Tenant turnover can cause many sleepless nights for multi-family property owners. They think of what can be done about that number and mull over it for hours. In order to keep tenants in your building, you need to keep them happy.
Having a revolving door of tenants is costly and cuts into your building’s revenue. After a tenant has moved out, the unit needs to be inspected for damage. In the instance where damage has been done, repairs and other maintenance need to be commenced before someone else can move in. The longer the unit is vacant, the more money you lose. Appliances may also need to be changed. Once the unit is ready to rent out again, the owner needs to advertise—yet another cost added to the list. Lastly, your time is worth something too. You’ll have to show the unit to potential renters.The primary reasons for tenant turnover have to do with poor property management and include problems such as repairs and poor maintenance. The irony being that most of these problems will need to be fixed before a new tenant can move in anyways, so solving the issue for a current tenant makes much more sense.
The easiest solution by far is to do whatever you can to keep your current tenants in place. Although there are some costs associated with this as well, they are generally far less, especially in the long run. When your tenant retention is high, your building’s income will increase.
How to Decrease Tenant Turnover in Multi-Family Buildings
Here are five effective ways to decrease your tenant turnover:
- Make the property feel like home – If your tenants live in a rental community, incorporate attractive features into the community. Add a walking trail, small park, playground, and/or a gazebo. Build a clubhouse with a large kitchen, internet lounge, game room, or even have a pool for residents to use. The comfier the building, the less likely your tenants will leave.
- Keep up with repairs – Do not let any part of the property fall into disrepair. Doing so will give the perception that the community may be of poor quality and dangerous. Maintain the property to the level that tenants reasonably expect.
- Maintain relationships with tenants – Communicate with tenants to see what you are doing well, and identify areas that need improvement. For example, have a satisfaction survey left with each tenant every time maintenance is performed on his or her rental unit. Also, don’t be afraid to get to know them.
- Do a thorough background check – Avoid tenants with past instances of broken leases and/or evictions. Also steer clear of tenants with significant legal issues, as he or she may become incarcerated or cause other tenants to leave. Ask for references from their other landlords so you can follow up and be certain of their history.
- Respond to tenant requests swiftly – Tenants expect timely responses to their requests. Whether the tenant has a question or submits a maintenance request, respond with an answer or a status within a few hours. Make all repairs as soon as possible. Doing so will help both you and the tenant avoid unnecessary hassles.
There are several things you can do as a property owner to reduce tenant turnover. Keeping your tenants happy is of the utmost importance. It’s only when they’re unhappy that they start looking for other places to live. To prevent this situation from occurring, make your building cozy, keep up with repairs, and respond to them in a timely manner. Conducting background checks and maintaining relationships with tenants will also raise your retention rate.