In the single-family home rental market, lease renewals are, more often than not, a more logical option than a new lease trade-out. With turnovers, property management companies usually face the unavoidable costs related to searching for a new tenant and performing the deep cleaning and renovations necessary to prepare the property for viewings. With the right investment property management strategy and motivation, retaining single-family tenants longer doesn’t have to be difficult.
Below are two proven strategies for retaining good tenants in single-family rentals and reducing vacancy rates in the process.
Even single-family rental properties can encourage tenants to help build a community-centric environment. Property management teams that develop strong relationships with single-family tenants can better influence them by streamlining and fast-tracking the lease renewal process.
Helping single-family renters find ways to feel at home in their rental property and the community begins and ends with engagement and participation. Efficiently communicating information through established tenant preferred channels is one way to establish engagement. Vigilance is another. Any time a tenant initiates a dialogue, respond as quickly as possible to show them that you’re interested in what they have to say and that their conversation is important. Responding quickly and meaningfully to tenant input is an easy way to establish a connection and build trust.
Your property management company’s maintenance crew can also contribute to building good tenant relationships. You can help tenants connect with maintenance crew members by featuring a photo of their team and a brief “about” article on them on your property management website. New tenants may also appreciate it if you assign a maintenance employee to be on hand to help with move-ins.
Property management companies that handle multiple single-family rentals can boost community-building among tenants by hosting fun events on a monthly or quarterly basis that provide opportunities for tenants to mingle and get to know each other. Lease indoor or outdoor space according to the weather based on the time of the year to organize sports fantasy leagues, game nights, catered meals, mixers featuring prize raffles or other events that encourage tenants to engage and connect.
With some innovative planning, excellent investment property management, and the right tools, property managers can create an appealing living experience that helps retain more tenants in the process!
Tenants, like everyone else, love perks. So property managers who hope to persuade a good single-family tenant to renew their lease can offer a lease renewal incentive. Renewal incentives don’t have to cost the property management company a dime. Think about gifting upgrades that benefit the property owner whose home value will get a boost. Incentives can include flooring upgrades, lawn services, a fresh coat of paint on the home’s interior walls or new appliances—perks that can motivate your tenant to stay.
Property managers can take it up a notch by offering incentives that appeal to the tenant’s interests for an added, personal touch. For instance, if the tenants have children offer them season passes to a popular amusement park or movie theater gift vouchers. Such offerings can help make the tenants feel appreciated enough to stay put. If they’re golfers, incentivize their decision to stay by offering vouchers to a nearby golf course. A new tablet computer, dog walking services, or pretty much anything that suits the tenant’s interests can provide the nudge that encourages them to stay.
You may want to consider establishing ongoing incentives as an influential proactive tool. Contact various local businesses and see which ones are open to partnering with your company to provide regular substantial discounts.
As property managers, you’re expected to wear many hats in order to achieve the ultimate goal of investment property management—reducing vacancies and increasing retention. In some ways, this can be more challenging that managing multifamily complexes. Work with your staff to brainstorm ideas and establish guidelines that can help achieve these goals in practical and productive ways.