Being a property manager is far from an easy job. Whether you’re managing a large complex or just a few units, you’ll certainly have your fair share of daily responsibilities, many of which involve keeping your tenants safe and ensuring they have a habitable space to reside in. Of course, finding tenants isn’t always easy, either — many seemingly don’t know exactly what they want, which can lead to unwanted tenant turnover and cause you to lose out on potential profits. But if you’re struggling to keep tenants under your property’s roof, there are a number of steps you can take to encourage them to stick around longer. Here are just a few ideas to help you minimize tenant turnover.
Undercut The Competition
It’s a basic principle of economics that competition drives down prices. Some tenants break their leases due to financial issues, which is understandable: data from 2016 shows that household income has grown by 28% in the past 13 years, but the cost of living has gone up 30% in that time period.
“It is standard practice for rent to increase every year or two. However, wages often do not increase with the same regularity,” writes Bay Management Group.
If you want to make sure you’ll be able to find tenants quickly and keep all units occupied for as long as possible, slightly undercutting the competition will usually do the trick. To do this, check the prices of similar-sized apartments and price your available units slightly lower. You can also consider requiring less of a security deposit, which could also keep tenants from signing on the dotted line. In general, be fair about the prices you charge your tenants compared to similar housing options — you never know if this is what is keeping tenants away.
Prioritize Tenant Security
It’s not uncommon for tenants to move out after their lease is up if they feel unsafe in any way. Physical security is obviously the number one priority, but cybersecurity is also becoming a necessity in countless industries. The fact is, many landlords and property managers don’t quite realize the risk a breach could have on the safety of their tenants and their business’s digital infrastructure. Over half of all businesses (58%) are worried about cyber attacks, but experts say landlords are exceptionally appealing to cybercriminals, giving them extra cause for concern.
“Landlords are already attractive to cybercriminals because of the sums of money they process and the sensitive data they collect — and when that’s combined with a dearth of security measures, it creates a perfect storm,” writes Robin Burinskiy on All Property Management.
To prevent any of your tenants’ PII (personally identifiable information) from being compromised, take at least basic measures to keep it protected: change your email passwords frequently and familiarize yourself with the many different types of cyberattacks, including email scams, viruses, phishing, botnets, and trojan horses. Finally, if you manage a larger property that accepts rental payments online, make sure the site is secured and monitored frequently.
It may not be possible to remodel every apartment entirely, but taking small steps to improve the rental property in between tenants can help find a tenant faster and improve future profitability. Bathroom additions offer an average of 86.4% ROI, but even upgrading the kitchen appliances or installing new flooring can give the units a much newer feel. Plus, you can take new photos of the property once it’s been improved, maximizing its chances of being rented as soon as possible. Along with that, using local rent reports like this one from ABODO, can help you understand the best pricing methods for your rental.
Ultimately, understanding how to effectively improve and market your rental properties is the key to maximizing tenant retention and profitability.