Finding the right tenant is one of the key elements to successful property investment. The perfect tenants are trustworthy in paying rent, maintain good communication and take care of your property as if it were their own. When you find good tenants, do everything possible as their landlord to keep them for the long haul.
What can you gain with having long-term tenants?
- It reduces unit turnover expenses and property maintenance costs.
- It saves you time and money from putting up advertisements and screening new tenants.
- It provides peace of mind because you already know your long-term tenant well.
- Most importantly, it gives you a consistent rental income.
Having a high unit turnover is very costly. Tenants often move out because they find a more affordable property nearby. Others leave when they relocate for work or find better schools for their kids in another area. At times, these reasons are beyond your control as a landlord.
However, there are still small actions you can do today to attract good, long-term tenants. In this article, you will learn useful and doable tips to not just find, but also retain good tenants. These tips can also help you if you’re a first-time landlord.
How to Attract Long-Term Tenants
Set a Reasonable Price
Most potential tenants are practical–they’re always searching for the best deal. They’re also presented with so many options thanks to the internet.
Competition for tenants is higher now than ever before. As the landlord, you can choose to set your price lower than other properties nearby and attract more tenants.
Make a Good First Impression
First impressions do count. Whenever you meet potential tenants and give them a tour around the property while addressing them respectfully.
Show them you’re an approachable and professional landlord. Be polite and courteous when answering their questions.
Maintain the Property Well
Potential tenants want quality, spacious living they can call home. If your property is in great shape, you will find it easier to attract tenants. Keeping your property in top condition doesn’t have to be expensive.
Here are a few simple things you can do to spruce up your property:
- Repaint the walls in fresh and vibrant colors
- Upgrade the kitchen’s countertop and floorings
- Have your property cleaned by a professional at least twice a year
- Refurbish cabinets and other built-in furniture
- Add essential appliances, such as a washer and dryer
Provide Attractive Amenities
Find out what amenities most tenants are looking for. Afterward, provide those that are within your capability. The type of amenities largely depends on the age and lifestyle of the tenant.
One survey showed that one of the top amenities the majority of tenants want is high-speed internet. Other amenities include large walk-in closets, soundproof walls, appliances and a spacious balcony.
Choose the Right Tenant
One crucial step is to screen potential tenants to know if they plan to stay long-term. Ask the right questions when you talk with them.
Find out their current life stage. Keep in mind that married couples with kids tend to stay longer in one place than young, single people.
How to Retain Long-Term Tenants
Now that you’ve found the right tenants and they have signed the leasing contract, find ways to make them stay for years. Here are some easy tips you can follow to achieve this:
Upgrade the Property Regularly
All properties start looking run-down after a few years. You can upgrade it by improving the building’s exterior with new paint.
You can also do this by replacing the old fences in the backyard. Making regular upgrades in the property make tenants feel appreciated and help them stay long-term.
Give Freedom to Make Changes
Provide your tenant freedom to do their own interior make-over as long as it’s not major. Allow them to make changes that will not cause long-term damage to your property.
Simple changes can include changing wallpapers or creating a small garden. Doing so will allow the tenant to form a connection to the property, making them feel at home.
Encourage Extended Lease Terms
You can ask your tenant to sign a long-term lease at a reduced rate. For example, if your tenant renews yearly, you can consider extending the lease term to two years at a reduced rate. It’s a win-win situation; what would be seen as an incentive for them would mean guaranteed rental income for you.
Respond Quickly to Requests
Whenever your tenant makes property maintenance calls, respond to them as quickly as possible. Make it a goal to respond within one business day. If the tenants have a complaint, you also want to deal with that as soon as possible.
Requests to repair broken bathroom fixtures or busted electrical wiring should be attended to immediately. No matter how small the request is, addressing it quickly will make your tenant feel valued.
Ensure Understanding of Contract
Take the time to sit down with your tenant and go over the contract together. This would help you gauge if your tenant clearly understands the leasing and security deposit terms, as well as conditions.
You will also be there to answer questions they may have. If you make changes in the contract, discuss it with your tenant again by setting up a meeting.
Take Initiative in Lease Renewals
When the lease contract is about to end, remind your tenant at least 90 days in advance. This allows you to know their plans and hear out concerns they may have. It also gives you enough time to find a new tenant in case they plan to move out.
Make Your Tenant Feel Safe
One of the top things a tenant considers when choosing a home is security. It wouldn’t make sense to stay in a place where they don’t feel safe.
For this reason, you need to make your tenant’s security top priority. You can change locks when needed, install security cameras and provide sufficient outdoor lighting.
Establish Good Relationships
Remember to treat them not just as a tenant, but as a valued client. This can be done by simple acts of kindness, such as small gifts on special occasions and anniversaries.
Take time to talk to them and get to know them. Moreover, respect their privacy by informing them in advance on when you plan to visit.
As a landlord, taking decisive action and making changes will greatly help you attract and retain long-term tenants. Tenants who rent your property long-term will help you save on costs and give you consistent rental income.