We can say with confidence that the goal of owning a rental is to collect rent. The best way to achieve that goal is to hang on to good tenants. While tenant turnover isn’t avoidable, there are certain ways to decrease the constant ebb and flow of new tenants. How you ask? It all starts with four little tricks.
Decreasing Tenant Turnover Starts With Screening
The first step in decreasing tenant turnover is to find reliable tenants who want to stay. Obviously, you can’t stop job transfers or life changes, but you can control some things. Conducting a thorough tenant screening is the best way to determine if the applicant is a good fit. If they have a negative history with past rentals, such as collections or evictions, bad credit, or criminal red flags, they may not be reliable tenants. While you can’t screen for job transfers or significant life changes, you can do your due diligence on the items you can, such as credit, criminal, and rental/evictions history.
The Landlord-Tenant Relationship
After finding the right tenant, the next step to reducing tenant turnover is setting up a positive landlord-tenant relationship. This means having the property ready when they move-in, communicating fast and efficiently, and addressing issues quickly and effectively, etc. If they’re happy, they’ll be more likely to stay. Even if they do have to move, a positive experience can lead to tenant referrals. Be friendly and approachable, but remember at the end of the day it’s a business relationship and should be treated as such.
Price Your Rental Reasonably
When it comes time to renew the lease and you’re thinking of increasing the rent, make sure to do so reasonably. Check and see what the market says and make adjustments accordingly. Research what comparable properties are renting for in your area, then set your price. If you raise it too high or unreasonably so, you may drive your tenants off. There’s a balance between earning more and keeping good tenants happy.
Maintain Your Rental
No one wants to live in a rental that’s not maintained. When problems begin to snowball, the overwhelming amount of breaks and repairs can easily frustrate a tenant. The best way to stem this is to keep your rental well maintained. Keep up on routine and preventative maintenance. When repairs become necessary, address them quickly and efficiently. And if you have the ability to offer upgrades, do so! A rental property may be a source of income to you, but it’s a home to your tenants. Make them want to stay!
When you’ve found the right tenants, it makes sense that you would want to hang on to them. While tenant turnover isn’t avoidable, there are ways to increase retention. Put your best foot forward and offer your tenants a place they can call home for more than just a year.