But there are a select group of tenants that would be more than happy to stay in the community where they rent; provided that they’re happy.
So how do you make…and keep your tenants happy? Perhaps most important is good customer service. Most people, by nature, do not really enjoy moving frequently and will likely find reasons to stay where they are, providing that they receive the following:
- Good staff responsiveness – Do you always respond promptly to tenant requests? Are maintenance issues resolved quickly and professionally? Are complaints or other issues handled properly, or are they just put aside? These are all important issues and tenants will remember how they are handled (or not handled) at renewal time.
- Maintaining the look and quality of the property – Obviously, your properties should be maintained anyway, but many tenants that do become dissatisfied with their apartment home cite issues such as “the property went downhill.” While not very descriptive, this can mean anything from neglected landscaping, trash scattered throughout the property, or becoming careless about whom you rent to. Tenants think of their apartment as their home, and coming home to suspicious characters hanging out in the parking lot, or trash blowing around in the wind will make a tenant seriously consider moving come renewal time.
- Keep them informed and involved – What’s going on in the community that you can share with your tenants? A monthly newsletter, holiday wine & cheese parties, an annual property yard sale, all of these things help to create a feeling of community, and that can be potent.
- Consistency in Staffing – While a change of staff cannot always be prevented, it’s important to maintain some consistency in the rental office. Tenants often become very attached to office personnel, and frequent staff turnover may not only affect property performance, but tenant turnover as well.
While there will always be tenant turnover, building and maintaining a solid community will help you maintain more of your tenants come renewal time.