Tenants are the lifeblood of rental property ownership. Without them, you have a vacant property which translates into a loss of revenue. The question remains, how to maximize tenant retention to reduce your loss from your rental property? The answer to this question lies in the communication style that your property management company has with your tenants.
Often enough, it is easy for tenants to view the property management company as an enigmatic, silent, and faceless entity that simply collects their money and sends letters admonishing behavior. If this is the perception your tenants have, there really is no incentive for them to renew their lease other than the fact that they simply do not want to move. The relationship between the tenant and your property management company is not a solid one, and in this situation, it will be a toss-up as to whether or not your tenant will renew their lease.
Communication is key. It might seem like an old cliché, but the more open the lines of communication between your property manager and tenants, the better. It’s essential that tenants feel comfortable going to their property manager with concerns, and that, in turn, the property manager listens with empathy and makes sure the tenant knows they are being taken seriously. As an additional step, the tenant should know and trust that the property manager will be following up with their concerns in a courteous and professional manner. Even if their complaint is something beyond the scope of control of the property manager, it still shows that someone does care.
Showing appreciation for tenants is another step to make them feel more invested in your home. When they renew their lease, some property managers send a thank you card with a small gift card to the local coffee house or a restaurant, or a make phone call to discuss the tenant’s plans. These are small gestures that make the tenant realize how much they are appreciated, and that there is an actual person serving as their property manager.
A couple of extra steps to go above and beyond the average customer service expectations can make a monumental difference in how tenants view their property manager. By making tenants feel valued and heard, a positive change in tenant retention occurs, and thus a positive change in your rental income.
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