
Hire a Property Management Service
One of the top priorities for most renters is to live in a house or apartment complex that is well-maintained.
The more effort you put into keeping the property in good shape, the better off your tenants — and you — will be.
If you’re not able to maintain the property yourself, you may want to hire a property management service to handle this aspect of the job for you.
A property management service will handle maintenance for you. They may also handle tasks like tenant screening, rent collection, and evictions, too.
Get Rid of Bad Tenants
This might seem counterintuitive when you’re focusing on tenant retention.
The sooner you get rid of tenants who aren’t paying their rent on time or who are causing damage to your property, though, the sooner you can start fresh and bring in better, long-term tenants.
Remember, bad tenants are expensive, and you can’t afford to have them hurting your investment.
Every month, it’s a good idea to take a look at which tenants’ leases are about to be up. Then, assess whether you have any doubts about keeping them around.
Get More Help with Tenant Retention Today
As you can see, there are a lot of techniques you can use to raise your tenant retention rates.
Keep this information in mind, and you’ll see a much better return on your investment.
Do you want to learn more about retaining tenants and managing a rental property with ease? If so, we’re here to help at OneTouch Home.
Contact us today to learn more about our property management services or to start working with us.