If you’re a landlord or rental property owner, you know that keeping good tenants in place is the key to keeping money in your pocket.  But what’s the key to tenant retention?

In the words of President Obama, let me be clear:  It is money in your pocket if your tenant renews their lease year after year.  No vacancies to cope with, no advertising, no screening.  It pays to keep tenants as happy as possible; tenant retention is extremely profitable.  Here are some tips that could help:

  1. When they call with a problem, listen carefully and be responsive.  If the problem is nit-picky, respectfully explain to them that you will not be able to take care of that problem quickly, but will look into it at a later time.  Be upfront and honest with them  If it is a serious problem (for instance, in Florida if the HVAC system breaks) take care of it ASAP.  They will remember and appreciate that.
  2. If you drop the ball on something major, make it up to them.  An apology and a $5 Starbucks gift card and will go a long way towards tenant retention which will save you money in the long run.
  3. Keep in touch with them, but also respect their privacy. There’s a fine line between just touching base and being intrusive.  Tenants might appreciate a check in call to see how things are going after about 6 months, but don’t ever just drop over. Keep them up to date and notified of any planned work that will be done as well.
  4. Rent to families with children and pet owners. They’ll often be more inclined to stay more than a year once the kids settle in the neighborhood and in school.  Also, over 50% of tenants own pets.  Don’t limit yourself to only non-pet owners.  Collect extra security deposit in the form of a pet deposit and call it a day.
  5. To minimize vacancy and get a great tenant, consider offering properties slightly under market rent. This creates a greater pool of qualified tenants to choose from and allows you to select the best qualified from the group.
  6. Be fair if your tenant is a little late one month, especially if they just forgot to send in the rent. A lot of landlord coaches will tell you to be extremely firm with rent times but I have found that strategy to build bad blood between landlord and tenant.

Good tenants are hard to find.  When you find one, you don’t want to let them go.  Implement some of these tenant retention tips and reduce your vacancy rates as soon as possible!

On a side note, if you don’t have time to worry about tenant retention, perhaps the best advice is for you to find a great property manager.  If you’re in Central Florida, contact us to find out why we’re the best solution for your Orlando property management needs!