An astounding 54 percent of apartment rentals experience vacancies every year, according to the National Center for Housing Management. From cleaning costs and repairs to lost rent, utilities, and advertising fees, the cost of tenant turnover can run into the thousands.
You can reduce your tenant turnover and avoid the high cost of vacancy by keeping good tenants in your rentals longer. Here are four tenant retention strategies you should know in order to be a more profitable landlord.
1. Treat Your Tenant Right
Most landlords don’t go the extra mile to make their tenants feel special. You can greatly improve your relationship with a tenant by simply remembering and acknowledging special dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) and by alerting them to standing discounts from local businesses. You could even make it a standard practice to give each new tenant a coupon book for the surrounding area when they move in.
Think about going one step further and give a small gift at Christmas time, too. This small gesture sticks in your tenant’s mind and makes them feel appreciated and special.
2. Make Upgrades To The Property And Landscaping
Anything you can do to improve your property reduces your tenant turnover. When tenants ask, apply a fresh coat of paint. Don’t be afraid to allow them to choose the color as long as it’s not too crazy.
Nice-looking landscaping makes people happy. You can update your rental’s landscaping for cheap by doing the work yourself. Buy flowers for window boxes, trim trees and bushes, clean gutters, and fertilize the lawn to give your tenants a sense of pride in their residence.
3. Improve Security
Consider installing smart locks. Smart locks are going to be the new standard in the near future, so it pays to do it now. Smart locks allow you to grant temporary access to maintenance workers, and they give your tenants a better peace of mind.
Something else you may want to consider is installing an alarm system on your rental property. Most alarm companies will install their systems for free, and you can pass the monthly service fee on to your tenants. Most won’t mind paying this fee knowing they will sleep better at night.
4. Make Your Rental Energy Efficient
One of the biggest complaints from tenants, especially in older rentals, is the cost of utilities. You can help reduce utility costs for your tenants by making a few changes.
Energy efficient lighting is one option while adding new insulation to the home is another. Lastly, purchase a water heater blanket. For about $20, this blanket saves your tenants money every month.
Tenant retention is a big deal, especially when you consider the staggering cost many landlords incur when a tenant moves out. You can’t predict when life takes a tenant somewhere else, but you can help keep good tenants in your rental by making it a better place to be. Consider the above tenant retention strategies to keep your best tenants happy.
As a landlord, you already understand the delicate balance between charging too much for rent and not charging enough. You want to make sure the monthly rent covers the mortgage payment plus expenses, while still giving you a positive cash flow every month.
The problem is, however, charging too much can cause your rental to sit vacant for weeks – and sometimes even months – before someone is willing to pay what you want, and charging too little means you earn less of a profit.
How do you know how much rent is appropriate? Follow the tips below to figure out how to set the correct rent prices for your rental properties.
This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised by the number of landlords not willing to put the time and effort in to do this important step. While it may be time consuming, knowing what other landlords are asking for rent in a given area goes a long way to letting you know what you should charge.
You can take it upon yourself to research listings yourself, or you can incorporate specialized sites to do it for you.
Ask Someone Who Knows
Anytime you want to know something, it’s always best to talk to someone who’s “been there, done that.” Experience breeds success, so talk to others who have prior experience setting rent prices.
Fellow landlords are a great place to start. Try to find ones that have similar properties as your own (same number of bedrooms, similar square footage, etc.). Watch out for the landlord that hasn’t raised rent in several years, though.
Real estate agents are another great source for rent pricing knowledge. Not all agents are created equal, though, so be sure to speak only with those who have experience working with rental properties.
You can find a host of real estate professionals by joining associations that cater to such groups. Landlord clubs, real estate investment clubs, and rental housing associations are all great sources of knowledgeable people who can help you figure out what price to set for rent.
Compare Actual Rent Prices In A Given Area
The majority of the listings found online and in newspapers give rent prices the landlord hopes to receive, not what he or she actually receives when a tenant agrees to a lease. It can take some time to gather actual rent prices in any given area, but it’s worth the time to get accurate prices so you know if yours meets the standard.
If you want to set the correct rent for your rental properties, you have to take the time to do your homework. The more you understand about the other rental properties in your area, the more able you will be in setting a price that generates you a profit while making your tenants happy. Use the information above to figure out how to set the correct rent price for your rental properties.