Do you own a rental property as an investment? Do you manage the property yourself? One thing many owners don’t realize is the high cost to losing a good tenant. It can easily cost you more than two months of rent every time a tenant decides to not renew their lease.
Check out the chart below. This is based on a 3 bedroom 2 bath home in Hamilton that rents for $2000 a month.
So, what can you do? Here are some tips to help KEEP your tenant for the long term and avoid these costs:
Keeping tenants long term Tip #1
Respond quickly to maintenance issues – Not just emergencies, but all of them. It’s likely your tenant does not contact you often with a maintenance issue. That’s why it’s so important to be responsive, even for small items. I recently had a tenant contact me because a bulb in a high ceiling was constantly flickering. We answered their call quickly and set a time to come to the home the next day. When I arrived, I brought a small step ladder. Turns out, the bulb just wasn’t screwed in all the way. The constant flickering was really annoying to the tenant, so she was very thankful I corrected so quickly. We had another tenant call when her heat stopped working in January. We couldn’t get a tech there that night to fix it, but we were able to drop off a few space heaters to get her through the night comfortably. Offering top notch customer service when the tenant needs help is one of the best ways to make sure they renew their lease each year.
Keeping tenant long term #2
First Impressions – A Sureway Property Manager is always at the home the day a new tenant moves in. It can be a stressful day for the new tenant. Just being present can really impress them. Give them a tour of the property, let them know where the mailbox is, when is trash day, who is the local internet provider. It’s a great idea to even leave a small gift. Maybe a few coffee k-cups or a case of water. For many tenants, this may be the only time you see or hear from them. It’s a great chance to show you appreciate them as new tenants.
Keeping tenant long term #3
Preventative maintenance – I’m a big believer in changing furnace filters. It’s one of the best things you can do for preventative maintenance. One way to impress a tenant is to reach out every few months to see if they need the filter changed. You may be able to walk them through it over voice call or video call. The important thing is it’s another opportunity to impress the tenant with great service. When their lease is up and they are considering leaving, they will remember the high level of service you provided during their lease and they will likely renew.
Keeping tenant long term #4
Be accessible - Tenants sometimes have questions. Here are some recent tenant questions I handled: Can you help me understand my water bill? Where do I get pool passes? Where can I bring bulk trash? My neighbor’s dog is barking – can you help? You may not be able to solve every issue. What you can do is try to help find some type of solution. Make sure you answer calls and emails quickly. Follow up. These types of things will help increase the chances of a good tenant staying in the home for the long term.
Keeping tenant long term #5
Make improvements – If you have a tenant in a property over four years, it may be a good idea to make some improvements. New paint, new carpet, maybe replacing an older appliance are all things that may keep a tenant for many more years. There is a cost to these things, yes. A new dishwasher is likely about $500 installed, painting a 1200 square foot condo could cost $2000-$3000 dollars. But keep in mind the cost if that tenant leaves. The cost if they leave because the property is starting to look shabby is much higher
Sureway Property Management manages over 550 homes in NJ and PA. If you need help managing your investment property or you just have a question about property management, please call me anytime.