One of the most important jobs of a property management company is to keep residents for as long as possible.
Any time a property is vacant, the owner is losing money.
Every time a tenant renews his or her lease, the landlord, management company, and occupants all benefit. You need to work hard to set yourself apart from other companies and give your clients a reason to stay.
One obstacle to maintaining tenants is the rental rate. Property managers have less control over contract prices than most people think. Rental prices are more or less fixed by the market’s going rate. If competitors’ rent prices drop, landlords have few options but to lower their own prices when contract negotiations take place.
How do you keep your head above water if the market keeps dropping? How do you build trust with your tenants?
Top Ways to Increase Tenant Retention
Cover the Basics
It is important to follow some basic rules of property management in Maryland. As the saying goes, “The devil is in the details.”
Transparency During Negotiations
Be forward with your tenants and explain the contract in total clarity – this is important during the initial lease signing and renewals. Tenants that have a clear understanding of their lease agreements are much more likely to stick with their management companies in the future. Honesty and full transparency regarding the lease are extremely important. Be upfront with your tenants, and let them know about all the stipulations regarding the lease.
Stay on Top of Repairs
Simple maintenance concerns like a leaky faucet or a dead electrical socket can quickly turn into bigger headaches if left unchecked. The small cost of repairs is nothing compared to a vacant property. If the tenants think you care, they will care and treat the property with more respect.
Stop In and Say Hello
Many tenants are more likely to renew their leases if they like the property manager. Some quick face time can go a long way in keeping a tenant or getting a referral. Rather than showing up unannounced, try to stop by as a maintenance request is being fulfilled, once again showing you are concerned with resolving any concerns they have quickly.
Marketing Property Benefits
When it comes to leasing your property you can bet there’s a lot of competition. Make your property more appealing with some small additions and changes. The following ideas separate your home from others, and your home will appeal to a wider client base.
For many renters, not having to worry about a dishwasher or laundry unit will set your property apart from the competition. Current and potential tenants will see the value and convenience of added amenities available at their fingertips.
An All-Inclusive Fee
Combining bills and monthly rental fees into a convenient lump sum is also appealing to many renters. For example, you can offer a lease that includes a flat monthly fee for water and electricity and even free Wi-Fi. Some tenants will like the fact they can budget exactly how much they will be paying each month rather than estimate water, electricity and Wi-Fi.
For single family homes, a monthly landscaping service can also be added. This keeps tenants from worrying about cutting the lawn, and it is a definite perk for those who work long hours or don’t have time for intensive yardwork.
Plus, this guarantees your property’s curb appeal will always stay up. Whenever your busy tenants come home from a long day of work, they’ll be greeted by a welcoming, kept property instead of a reminder of the coming weekend’s chores.
Successful property management in Maryland is based on forging long-term relationships with tenants. One way to build the relationship is to offer them rewards. It is a way to show your residents you are grateful for their loyalty. There are a few different approaches to take, but all have the same purpose: to go above and beyond expected customer service by using incentives.
A few property management companies have started to implement a tiered reward system for their tenants. The longer they remain on the property, the more points they get. For instance, a tenant might get a property upgrade, a small appliance, or a credit applied to their statement depending on their length of residency.
Many landlords dress up the initial 12-month contract, but there’s often little to no incentive for tenants to stay for a longer term or to renew. Consider dressing up renewal leases with free small appliances, restaurant gift cards, or even tickets to a Baltimore Orioles or Baltimore Ravens game. Sometimes that extra little touch is enough to keep tenants coming back.
Work With a Property Management Team
Advertising, maintenance, and tenant screening fees can quickly add up, especially if a homeowner is struggling to find long-term tenants.
Luckily, working with a property management team can shoulder some of that burden and cut into the expense of supervising a rental.
This is beneficial for any homeowner, whether he or she owns one or ten homes.
Timely Screening and Maintenance Processes
Credit checks, background checks, income verification, legal agreements, and other processes take time and money. Effective property management companies streamline this process to pinpoint qualified renters and put them in your property as soon as possible. They are also able to organize and attend to maintenance requests in a timely manner. Tenants will appreciate the efficiency and professionalism that a property management company will bring to each facet of the rental process. A well-managed property will go a long way to securing repeat tenants.
Companies with a record of successfully screening thousands of tenants, responding to repairs daily, and that have a predictable system in place for dealing with issues or ironing out any details tend to have the highest tenant retention rate.
Renters want to be assured that there are methods in place for dealing with any situation that arises at their unit, whether it be a regular maintenance issue or damage caused by severe weather.
Property management companies offer consistency and dependability that many individual landlords are unable to provide on their own.
For more information on lowering tenant turnover rates, contact Bay Management Group today. In addition to 24/7 responsiveness and a 12-month tenant warranty, we can help you find long-term tenants and increase tenant retention rates.