As a property owner, you can enjoy a steady passive income if you have loyal tenants. That said, if you frequently deal with tenant turnovers, it can be financially draining.
With a vacant unit, you won't be receiving rental income. However, you'll still be spending money to market your rental and spending money on monthly maintenance. This means you won't have a positive cash flow!
That's why finding and renting to long-term and happy tenants is more beneficial.
1. Have a Standard to Qualify your Prospects
To attract the right kind of tenants, you need to have a clear standard of what constitutes a high-quality renter. This way, during the tenant screening process, you can filter the applicants right away.
When screening tenants, you can assess your applicants in 3 categories: financial means, rent history and criminal history.
Financial means: You want to make sure that your renter has the financial means to pay the rent monthly. Ensure your renter has a stable employment and makes enough money to pay for the monthly rent costs. You may also want to look at their credit score and see if they are financially responsible. You can ask for financial documents as proof.
Rent history: Call previous landlords as references. It's hard to predict how a prospective tenant will behave once in your unit. That's why it's best to speak with their previous landlord. Inquire about the following: Did they ever miss a payment? Did they leave damages outside of normal wear and tear? Did they reasonably maintain the rental unit?
Criminal history: Review the prospect's criminal background. You want to avoid endangering anyone's life. Additionally, it will be stressful to deal with investigations if you end up harboring a renter guilty of criminal offenses. So, just to be sure, always perform a criminal background check.
In doing all of this, you will likely find a high-quality renter who will rent long-term.
2. Treat all Renters Fairly & Equally
You should have the same set of protocols for all tenants, and they should be outlined in the lease agreement. For example, renting to tenants with pets is a great idea, but don't screen pets for one renter and not the other. Don't provide special treatment to certain renters. That would be unfair and could be a source of conflict.
Consider this scenario: you allow one tenant to pay their rent late without charging a late fee. However, the lease states that a late fee should be collected. When other tenants find out, they may be upset. And, an upset renter probably won't stay long-term!
That's why the best thing to do is to adhere to the signed leasing agreement. Make sure that everyone abides by the same rules and always remain professional.
By doing so, it will help you create a peaceful environment and encourage tenants to stay longer.
3. Raise your Property Value
When a renter is considering whether or not they should renew their lease, be it long term or short term, they think about how much value you are providing them.
Here are some of the things you can do to provide value to your renters:
- Make aesthetic changes in your rental home.
- Improve the amenities in your rental by purchasing energy efficient appliances to reduce your renters' utilities and enable them to save money.
- Provide a clean and well-kept rental property.
- Make sure you conduct preventive maintenance.
- Fix small leaks.
- Hire professional cleaners.
- Address maintenance requests right away.
- Provide modern amenities
Providing this kind of value will make tenants feel cared for and will encourage them to renew their lease!
4. Present your Rental at its Best During Showings
If you're looking to rent out your property, your listings will typically include professional quality photos. Make sure these photos match what you'll present in real life.
Before doing a property showing, you should ensure that your property has no damages and that it is well-cleaned.
Here are some of the things to consider:
- Ensure there are no broken mirrors or peeling paint.
- Window blinds must be working well.
- Carpets should be steamed and cleaned.
- The rental space must smell clean and exhibit an immaculate and refreshing appearance.
- Pay attention to the landscaping.
5. Cultivate Effective Communication with Renters
A very important aspect of your rental business is offering exceptional customer service. So, strive to level up your communication skills. Act in a professional manner and be polite to your renters.
You also want to be flexible, transparent and easy to reach. Tenants want to be heard and they want their needs met. If they have a complaint, act promptly. Also, keep an open relationship. However, be sure to respect boundaries and avoid violating your tenant's privacy.
Unless a tenant is obliged to move, it's easier for them to renew their lease. However, they will only want to do so if you provide a good environment.
As an overview, here are some of the things you can do to attract and retain long-term tenants:
- Exercise fairness.
- Adhere to the set conditions in the lease.
- Focus on providing consistent value so your renters feel good about extending their leases.
- Set qualifying standards so you know what kind of renter you want to attract.
- Improve your communication skills to better understand your renters' needs.
For more tips, contact Windermere Property Management today.