Good tenants are the lifeblood of your property. And when you have good tenants, it’s important to keep them satisfied so they stick around.
A simple mistake can turn a resident from happy to disgruntled fairly quickly. Understanding what can potentially dissatisfy your tenants will help you foster a positive relationship. Follow these simple actions to ensure your residents are happy and boost your retention rates, whether you have one unit or a dozen.
Be Proactive About Maintenance
Prepare for both hot and cold weather in advance and be ready to respond to any tenant issues right away. If you take care of regular and routine investment property maintenance as needed, you’ll experience far fewer tenant complaints. Another advantage is that you’ll receive fewer emergency calls in the middle of the night.
Not only does a proactive approach to maintenance help you keep your units in good working order, but preventative maintenance shows your tenants you care about their home and living conditions. That way you increase that odds that they will stick around.
Offer a retention bonus for tenants who renew their contracts. You don’t have to offer anything huge – a new electronic toy or countertop kitchen item usually costs under $100 but can help encourage tenants to stick around for another year.
Get an idea of what your particular community values, and offer an incentive or bonus about 3 months before the current lease is due to expire. Incentivizing lease renewal in your Dallas investment property allows you to reward those tenants who stick around. Even an impressive gift is far less costly than finding an entirely new renter to fill your space.
Survey Your Tenants
Send out an informal survey to your Dallas investment property residents a few times a year to get an idea of their concerns. A survey gives tenants a way to communicate their needs and ask for your assistance, without feeling like they are complaining or have to wait until there is an emergency. Even if you only get back praise, regular surveys let your tenants know you care and are an easy, non-intrusive way to keep in touch.
Find the Right Tenants in the First Place
While the careful perusal of applications won’t always keep you from losing a tenant, you can boost your retention by seeking out tenants who are likely to stick around. In addition to spotting common warning signs and doing a good background check, you should try to get an idea of how often your tenant moves. If they move on every year, then your rental is likely only going to be a short-term stop for them. Tenants who change jobs frequently may also be less likely to stick around, if a new job takes them out of the area.
Tenant screening can help you seek out tenants who not only pay the rent, but also live in the same location for several lease terms. If you have a multi-family building, then you can ensure bad renters don’t scare away the good ones by only installing the best tenants.
Cutting your tenant turnover rates can improve your bottom line, and save you time, energy and trouble. If you need help ensuring that you have the right tenants in place – and that any and all issues of your Dallas investment properties are taken care of –, contact us to learn about our comprehensive list of property management services.
Respond to Emergencies Quickly
The #1 complaint of unhappy residents is a landlord who is slow to respond to calls about HVAC, water and other emergent issues. It’s okay if your response is simply, “Thanks for letting me know, I am working on getting someone there right now.” Even a good tenant will freak out when the toilet backs up at 2 am, but responding quickly and calmly, and getting a repair person out as soon as possible will go a long way towards not only fixing the urgent problem, but also improving your tenant retention. If you don’t respond well to emergencies, your property and the relationship with your tenants will suffer.
Tenants become unhappy if they feel their problem isn’t responded to in a timely manner. The lack of a plan for resolution to their maintenance issues is also a pain point. Response time and communication surrounding the repair is vital, particularly for necessities like heat and air.
How to Improve Resident Retention Right Away
You can turn maintenance repairs into a positive experience for both you and the tenant with these three simple actions:
Responding quickly to maintenance requests is important. Even if a repairman can’t come to the property immediately, residents appreciate the acknowledgement that someone’s handling it. A quick response shows you take the problem as seriously as the tenant, especially when it interrupts their daily routine.
Let’s face it, not all repairs happen quickly. Residents will be more understanding of a prolonged wait period when they’re notified of what to expect.
Set expectations of the maintenance repair from the beginning and make a point to keep them updated throughout the process. Tell them when to expect someone and give them an estimate of the time it will take to complete the work. If anything should change with scheduling, keep them updated.
Inform residents when their maintenance request is received. This simple communication lets tenants know their request isn’t being ignored. Acknowledgement of their requests can be done through phone or by email. Ideally, certain staff members should dedicate their time to following up with requests if you’re managing a large portfolio of properties.
Keeping your best tenants happy is pretty easy. Be proactive with communication and set expectations for maintenance repairs. Your best residents understand that occasional maintenance problems will happen. It’s how you resolve them that directly impacts their happiness. Need help finding – and keeping – great tenants? Give us a call!