As experienced landlords can attest, owning rental properties offers plenty of benefits. However, this endeavor isn’t without its fair share of challenges. Turnover can be one of the biggest financial drains on a real estate investment. Many landlords fear that once their tenants leave, that they may go for a long period of time without tenants, and risk financial uncertainty. Of course, turnover is an inevitable part of taking on the job of being a landlord. Typically, people rent properties until they reach a stage in life where they can afford to purchase their own property. However, there are ways you can minimize your turnover rate and get many of your tenants to stay longer.
Repair Any Broken Fixtures Immediately
Your tenants pay good money to stay in a safe and reliable property. You are expected to fix any unexpected repairs quickly and efficiently. Avoid exhibiting poor professional behavior and lack of respect for your tenants by responding to problems with the property in a timely manner. If you are not skilled in handy repairs yourself, consider creating a network of reliable plumbers and repairers who will come to your aid expediently to help with the process. During the course of your career as a landlord, you will experience repair issues. However, responding quickly will show that you have truly invested your heart into the property and that you want your tenants to feel comfortable and at home.
In addition, avoid always going for the cheapest option at the expense of quality. There are two reasons for this. First, your tenants are going to notice if you do not respect them enough to enlist proper repairs, and they will feel a supreme sense of disrespect. Finally, you may actually end up costing yourself more in the future. Cheap repairs may work in the short term, but some issues are much more serious, and you may endanger your tenants and create yourself a financial mess.
Make Yourself Available to Your Tenants
As previously mentioned, tenants generally like to see that you have invested your heart and soul into your property and that you care about their wellbeing as well. Therefore, communication is key. When you communicate with your tenants, you’re maintaining a healthy professional relationship that allows you both to deliver vital information. If your tenants are generally quiet, try emailing them every six to eight weeks. Simply ask how the property is doing, and whether anything needs to come to your attention. You may be surprised — some tenants do not communicate their needs to you on their own. These tenants tend to leave upon the end of their contract and you may not know why they have left.
In addition, you must make yourself completely available to your tenants. In order to support a healthy business relationship, you must make their needs your top priority. Think about it like this: just as you have heard horror stories about terrible tenants, so too have they heard or experienced terrible stories about landlords. Save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t be the landlord that fails to respond to your tenant’s needs. Many tenants leave because they are unable to reach their landlords when they need it the most.
Reward Your Tenants for Staying
Everyone likes rewards. For instance, before the lease is up, you can mention that you plan to install new kitchen cabinets, or that you wish to re-landscape the yard. If your tenants hear this, they may be incentivized to stay. You can even use this as a means of increasing the rent slightly to compensate. The key here is to not become complacent about the state of your property. If you see that the property could use a new paint job on the interior or a power wash on the outside, offer to do this for them. Sometimes, you need to go above and beyond to keep the property interesting and appealing to your tenants.
At the end of the day, tenants do not want to risk a new landlord if they have an excellent one already. Likewise, a good landlord deserves good tenants. Always screen your tenants to make sure you can form the best professional relationship with someone who is responsible and not risk a high rate of turnover.
These are just a few ways you can decrease turnover as a landlord. Feel free to share additional ideas in the comments below!