How can landlords stop tenants from bailing and going to the competition?
It’s hard enough placing good tenants at optimal prices. The last thing you want as a landlord is for great renters to skip out and be lured away by a competitor. It’s expensive. It means having to clean and turn that unit again. It means days no income is being produced. It can mean more advertising and screening and labor expense to refill those units. How do you increase retention and stop the bleeding?
Be Early With Renewals
Don’t wait until the last month to approach existing renters about renewals or move-outs. They may have already cut another deal by then. They may just assume you are going to raise the rent a lot, and think they can save by moving.
Approach them early. Let them know you would like them to stay, and what the new lease terms will be. Get it signed.
Year-Round Customer Service
You can’t just approach them at the end of the lease and promise things will be better. Attentive and friendly year-round customer service matters. A good landlord is worth more than any discount the competition offers.
Staying On Top Of Maintenance & Renovations
There’s nothing that sours a landlord-tenant relationship more than deferred maintenance. The lessee is trying to keep a nice roof over their family’s heads. Stay on top of maintenance requests.
Regular updating can be smart too. Even if it is one unit at a time when they become vacant. Or community projects. It gives them hope that eventually, their unit will get a makeover too.
Know Your Competition
What deals are your competitors offering? Are they giving away a free month or only require a small deposit? Your renters probably won’t be doing the whole math with moving costs and application fees, and the cost to their credit of new inquiries.
Still, it may be much less costly to you to match those deals on renewal and keep those tenants than to have to find new ones and have vacant days.
Ask & Track The Data
It’s worth regularly surveying your renters to see what they want most and think could be improved on. Of course, what they say and what they actually are willing to part with their dollars for can be two different things. Ask, but also watch the data. What features and amenities are local renters paying premiums for? Where is the real ROI on improvements? Is it green features, technology, community spaces, gyms, or something else?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Zahller is the President of Park Capital Properties and resides in Asheville, NC. As a Multifamily Real Estate Investor and Syndicator, he founded Park Capital Properties in 2016 after 14 years involvement in real estate investment. He works with accredited investors and professionals who are interested in real estate investment, diversification, and financial freedom.
Bill has been flying since high school. His father was a Naval Aviator and Captain for TWA. Bill has been flying professionally for over 25 years, 23 of those at his current company. He has accumulated over 12,000 hours and 7 Jet type ratings. He has also held Instructor, IOE Instructor and NRFO pilot positions with a large fractional flight company. He is currently flying the Global 6000 in a long range mission capacity. This keeps it interesting – one week its Beijing or Sydney; the next Rio or Rome.
Bill is also the founder of the Asheville Multifamily Investor Club. Visit www.ParkCapitalProperties.com for more information.