Tenant Retention: How to Decrease Apartment Turnover

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If it’s hard for you to get your tenants to renew their unit leases, you may have a problem with tenant turnover. Ideally, you’d like good quality tenants to set up camp for a long time, but that usually doesn’t happen. A new job or circumstances can cause your tenants to leave, or it could be a problem with your building.

If you notice your tenant retention is down, you may have a problem with your building that you will need to fix soon. The longer your units sit empty, the more it will cost you. Word will also get around about your building’s issues.

How to Decrease Apartment Turnover

The first thing you’ll want to do is complete a building inspection, especially if one hasn’t been done in a while. A building inspection will assess your apartment for problems like high tenant turnover, and determine the root cause of them. This assessment is like a diagnostics test for your building—it helps keep it running smoothly by identifying potential problems. A building inspection should be completed every three years by a qualified professional or your property management company.

If something external or vital to the building is wrong, the building inspection will catch it. Maybe tenants are leaving due to constant maintenance issues or exterior problems. Once the issue has been identified, you can make a plan to fix them.

Next, inspect each individual unit for damages and wear and tear. The inside of units should be inspected at least three times a year and after a tenant moves out to ensure they are being properly maintained. If you’ve been putting off unit maintenance that needs to be fixed, your tenants will be fed up with the problem. No one wants to live in a unit that’s unsafe or damaged. Immediate action should be taken to rectify these problems. If your units are in impeccable shape, let’s move on to the next item on this to-do list.

Look to Your Competition

Once the inside and outside of your building has been inspected, it’s time to compare your rental rates to others in the market. In a time when people are still cautious about where they spend their money, a high rental price will drive tenants away to cheaper apartments. Take a look at your competition’s price to make sure yours are comparable. If they aren’t, you need to make a change. Pull out the calculator, and do some math to determine how much you can lower the rent of your units.

The last thing you can do to decrease tenant turnover is improve your tenant communication and responsiveness. If tenants feel like they aren’t being heard or that they are being ignored, they’ll move to a place with a more attentive manager.

If your tenants have any complaints or issues, respond to them immediately. You don’t have to have the problem fixed, but they should know you are looking into it. Send them follow-up correspondence when you have a solution or the problem has been fixed. Tenants should also be notified formally of things like rent increase, building-wide maintenance, new apartment rules, etc. Failure to communicate any of these changes can result in angry tenants. To keep them happy and renting longer, communicate clearly, effectively, and promptly.

Tenant turnover can be tricky to address as there can be several factors that influence a high rate of it. To decrease a high tenant turnover number, complete a building inspection, along with inspections of each unit. Also, compare your rental rates to market ones to make sure you aren’t out to lunch, and improve your tenant communication and responsiveness.  

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