Tenant Retention Programs: How To Keep the "Good Tenants"
As property managers know all too well, keeping good tenants is critical yet, sometimes difficult. While you might already offer a referral program to bring in potential new tenants, do you offer any programs to keep the ones you have? If you are looking for a way to reward your good tenants, then we have a few ideas to share!
First, let’s discuss why tenant retention is so critical. Tenant retention means that you are keeping good tenants in your property for the long-term, which means that your property is being lived in and taken care of. It also means, perhaps most importantly, that you are getting paid in a timely manner. Tenant turnover can cost anywhere from $3000 to $5000 (or more) in lost rents, marketing time and any repairs that need to be made to the property after a tenant moves out. Good tenants make your life a little easier because you have the reassurance of knowing you have a steady stream of income and property that is looked after.
There are lots of leasing strategies out there that can be used to analyze tenants, but perhaps the best tactics are the ones that keep your tenants staying put. A tenant retention program does exactly that. By rewarding your good tenants, you’re keeping a steady stream of revenue and asset value. Keep in mind, tenants aren’t going to stay just because you’re rewarding them. There are other factors that come into play, such as the location of the property, the amount of the rent payments, benefits and services offered by you, and other circumstances that are outside of anyone’s control. However, a tenant retention program will make a “pretty happy” tenant, be a “really happy” tenant who feels appreciated. It’s just your way of saying “Thank You”, “ I appreciate you” and there is nothing more important that a few kind words (or in our case actions) to reinforce that connection between you and your best tenant.
Under the right circumstances, however, you can boost your tenant retention by strategically implementing tenant retention programs. Anything involving keeping tenants sounds good, right? But what is a tenant retention program?
These strategies are creative methods for rewarding tenants and enticing them to stay. What are some of these smart strategies?
These strategies are usually based on a few platforms. You could implement a rewards program, for instance, that thanks your tenants for their on-time payments. A popular form of this program involved offering a gift card or gift certificate for timely payments for a year, or you could even offer a credit to their account.
Another great way to entice your tenants to stay put is to offer a referral program. These rewards programs put cash into your tenants’ pockets when they refer another tenant. Make sure to stipulate that the referred tenant must meet the rental criteria and sign a lease!
Tenants are just like you - they love an extra buck! Offering rewards and referral programs offers your tenants the opportunity to earn a few extra dollars while showing them that you care about them.
When setting out the guidelines for your referral and rewards programs, make sure to add in all criteria in the form of a disclosure. Make it fun for your tenants, and make sure all of your bases are covered. These programs are excellent ways to keep your tenants happy. Boosting your tenant retention rate means a steady stream of income and the peace of mind of knowing that you have valued tenants residing in your properties!
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Realty & Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out at www.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube, Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.