11 Surefire Ways to Boost Tenant Retention in Phoenix
Did you know that it costs 5 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one?
Well, it does. And for Phoenix landlords, this means it costs more to fill a vacancy than it does to retain a current tenant.
Vacancies are inevitable, no matter how successful you are as a property owner. In fact, even those using a reliable property management company are going to face vacant rentals at some point. However, if you can slash your turnover rates even a little, you’ll boost your ROI and generate more income. Plus, you’ll end up with happier tenants that want to renew their leases at the end of their tenancies.
If you’re ready to earn more income and stop having to deal with an unoccupied property every year, keep reading. We’ve got the best ways to increase tenant retention in Phoenix.
Top 11 Ways to Boost Tenant Retention
1. Prioritize Communication
Your tenants want to trust that they can get in touch with you or your property manager any time they need help. Whether it be to ask a question or report an emergency maintenance request, your tenants must know who to call and when.
One of the best ways to ensure your tenants know who to contact when they need help is to give them a welcome package when they move in. In addition to having goodies like gift cards, maps, and even baked goods, this package should include a list of important contacts.
You should also make sure the property management company you use offers your tenant several ways of reaching out for help. For example, office phone hours, email, a tenant portal, and an after-hours hotline are all great ways to prioritize communication and boost tenant satisfaction.
2. Know Your Market
Your tenants are going to know right away whether you’re overcharging for your rental property. After all, they’re the ones that have to pay the rent each month.
No matter how well you treat your tenants, if you set the rent rate too high, they will leave as soon as they can. Unfortunately, this means you end up with a vacancy on your hands and no rent coming in. A great way to keep your existing tenant for another lease term is to know the market and make sure you’re giving them a fair deal on the rent. Some money is better than no money, even if that means charging a little under market value.
3. Be Diligent About Tenant Screening
It’s not enough to have a chat with a prospective tenant and decide they’re a good fit for your rental. There’s a lot more that goes into tenant screening than that.
If you want to place the highest quality tenants in your rental, make sure to screen for the following:
- Criminal records
- Previous evictions
- Credit history
- References (personal and professional)
If you take a casual approach to tenant screening, you’re more likely to end up with a vacancy on your hands. It might even come in the form of an eviction, which is not only costly but also time-consuming.
4. Make Paying Rent Easy
65% of renters want to be able to pay their rent online. After all, it’s convenient, available 24/7, and easy to do. Not to mention, it makes the accounting part of being a landlord more accurate and organized.
If your Phoenix property management company has a tenant portal that allows tenants to pay their rent online, you’re in luck. Your tenants are going to love this option and be more likely to stay another lease term thanks to the convenience you provide.
5. Be Friendly
Owning a rental property is not a hobby. It’s a business that requires you or your property manager to make tough decisions, even if your tenants don’t like it. However, there’s nothing wrong with being friendly with your tenants.
While we don’t recommend becoming best friends with your tenants, we do suggest getting to know them on a personal level. For example, ask about their kids, talk about their jobs, or even send a holiday card in the winter. These warm gestures will go a long way when it comes to your tenant’s decision to renew their lease and keep your property occupied.
6. Allow for Temporary Alterations
Sometimes landlords lose sight of the fact that their tenants are calling their investment property home. And while you did your best to create an inviting home for your tenants to live in, the truth is, everyone has their own taste in style. Plus, no one wants to feel stressed out about the tiny nail hole that goes into a wall while renting.
If you want to keep your tenants happy and leasing from you for a long time, consider allowing temporary alterations to your rental. This might include allowing your tenants to paint their child’s room, hang their family portraits without worry, or put up renter friendly wallpaper.
7. Offer Lease Renewal Incentives
There is something about lease renewals that sometimes put tenants on edge. Unless you explicitly state that you’re going to offer a lease renewal at the end of the term, tenants tend to worry and look for somewhere else to live if they aren’t sure. This puts you at a disadvantage. If your tenants find some other place to live, whether you want them to stay or not, you’re likely out of luck.
So, the first thing you should always do is offer a lease renewal to good tenants long before their tenancy is up so they can decide to stay or not.
Secondly, you should offer good tenants some lease renewal incentives to encourage them to stay:
- Gift cards
- Small cash bonuses
- New paint or flooring
- A new appliance
- Reduced rent (one-time or monthly)
Of course, these things will cost you upfront. But retaining your tenant is sometimes worth it in the end.
8. Call Before Visiting
The last thing you want is someone showing up on your front step unannounced. The same rings true for your tenants. Although there will be times when you or your property manager need to visit your property, it’s always nice to call before coming over. This is true even if you have an appointment scheduled.
Not to mention, it’s illegal in Arizona to show up to a rental property without 48 hours notice unless it’s an emergency. So, don’t put your tenant on the spot by just popping by. And show them the courtesy you would expect in your home by giving them a call beforehand to make sure they’re ready for visitors.
9. Maintain Your Property
Ongoing maintenance is another great way to boost tenant retention in Phoenix rental properties. When your tenant realizes that their maintenance and repair requests are answered promptly, they’ll remember that come lease renewal time.
Add in some routine services like pest control, landscaping, and filter replacements, and you’re sure to have a long-term tenant for sure. One reason people rent is that they don’t want to handle the things associated with owning a property. By going above and beyond to show your tenants you care, you’ll earn their loyalty and another year of occupation.
10. Identify the Things Your Tenants Really Want
If keeping your property occupied is a priority, try finding out what your tenants need and want, and convince them to stay by giving it to them.
This is best done during your seasonal property inspections. Not only do property inspections offer you insight into how your tenants are caring for your property, but they also reveal minor repairs that need fixing fast. Plus, it gives you or your property manager a perfect opportunity to see how satisfied your tenants are and what they might need or want.
Though some things will not be cost-effective to provide, there will be things on your tenant’s wish list that you can get. For example, new carpeting, a fresh coat of paint, or a new energy-efficient appliance are the types of things tenants love. And when tenants are happy, they like to stay put in the rental they’re in.
11. Use a Reliable Property Manager
Property managers have a ton of contact with your tenants. The better they are, the more satisfied your tenants will be with their stay, and the more likely they’ll be to renew a lease with you. For you, this means a lower turnover rate and higher ROI.
If your tenants aren’t happy with your property manager, administrative staff, or maintenance crew, you’re going to have a tough time getting them to stay. So, take the time to interview property management companies before hiring them so you work with only the best.
Looking for Qualified Property Management Companies in Phoenix, AZ? Contact us today and see how we can help with boosting your Phoenix tenant retention rate.
At Brewer & Stratton we understand the importance of reducing the costs of vacancies and increasing your ROI. We pride ourselves in offering a level of customer service to both our property owners and tenants that surpasses all other property management companies. Because of this, we remain committed to retaining your Phoenix tenant for the long haul and taking the stress of managing a rental property off you.