We lease and manage rental properties for investors in Idaho Falls and Pocatello, and one of the things we’re always trying to do is create a great rental experience for our tenants. Why does this matter? Because it leads to better tenant retention.
Tenant turnover is extremely expensive, and we’re always working hard to avoid it. Turnover disrupts your cash flow and your rent collection. It leads to vacancy loss, and it often involves expensive repairs, upgrades, and cosmetic improvements. There’s cleaning and marketing to be done. All of which needs to be paid for out-of-pocket because there isn’t any rent coming in on that particular unit.
If you’re looking for ways to increase what you earn and decrease what you spend, we recommend that you avoid turnover whenever you can. Keep your good tenants in place. Do what you can to ensure the residents living in your property are happy and enjoying their rental experience.
Lease renewals are better for business than finding new tenants. And, it creates more stability and safety for your investment property. You’ll enjoy the consistent cash flow and the growing return on investment (ROI).
At Jacob Grant Property Management, we have a great track record when it comes to tenant retention. If you’re looking for ways to boost your own retention numbers, we have some tips for you.
Start with a Positive Leasing Experience
A good tenant relationship leads to better tenant retention, and that relationship should start before your tenant is even living in the property. As you market and show the unit, collect the application and work through the screening process, you have an opportunity to increase retention efforts. This is where the relationship really begins. You’re showing tenants what type of landlord you’ll be. When you can be responsive and helpful, you’ll likely attract well-qualified tenants to your property easily, and developing a professional and positive relationship will not be difficult. Retention will be easier.
It’s a good chance to be a resource to applicants. Be willing to schedule showings at times that are convenient for tenants. Guide your future residents through the application process and help them submit all the supporting documentation that’s needed. Be available to answer questions. Don’t make them wait to find out that they passed your screening; send an email or make a phone call as soon as you have gathered and analyzed all the data you need and verified all the information you have. Work quickly to approve tenants, sign the lease, and schedule the move-in date.
You know moving is stressful. Make it less stressful for your new tenants. This will make them want to stay with you when the lease term is over. Here are some of the ways you can make a memorable impact during the move-in process:
- Provide a simple, stress-free way for new tenants to get their keys and access the property.
- Have the lease signed and the move-in funds collected before their moving day.
- Go over the lease agreement and answer any questions.
- Provide a brief orientation to the building and the unit so they know how to set the thermostat and where to find the breaker box.
- Work with tenants on a move-in inspection to ensure that you’re all on the same page about the condition of the property.
When tenants move into a home easily and efficiently, and that home is in excellent condition and perfectly clean on day one, you’re setting a great foundation for your tenant retention plans.
Listen and Communicate Openly with Idaho Falls Tenants
Achieve better tenant relationships and higher tenant retention rates with open, transparent communication. You need to be available and accessible to your tenants if you want to retain them. Always share your expectations with residents so they aren’t left wondering what exactly you expect from them. It helps to be clear and direct when you’re communicating.
You’ll need to talk to your tenants about maintenance, rental payments, and inspections. Always answer questions promptly. Be available by phone, text, email, and even social media. Tenants have different comfort levels with how they’re willing to communicate. They might like email. Or phone calls. You’ll need to understand what your tenants need when it comes to communication.
Practice listening to your tenants. This is a skill that’s easy to lose, especially when we’re communicating through tech platforms and in ways that might feel more impersonal. Sometimes, tenants just want to be heard. When you’re willing to listen with empathy and concern, tenants are less likely to leave you at the end of their lease term.
Keep Your Pocatello Rental Property Maintained and Improved
Maintaining your units can be expensive, frustrating, and challenging. Costs for even minor repairs are rising and finding good vendors to help you can be difficult in the current market, where there’s such a high demand for home building and maintenance work. Sometimes, those emergency repairs can feel impossible to manage, especially when you have a tenant who is upset.
With a solid maintenance plan in place, you’ll respond with ease and you’ll also get closer to your goal of retaining tenants.
Tenant retention requires more than just maintenance.
Upgrades and updates can also help you avoid tenant turnover. You can improve the condition and value of your investment while at the same time retaining tenants. So, consider making some cost-effective renovations, especially if your tenants have a specific request. Do they want the living room repainted? A more efficient clothes dryer? Consider meeting those needs, especially if the lease renewal date is approaching.
Look for cost-effective upgrades that are easy to make even while your tenants are in place. You can consider:
- Replacing out-of-date appliances and installing energy-efficient models.
- Painting walls that have become faded or chipped.
- Cleaning or replacing carpet.
- Updating the landscaping
Renovations like these will help you motivate tenants to renew their lease agreements. You can offer a new microwave or a freshly painted bedroom. Maybe your tenants want a backsplash in the kitchen or better lighting outside. Be open to these requests.
Make Your Pocatello Rental Property Pet-Friendly
Pets are a big deal. Especially if you’re the owner of pets. You think of them as part of the family.
You should think about them as an indicator that you’ll retain your tenants as well. Studies have shown that pet-friendly properties do a much better job of keeping tenants in place than those properties that don’t allow pets.
This makes sense. When a tenant moves into your property with a dog or a cat, they’ll have to pay a pet fee or maybe a pet deposit or pet rent. They’re not going to want to pay all that again when they move. So, they’ll stay where they are. Not only because it saves them an extra pet fee but also because it’s not always easy finding rental homes that allow pets.
Keep Rental Increases Reasonable When Retaining Residents
It makes sense that you’ll raise your rent when it’s time to renew the lease agreement. Your costs have gone up since you set the rent, and you’re hoping to earn more on your investment property. Tenants will likely expect an increase as well. They will likely look around as their own lease comes to an end, just to see what’s available and whether they can get a better deal elsewhere. So, they’ll know the market and they will understand that rents have been rising while they were living in your property. Don’t shy away from increasing the rent even when you’re working on tenant retention.
There should be an increase, but it must be a responsible increase. The amount must be easy to justify.
Study the Tulare rental market and look at homes that are similar to your rental. Chances are, you’ll be able to raise your own rent while still staying at or just below the market prices. This will encourage tenants to stay because even though their rent is going up, they don’t have to worry about the expense and hassle of moving into a new place that probably will cost just as much.
Idaho Falls Property Management
If you’re looking for an easy path towards better retention, we have one for you: professional property management.
Retaining tenants is easier in a professionally managed home. Tenants like to work with property management companies instead of independent landlords because they trust that property managers will understand that systems, processes, and communication will be automated and consistent. They know that property managers understand the laws and the requirements of rental properties in Idaho Falls and Pocatello.
We have solid and effective tenant retention plans, and when you work with good property managers, you can expect lower vacancy and turnover costs.
Let’s prioritize retention for your rental units. We would be happy to tell you more about how we keep our best tenants and make sure they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. If you’d like to talk about our strategies, please contact us at Jacob Grant Property Management.