The average American renter stays in one property for around 27.5 months before jumping ship. If you want to keep your best tenants around for longer, you’re going to need to invest in some ways to keep them exceptionally happy with your property.
There are several things you can do to increase landlord retention rates. But how can you keep tenants so satisfied that they stick around for the long haul? Read on for some actionable tips on how to retain your renters and keep them happy.
1. Have Easy-to-Use Online Software
Renters are going to want a place to pay their rent quickly and easily put in maintenance orders. About 63% of Americans prefer texting and online interactions to phone calls. It’s important that you have an easy online tenant portal if you want convenient communications.
This means having a website that:
- Easily lets tenants pay the rent directly from their bank accounts
- Lets tenants set up recurring rent payments
- Links renters to a chatbot or online customer service representative
- Encourages renters to put in online maintenance orders
- Automatically sends out reminder emails when rent is due
- Automatically sends out weather alerts and maintenance information
- Lets renters know when someone may enter their property (and alerts them via text)
Convenience is a simple and important way to keep tenants satisfied and improve renter retention rates.
2. Be Communicative and Responsive
Tenants understandably find it frustrating when landlords don’t reply to maintenance requests in a timely manner. After all, going through day-to-day life with a broken oven or dripping faucet is extremely annoying and inconvenient.
As a landlord, you need to take pains to reply to these requests promptly. As soon as you see a maintenance order, reach out to the contractor that you hire to take care of it. Get an estimate on when they can come and resolve the issue.
Communicate this timeframe to your best renters. Respect your tenant’s rights to a good living situation. Make sure that you are understanding and apologize for the inconvenience while you deal with the problem at hand.
3. Screen New Tenants
Tenant screening is important for several reasons. You don’t want people with criminal or eviction records to wreak havoc on your property. You want people who will pay their rent on time and respect the terms of the lease.
However, screening is also important for another key reason: you’re choosing neighbors for your best tenants.
No one wants to live near someone who’s extremely noisy in the middle of the night. Your favorite renters don’t want the entire property smelling like cigarette smoke or marijuana. They also don’t want to deal with rude or nasty neighbors.
Get references from previous landlords and make sure that there were no major issues or complaints from neighbors. Screen them thoroughly to make sure that they won’t cause a problem for other tenants. This will ensure that tenants don’t leave because of bad living situations.
4. Allow Pets
Since about 72% of renters have pets, you’re missing out on about 2/3 of potential tenants if you don’t allow them. Most people consider cats and dogs to be part of their families. They’re going to go elsewhere if you won’t allow their furry friends, which puts you way behind competing landlords.
Additionally, many of your best tenants are likely interested in adopting an animal somewhere down the line. If you allow them to do so, you’ll keep them content and happy while in your building.
You can obviously set restrictions on the types of pets that are allowed on your property. Limiting your rental to cats, small dogs, and tiny animals like hamsters and mice is a smart move. However, animals are generally no more destructive than children, so allowing them is unlikely to cause much damage.
5. Stay Ahead of Maintenance
A well-maintained property is going to retain tenants at a much higher rate than one with poor upkeep. This means that you should:
- Regularly replace household appliances every 10 years
- Replace and renovate roofing and siding regularly
- Conduct routine property inspections to ensure that there are no health risks
- Check often for leaks and wiring issues
- Repaint your property’s exterior every few years
- Repaint and refurbish units between renters
- Document and standardize all maintenance
- Hire experienced and reputable contractors to perform jobs
- Set clear cleanliness policies in your lease
People want to live in a home that is well-taken care of. Maintaining your property shows that you care about tenant needs and respect them enough to meet these requirements.
6. Foster a Good Landlord-Tenant Relationship
It’s important to have a good relationship with your tenants if you want them to remain on your property. This doesn’t mean that you need to become friends. It simply means that you need to show them that you care about their wants and needs.
Responding promptly to phone calls, emails, and messages is a great way to do this. So is following up on maintenance requests in a timely way.
However, there are other ways to go above and beyond with your landlord-tenant relationship. Welcome them when they first get to your property. Host an open house so that tenants can meet you personally and connect with other renters in surrounding properties.
Invest in the Right Tenant Screening Tools Today
While helping your best tenants stick around may sound like a challenge, it’s completely possible as long as you cater to what they want to see in a property. Now that you know some steps you can take to retain these renters, it’s time to get started.
Our experts are committed to helping you find new renters that your pre-existing tenants will be happy to live near. Contact Rent Safe today to talk about the tenant screening process and how we can assist you!