Although some rental property owners regard tenants’ concerns as an afterthought, this approach rarely works out in their favor. Not only is such behavior conducive to low renter retention, but it can also cause tremendous damage to your professional reputation and make attracting new tenants very difficult. Reliable tenants are the lifeblood of any rental property, so if you’re not consistently putting your best foot forward to keep your renters happy, you’re only hurting yourself. Fortunately, staying on your tenants’ good side is much easier than many landlords make it look.
Make Yourself Accessible
Renters find few things more frustrating than property owners who are perpetually inaccessible. The less importance you place on connecting with tenants, the lower your renter retention rates are likely to be.
Furthermore, in the age of digital feedback, some disgruntled tenants won’t hesitate to make their displeasure known online and damage your professional reputation. With this in mind, you should make a point of addressing complaints, concerns and inquiries from tenants in a timely and courteous manner.
Any text, email or phone message you receive from a tenant should be answered within one business day. The sooner you respond, the more valued tenants are likely to feel. So, in the interest of encouraging open communication with your renters, make sure to provide every tenant with a work phone and email at which you can be reached, as well as a number to call in the event of an after-hours emergency. Additionally, if you have an office onsite, consider putting open office hours into effect.
Address Maintenance Requests Posthaste
Dealing with maintenance requests is among the most important responsibilities of any rental property owner. Ensuring that such requests are addressed in a timely and professional manner carries two key benefits.
First off, this approach to property maintenance is highly conducive to tenant satisfaction and can help facilitate favorable renter retention rates.
Secondly, promptly dealing with maintenance issues can effectively prevent larger – and costlier – issues down the line. The longer certain issues are allowed to linger, the more serious they’re liable to become. So, rather than allowing seemingly inconsequential maintenance problems to get out of hand, you’d do well to address them posthaste.
To help ensure that you’re able to address maintenance issues in a prompt manner, take care to hire knowledgeable, dependable maintenance personnel. If you’re managing a property that houses dozens – or hundreds – of units, you’re going to need a dedicated full-time maintenance staff.
Depending on the size of the property, you may be called upon to address dozens of maintenance problems each day, and in the absence of reliable maintenance personnel, this is liable to prove impossible. If your tenant is renting fully furnished property, some of them are requesting changing furniture, appliances, or even new mattress for Airbnb and holiday rentals. It’s always best to accommodate these kinds of requests, especially if your tenants are new, to let them know that you’re responsible for addressing their concerns and requests to build trust and communication between the owner and the tenants.
Make Tenants Aware of Renovations Far in Advance
Certain types of renovations stand to inconvenience tenants in a variety of ways. For example, renovations to common areas and parking lots can cause considerable headaches for tenants who do a lot of coming and going. Fortunately, informing tenants of upcoming renovations well in advance will help ensure that they’re able to mentally prepare themselves and plan any necessary adjustments to their daily routines. The right planning and zoning software is also likely to prove helpful to any renovation efforts you undertake.
Refuse to Enact Unnecessary Rent Increases
While it’s true that the purpose of investing in a rental property is to make money, this doesn’t give property owners free license to price-gouge tenants. There are numerous reasons for which landlords raise rent – increased property taxes and utility costs chief among them. However, raising someone’s rent simply because you think you can get more out of them is unlikely to go over well. Renters are pretty adept at distinguishing justifiable rent increases from unjustifiable ones, and when faced with the latter, many of them won’t hesitate to seek out new residences. Furthermore, landlords are not exempt from price gouging laws.
So, the next time you find yourself needing to raise rent, make the reasons for the increase clear to your tenants. They may not be happy about this, but they’re likely to appreciate your honesty and forthrightness.
Happy tenants are the lifeblood of a successful rental property. So, if you regularly regard renter satisfaction as an afterthought, you shouldn’t be surprised to see your tenant retention rates drop. Unsurprisingly, not many renters are keen on paying rent to people who habitually ignore their questions, concerns and opinions.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to ensure that tenant satisfaction remains high and keep your retention rates steady.