A large expense for many landlords is tenant turnover. Not only do you have to deal with lost rent, but also maintenance, repairs, cleaning costs, and advertising; and these will continue until you fill the vacancy. Although it’s important to get a new tenant quickly, you also don’t want to lower your standards and end up with a bad tenant. Here are eight ways to fill vacancies quickly that will help retain your current tenants as well.
1. Make Timely Repairs
One of the most common reasons tenants leave a property is because of infrequent or nonexistent repairs. Regularly check in to maintenance requests and invest the time and money necessary to fulfill them quickly. This will keep your renters happy and your rental units operating in good condition.
2. Clean the Exterior
Many people will clean the interior of their property but completely neglect the exterior. This is the first impression prospective tenants will get of the property, and if it looks unkempt, they’ll think the rest of the property is neglected as well. Frequently paint the exterior or go over it with a power washer to keep it clean. Landscaping is also important in attracting and keeping tenants.
3. Research the Local Market
The rent prices of comparable properties will give you a good idea of how much to charge your own tenants. It’s important to charge an amount that’s in line with the going rate for the neighborhood. If you charge too much, you won’t have any applicants and your property will stay vacant longer. If you charge too little, prospective tenants will think you’re hiding something about your property.
4. Reward Existing Tenants
Before your tenant’s lease is over, ask them if they’re planning on renewing or not. If they seem on the fence, offer to keep their rent the same, or only increase it by a small amount. This will reward them for renewing their lease and make them more likely to stay for another year.
5. Provide Amenities
Consider adding amenities to your property that will draw renters to live there before other places. These could be things such as in-unit washer and dryer, updated appliances, garbage disposals, etc.
6. Offer Paid Utilities
Offering paid heat or water can be a great way for landlords to attract tenants and retain existing ones. It won’t cost you much more each month, but it can make a big difference to a tenant looking for a cost-efficient place to live.
7. Offer Incentives
If a large number of tenants are leaving, you may want to start an incentives program to encourage them to stay. For example, if they sign another six-month lease, offer them a reduction in one month’s rent. You can also offer free gifts for new tenants such as household appliances. To keep your current renters happy, offer them small prizes for paying rent on time such as gift cards, movie tickets, or small treats.
8. Get to Know Your Tenants
It’s a lot harder to leave your friend’s house than someone you either don’t know or don’t like. Take the time to learn more about your tenants and do your best to make them feel at home. The more you reach out, the more they’ll think of you as a friend.