Turning over your rental property is never cheap. At a minimum, you must re-key, clean, and advertise to find a new tenant. However, property owners often find themselves with more extensive work like painting, landscaping, and replacing carpets. When you calculate lost income from vacancy days, you could be out thousands of dollars by the time you place a new tenant. How do you avoid the high cost of tenant turnover? It starts with learning the best ways to retain your current tenants. Learn the top 5 ways to retain tenants from experienced rental property management Atlanta.
Tenant Retention Tip #1: Offer Great Amenities
Keeping tenants happy starts with giving them a great place to live. Why should your tenant renew their lease if they can find another rental around the corner with better amenities? Take a look around your rental property to determine what amenities would make your tenant’s rental house into a home. Here are some low-cost recommendations:
- Updated Fixtures: Believe it or not, switching out kitchen faucets and lighting can make a basic rental home feel luxurious. If your rental home is sporting fixtures from the 1980s it may be time for an update.
- Fenced-in Yard: If your rental home has a yard make sure it is fully fenced. A fenced-in yard will give your tenant the private space they need to enjoy the beautiful Atlanta seasons.
- Washer and Dryer: Adding washer and dryer hookups from scratch can cost as little as $350 according to Home Advisor. If your home does not have hookups, adding them is a great way to entice your tenants to renew their lease.
- Online Portal: For simpler rental property management, Atlanta property owners should offer an online tenant portal. Tenant portals, like the one we offer, allow your tenants to pay rent or submit maintenance requests any time of the day or night.
- Off-Street Parking: If your tenant parks on the street, consider creating a designated parking area. Creating a driveway is as simple as laying down gravel, however the security and ease it provides for your tenant will go far.
- Pet Policy: Do you allow pets at your rental property? Many property owners do not allow pets simply because they have heard horror stories of dogs and cats causing property damage. But in reality, most pets do not cause property damage, and property owners are able to collect an extra pet deposit to cover losses.
Great amenities don’t always have to be expensive, but you should take into consideration what your tenant wants. For example, if your tenant rides their bike or takes the bus everywhere, a new driveway is probably not going to score extra points. For more information on which amenities are cost-effective and worthwhile, talk to the experts in rental property management Atlanta, Specialized Property Management.
Tenant Retention Tip #2: Always Respond to Tenant Requests
Imagine this, your phone rings in the middle of the night. The caller ID says it is your tenant, and you can already guess their toilet is clogged for the third time this week. But, you have a busy day tomorrow at work and you don’t want to get out of bed to deal with it, especially when you already provided a plunger. Maybe if you don’t answer the phone your tenant will just deal with it and stop calling. Unfortunately, not responding quickly to tenant requests is a sure path to tenant turnover. No one likes to feel ignored, especially by the person who is supposed to be helping them.
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to respond to each and every tenant request, no matter how small, which can be hard if you are balancing a career, family, and other responsibilities. That is why so many property owners choose to work with professional rental property management. Atlanta rental property owners trust Specialized Property Management Atlanta in part because they know there will always be someone to answer the call. Nights, weekends, and holidays, we have it all covered so your tenant is never left wondering who to call in an emergency. The same goes for emails and texts. Quick response times mean happy tenants and less tenant turnover.
Tenant Retention Tip #3: Respect Your Tenant’s Privacy
One way to make your tenant feel like a renter is to drop by their rental home unannounced. Even with the best intentions, dropping in on your tenant is not a good idea. If your tenant does not know when you’re coming, they can never truly relax and feel at home. However, it is a good idea to periodically check in on your rental property to make sure things are running smoothly, there are no unreported maintenance issues, and your tenant is complying with the lease.
How do you check in on your property while respecting your tenant’s privacy? We recommend regularly scheduled property inspections, quarterly or biannually. Some rental property management Atlanta companies will tell you inspecting your property at move in and move out is all you really need to do, but we have found that isn’t the best way to run a rental property. Here are a few reasons we think periodic inspections are necessary:
- Lease Compliance: Your tenant should be complying with the terms of the lease. During an inspection, make sure your tenant hasn’t moved in a roommate or unapproved pet, made any changes to the house, or otherwise violated the lease.
- Safety Issues: Shakey handrails and hot electrical outlets are safety hazards that must be addressed in order to keep your property safe and habitable. Unfortunately, tenants do not always notice or report these hazards. An inspection allows you to check in on the safety of the property.
- Preventative Maintenance: When you perform regular maintenance, such as an AC tune-up, you extend the life of your home’s systems. Try to schedule this maintenance at the same time as an inspection so that you don’t take up too much of your tenant’s time.
To learn more about why you should schedule regular property inspections, visit this post. The bottom line is, respect your tenant’s privacy and they are more likely to feel at home.
Tenant Retention Tip #4: Rental Property Management Atlanta Helps Price Your Rental Fairly
In a rental market as hot as Atlanta, it may be tempting to increase rent prices drastically year by year. If you could charge $1,750, why would you charge only $1,200? Raising the rent each year makes sense, many property owners do this and tenants expect it. However, our expert property managers caution against raising the rent too much. You may think that your tenant will be willing to pay more, or you can quickly place a new tenant but that isn’t usually the case. If your old tenant decides to move out, you will need to spend several weeks and hundreds of dollars turning over the property and advertising for new tenants. Each day that goes by without a new tenant is income lost. Most of the time it makes more sense to keep good tenants at a lower rental rate than risk a vacancy if you raise the rent too much. If you aren’t sure where your rental should be priced, talk to the experts at Specialized Property Management Atlanta. Our team knows the local market and we can help you price your rental correctly.
Tenant Retention Tip #5: Good Communication Between Tenants and Rental Property Management Atlanta
Open and respectful communication is the key to a good tenant-landlord relationship. When your tenant moves in, make sure you have the correct contact information and find out their preferred method of communication. Provide them with multiple ways to contact you, including email and phone number. Make sure they know who to call in case of an emergency.
As we stated above, never drop in on your tenant unannounced. Call or email to set up a good time to come inspect the home or deal with a maintenance issue. Communicate regularly in a non-commercial way to ensure all their needs are being met. These simple steps will show your tenant you care about them and their well-being, and help you form a long-lasting relationship.
If you encounter lease compliance issues, it is important to stay calm and be respectful. Most of the time lease compliance issues boil down to tenants not understanding the terms of the lease or what is expected of them. Communicate clearly and respectfully what is wrong and how they can fix it so you don’t cause tension. For more tips on better communication read this post.
Expert Rental Property Management Atlanta is Here for You
Great property management is a delicate balance of keeping your tenants happy and maintaining your cash flow. Property owners trust the experts at Specialized Property Management because of our experienced professionals and proven processes. We have the experience needed to avoid costly mistakes that put your investment at risk. To learn more about our full range of property management services, visit this page. For a professional rental property management quote, call us today at 404-596-8454.