Finding and maintaining long-term tenants is a vital service property management companies provide for their owners. Less turnover in a home leads to fewer costs for the homeowner—and shows the management company is truly looking out for their owner's best interest.
While some tenants stay for the short term no matter what, there are techniques a property management business can use to increase the likelihood a tenant will sign a long-term lease—or renew for long periods. The following details ways your company can entice a tenant to stay long term and increase your average tenant's lease period—leading to increased owner satisfaction.
Offer Incentives for Long Term Leases
One way to lessen the chances of a short lease is by increasing the lease term at the initial signing. When determining the length of a lease, most tenants underestimate the time they would like to stay in the house.
- Remind tenants that a year can pass by quickly, and it can be quite a hassle to move again after only a year.
- Make sure tenants know that their rent can increase at each renewal, and signing a lease for multiple years locks in the rent rate. Mention how this helps tenants budget for rent in the long-term future.
- Your property management marketing campaigns can also emphasize the benefits of a long-term lease to tenants: a multiple-year contract also provides stability.
- Notify tenants that the owner cannot move in or ask tenants to move out during the life of their lease.
With your homeowner's blessing, you could also offer a slight decrease in rent or reduced or free first month's rent with a multiple-year lease.
A prospect may fall in love with a home you manage but disclose to you that the rent is slightly above their price range. Ask them how long they are planning to live in the area: if they have no plans to move away soon, tell them the rent could reduce in exchange for a long-term lease. The owner makes up for the lowered rent by avoiding turnover costs for the life of the lease.
Remind Tenants of Approaching Renewals
- Use property management workflow automation tools to keep track of all upcoming lease end dates.
- Start encouraging renewals a couple of months before the end date by sending emails or texts to the tenants. Making lease renewals signings easy and quick is key to persuading tenants to stay.
- Notify tenants of all options to sign renewals either electronically or in-person on your property management website.
- Even if the initial lease signing was for just a year, encourage tenants to sign long-term renewals to lock in the rent rate.
- Express your appreciation for your tenants by sending a thank you card or email after each renewal.
Beyond these strategies, you could also offer incentives for signing lease renewals well before the expiration date, such as a gift certificate to a local business.
Maintain Tenant Satisfaction
Dissatisfaction with their property management company may persuade tenants to move out instead of renewing their lease. In addition to marketing to new tenants, a crucial job in the property management business is to gauge the current satisfaction of their tenants.
- Implement an easy way for tenant's complaints to be received and addressed. Periodically sending out tenant surveys is a great way to measure tenant satisfaction.
- When a complaint is received, take time to fix it as much as possible and follow up with tenants to see how satisfied they are with the solution.
- Train your employees to treat each tenant with the utmost care and respect. When tenants feel appreciated, they are more likely to stay in their rental home longer.
Create a Sense of Community
A property management company could be a newcomer's first contact within a city if the family just moved to the area.
- Build a relationship with each tenant and foster relationships between tenants when you manage multi-family units.
- Your property management website could have a community message board or a place to highlight events in the area.
- A company website full of local tips and information is also a great source of marketing for property management.
Emailing a periodic newsletter to tenants is another option that serves the purpose of utilizing inbound marketing while keeping tenants informed of current events. You could also consider hosting contests and giveaways for tenants to generate excitement and loyalty toward your property management business. The underlying message with these features is that the property managers value tenants.
Fix Work Orders in a Timely Fashion
One of the most common complaints tenants have against their property management company is that work orders take a while to be completed—or never get completed at all. It's crucial to handle maintenance requests quickly and efficiently.
Maintenance is another process that significantly benefits from workflow automation. Staying on top of work orders helps both tenants and homeowners. Providing quick solutions for a broken A/C unit in the middle of July, for example, stays prevalent in tenant's minds when it comes time to renew. Develop a strategy with homeowners to get work orders approved as soon as possible to avoid tenant frustration and increase the odds for a long tenant stay.
Delivering satisfaction to homeowners often means finding and keeping high-quality tenants. Efficient and automated workflows for property management companies lead to more options for keeping tenants happy—and improving your business.
Contact RentBridge to see our property management automation solutions can help you grow your business.