Without tenants you don’t have income. Without lease renewals keeping your positive tenants in their units, you can have a problem with unsatisfactory tenants, or an issue with multiple empty units that can be detrimental financially. In order to ensure you have a great relationship with your renters, and to increase the chances of them wanting to renew their lease, examine these common reasons for tenants leaving their rental properties.
Nobody wants to live somewhere were getting maintenance is a stressful process that is time-consuming or in awful cases, situations that get ignored or forgotten. In fact, the number one reason tenants do not renew is due to bad maintenance experiences. By keeping on track with maintenance requests and following through them to their completion (in a timely manner) will increase your resident satisfaction exponentially and will generate an influx of positive reviews promoting your business.
A successful, maintenance operation has a few features that tenants (and property managers) love, such as:
- Tenants can report maintenance issues online
- Automated tracking, eliminating the cost of labor and stress of managing multiple stages of requests.
- Automatically tracked efficiency statistics that make a difference. This includes the length of time required to complete a request, how often visits are required, the efficiency of vendors, and many more.
- Consistent follow ups for rating and gathering satisfaction.
It’s not unheard of to live paycheck to paycheck and for your renters, every penny counts when crunching numbers to pay the bills. Before increasing your rent to squeeze a few more dollars out of your tenants, calculate the cost of maintenance for your properties and the average rental cost for similar units in your area.
Changes in Financial Situation:
Sometimes there’s nothing you did or can do. Perhaps a tenant has just received a new job, has inherited a large sum of money, or has recently lost their job. Their pay could have significantly changed for better or worse to where they have decided they want or need a more appropriate living situation. If you have wonderful communication with your tenants, they will most likely give you enough notification of their plans instead of surprising you at the last minute. Look at your lease agreements to ensure that there is a mandatory notification time window for your tenants so that you are not stressed with a balancing act of vacant properties.
Problems with Neighbors:
Obviously, nobody enjoys living in a noisy environment or having to manage to live beside rude neighbors. If this problem is brought to your attention by a tenant, it’s extremely important to hear out their complaints and to let them know that you are hearing their concerns and will take appropriate action to resolve it as calm and professional as possible. Resolving neighbor problems can take many forms depending on what the concerns of the tenant are and the business relationship you have with the problem neighbor.
If the frustrating neighbor is also your tenant violating their lease, this can be a simple warning sent to that tenant to change their behavior. If after a warning is sent and the violating tenant becomes wildly upset at this, they aren’t a tenant worth keeping for the sake of you and your residents’ well-being.
If a frustrating neighbor is a tenant of yours and there happens to not be any evidence of their behavior, a personal phone call to kindly explain the situation can be effective and a great way to check in on any concerns they might have too. “Hello, I hope you’ve been well and that everything regarding your unit is still in excellent condition,” is a great way to start the call to establish trust while showcasing your communication. Then continue to the purpose of the phone call while keeping anonymity, “I’m calling today because it’s been brought to my attention from another renter that (problem here) has been a disruption (or, “has made them uncomfortable”) and I’d like to hear how I can help make everyone feel satisfied and relaxed to hopefully fix the problem.” This phone call might appropriately shock the neighbor into realizing that their behavior was disruptive to others around them and won’t need further action from you to resolve the problem.
In the unfortunate circumstance that the neighbor is not a tenant renting from you, there is little you can do other than knocking on their front door to explain the situation.
Other than the quality of living in and around the property, the most important quality to sell your tenants is the relationship you have with them. You are providing them with their place of living in exchange for a monetary sum in return, but if they find that nothing can be achieved when trying to communicate with you, no price will keep them staying.
- TIP! Start retention efforts as early as possible! Moving is rarely a snap decision for renters so instead of calling or emailing the tenant two months before the lease is set to expire, reach out to them consistently throughout their lease to check up on them. Call them before the residents move in to see if they need any assistance, call them a few days after their first day, and call them a couple months later. They’ll appreciate that you are there as a resource and not just a rent-collector, and this will establish trust.
Take advantage of automated management software for strategic growth, and to keep your positive tenants renewing their leases.
Ready to learn more? Start here.
Written by Kyle Graves – Property Meld Blog Editor