Written by Eric Davis
Finally, we get a bit of reprieve from the succession of bad news in the pandemic era. The US vaccination records hit an all-time high at the beginning of April. Because of the latest strides in vaccine development and an aggressive vaccination campaign, we are now seeing renewed confidence in going back to business. We are witnessing workplaces reopen and workers are returning to their old jobs. But we are not out of the woods yet. While we see job growth starting to accelerate, it will take some time for the economy to recover. This means a continued downward trend in lease demand for the real estate industry as renters are still in belt-tightening mode.
A rent signage for a property vacancy.
Vacancies are a considerable concern to property managers and landlords. However, it is unavoidable as some reasons are beyond their control. For example, a tenant might be relocating for a new job or looking to downsize to something more affordable. Money is lost every day a property goes vacant. It is going to take double the amount of work in this economic climate to fill a vacancy for property managers. It will take a lot of time and effort, and they would rather avoid losing tenants if they can. The best way to prevent a property vacancy is to keep your tenants happy and encourage them to stay.
First, The Bad News
An extensive study of long-term renters (tenants who have lived in the same property for more than a year) shows that 56% of long-term renters consider moving out and into another rental property within the next three years. That is just over half of the surveyed long-term renter population.
But There’s Also Good News
The good news is, if your tenants have stayed with you for more than a year, they are more likely to stay longer. The other half of the same study of long-term renters shows that, generally, long-term renters are happy with their current residence citing these reasons:
1. They’re satisfied with the price of the rent
2. They like the area where they live
3. They don’t like the stressful process of moving
What should property managers and landlords do to boost tenant’s satisfaction? Here are four easy ways to get renters to renew their leases:
A contract between a landlord and tenant.
Hello, Welcome Home!
Tenants who feel connected to the neighborhood and the community are more likely to stay for a while. Property managers and landlords should give their new tenants an incentive to stay for the long haul. One simple and practical way is to take the renter on a quick tour of the neighborhood in order to show them around and familiarize them with the community. Another is to provide them with a new tenant welcome kit that could include (but not limited to):
● A welcome gift
1. fruit basket (fruits in season, an “exotic fruits” basket, showcase local produce. etc.)
2. stay well gift basket (hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, alcohol spray bottles, etc.)
3. Bath and home basket (soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, etc.)
4. Baked goods
5. Family items (something for parents and kids)
● Information packs
2. Brochures for notable spots
3. Where to order essential needs
4. Where to get groceries
5. Where are the parks, community centers, playgrounds, places of worship, library, post office, wet market, farmer’s market, etc.
6. Delivery and Takeout menus from nearby establishments
7. Recommendations for where to eat, which bars to go to, where to get fresh produce, etc.
At Your Service!
Property managers and landlords should strive to provide the best customer service whenever possible. That means they should always be available to answer renter queries and attend to their concerns. Having a detailed lease agreement and reviewing it together with the tenant will help to set both party’s expectations and also encourage good rapport between property managers/ landlords and renters. Property managers and landlords should also have a regular inspection schedule in order to catch repairs before they become complaints.
An outline of the organization’s plan best for tackling/resolving an issue.
Always In The Loop!
Keeping your tenants informed is of utmost importance. This open communication will help tenants feel that they are not just renters but are also involved in keeping it a peaceful, safe, and clean space to live in. Property managers and landlords should inform their tenants of any changes, repairs, or maintenance to be conducted on the property. This is true for minor work (landscaping work, paint jobs, etc.) or more sizable jobs/issues (major construction, increases in utility fees or rent, etc.)
Kindness Is Key
Property managers and landlords should be firm in imposing rules and regulations to protect the property’s integrity and keep peace and order. However, they should also remember to be human and be kind. Keep in mind that everyone is facing personal challenges in this COVID-19 pandemic. Some renters may have experienced a job loss or a huge pay cut and may need a little time to get the rent payment together. While property managers and landlords should be reasonable in making exceptions, it’s also good to show empathy and kindness. Showing consideration, especially if your tenant has a good history of being reliable, will earn your tenant’s gratitude and keep them from moving to another rental property.
It is good practice for property managers and landlords to stay updated on any local landlord-tenant laws. Remember that local and/or federal state laws temporarily limit or inhibit property managers and landlords from evicting a tenant who can’t make rent during the pandemic. Check with an attorney if these laws are enforced or updated. When in doubt with local and/or federal state laws, always enlist the help of a lawyer.
Here at Davis Property Management, we strive to keep tenants happy. We know that filling a vacancy opens up a property to loss of rent, so it’s easier to maintain and manage good tenants than to find new ones. Good management is what will make your tenants stay and keep your renters renewing their lease. If you need help with property management, give us a call at 425-658-7471 or email email@example.com to schedule a consultation with us.
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