Filling up a rental vacancy is inconvenient to say the least. Not only does it take a lot of time, it also leads you to losing out on being paid during the months when you have no renters. Needless to say, looking for renters is something you’d be better off not doing.
On the flip side, how do you make a tenant stay in your Littleton rental property once you get a good one? While there are many factors you cannot control, such as the renter moving to another city altogether, there are still many things that you can do in order to keep your tenant happy, satisfied, and wanting to renew the agreement every time.
Before we get to that though, let’s find out why renters stay.
WHEN DO RENTERS STAY?
Renters often choose stay in a single rental property for a wide variety of reasons; from not being able to afford a property of their own in their preferred neighborhood, to waiting for a while to get married and settled down (of the most common reasons – believe it or not), to even preferring the flexibility that comes with renting.
Now, one good thing in this regard is this: if the current tenant has been staying at your property for over a year (at least), chances are that they would like to continue living there for a while longer at least. In fact, according to the results of a comprehensive study that was conducted on renters, about 40% of renters who had been living in their current home for over a year had no plans to vacate their property in the following three years (at least). Furthermore, over 50% (i.e. half) of these were absolutely happy and satisfied with their current rental residence (choice of neighborhood and price-of-rent included), and about 1/3rd of them did not want to move because they did not want to go through the stress that comes with moving.
SO WHAT ABOUT THE REST?
As mentioned earlier, approximately half of all renters were found to be happy with their current residence. How about the rest of the renters?
According to the same study (mentioned above), about 50% of long term renters are currently unhappy with their current residences. In fact, over a staggering 55% of long-term renters who intend to move in the next 3 years will, in fact, be moving to a different rental. Which, to be honest, is bad news for landlords.
The bright side is that you can actually prevent this from happening. After all, if your tenant is a nice, reliable person you would definitely want them to keep renting your property for as long as they can.
Which brings us to the question, “How can you keep your renters happy and satisfied as a landlord?”
The following are five important tips that you can use to keep your great tenant satisfied and happy
5 Key Strategies for Landlords:
#1: Try to be as available and as responsive as possible
First impression is the last impression. Establish a good relation with your tenant. First, by making a concise lease agreement that clearly portrays all of your expectations. Then, by reviewing it personally and answering any possible questions the tenant may have. Furthermore, respond to your tenants concerns as early as you can and let your tenants know how they can contact you (in case they ever need to). Also, notify them of the times when you are not available.
Additionally, you must show your tenant that you do care both about your rental property, as well as, its occupants. You can do this by making regular friendly checks and asking them if everything is in order. Believe it or not, many tenants feel intimidated and fail to convey small problems to landlords for fear of disturbing them. If not taken care of in its early stages these problems may turn bigger and require more money and/or resources.
#2: Make your tenants feel welcomed
Help your tenant in getting acquainted with their new neighborhood. This will help them relate better to their new surroundings and helps put down their roots, which will act as an incentive for them to remain in your rental property for the long run.
To get started, you can give your new tenant a welcome package consisting of useful local information like nearby places of interest, such as, parks, groceries, libraries, community centers, post offices, and libraries. Also include take-out menus and links to the local blog. These little things go a long way to help your renter ease into the new environment.
#3: Solve your tenant’s problems
While the best policy is to not let issues arise in the first place, in the event that they do arise, make sure that you fulfill your duties as a landlord. Remember, what may seem trivial for you may be of utmost importance to the other. For instance, a jammed window or a non-functioning appliance in your rental property may just be yet another addition to your to-do-list, but it is a great source of annoyance or increased frustration for the tenant if it is not taken care of promptly. On the flip side, if you solve the problem as quickly as possible, make no complaints (even with your attitude and behavior), and make sure of the effectiveness of the solution by following-up you will create a very positive impression on your tenants. Your tenants will be more inclined to keep staying in your rental property.
#4: Maintain communication with your tenants
Always keep communicating with your tenants. Make sure to let them know of any problems or changes that will affect them as soon as you know it. Remember, so long as the tenancy period exists, your property is indeed somebody’s home. So, even the smallest things, like getting your trees trimmed should be notified to your tenants beforehand. Needless to say that the bigger changes, such as, any changes in the rent, sewer line repair, or an increase in utility charges must be communicated as early as possible.
#5: Be human
At the basic level, your rental property is after all, a business, and that you as its landlord must manage it as such. That, however, does not qualify you to act in an undesirable manner and treat your tenants as inferiors. Remember, that you must be considerate with your tenants and treat them with empathy and respect, just like a good manager would.
For instance, if your otherwise superb tenant just lost his/her job and requires some time to be able to pay their rent, you must decide on whether you should go “all business” and demand for the fees upfront, or adjust with the tenant by accepting the late fees for a period of time. While you must always be cautious in regards to making exceptions to policies, in certain cases, it is better to let your reliable renter relax a little, which in turn will earn you a lot of their gratitude – and probably their lease renewal too! Talk about a little goodness going a long way!