As landlord the goal is to retain a tenant for as long as possible, turnover rates mean vacancy which also means no rental income while you’re searching for a new tenant. At California Leasing, we understand how important it is to maintain a low tenant turnover rate for our property owners and that’s what we strive to do every single day, and that’s why we’ve assembled Tips to Minimizing Tenant Turnover.
Every time a tenant vacates a property, it’s important to ensure it is returned to the same or better condition that it was presented to the tenant, and in a perfect world that would be no problem. However, as professionals with hundreds of homes to manage, our expert team knows that isn’t always the case.
Managing property is a separate full-time job that not only means managing repairs and collecting rent everything month, it’s about building a profitable business that includes ensuring a satisfied customer that will continue to use your “product”. We’ve assembled some tips on how to avoid the dreaded tenant turnover, if you’re managing your own property and struggling with maintaining quality tenants in an outstanding market.
1. Market Your Property Appropriately: Representing your property with the best marketing possible, might not seem like something that should be high on the list but it plays a key role in tenant turnover. However, the way you market your home will determine the quality of tenants who will be attracted to your property. California Leasing offers full color photos, fully narrated video tours and tons of extras that highlight the property and it’s attributes. Start with full color edited photos that show off the best parts of the house, and put your property everywhere tenants are looking including social media and on-line listing sites that will help increase your reach. There are plenty of free on-line resources that can make listing your home a snap, and we recommend sites like Canva to edit photos and create quality images to post.
2. Meet Your Prospective Tenants: California Leasing schedules group showings and completes escorted group walk-throughs of every property before they are rented, and this is a good way to ensure that the rental is a good fit for everyone to avoid tenant turnover. While this one might seem like a no-brainer, often times we hear horror stories of landlords who simply completed the transaction via email without ever meeting tenants, and while this can be the case when tenants are relocating to a new area it’s still important to know who is moving into your investment home. California Leasing asks that prospective tenants relocating have a representative meet with our agent and view the property to ensure it meets there needs before signing anything! If you’re managing your investment solo, it’s important to know who you are going to be working with and make certain that it’s a good fit across the board.
3. Throughly Pre-Qualify Tenants: Once you’ve taken the time to meet your tenants, it’s extremely important to throughly vet your tenants with full background and credit checks. The California Leasing team has a system in place that has proven to be extremely successful in acquiring the best tenants with the right income, credit and clean backgrounds. It’s very important to set standards for what is acceptable or not when renting your investment property, and you can view the California Leasing requirements before creating your own. A quality tenant with reputable renting habits and solid credit history, are more likely to remain in a property for longer terms, than one who has questionable items in their past.
4. Build a Working Relationship with Your Tenants: Like with any working relationship, it’s important to build a respectful and open-line of communication with your tenants. Before a tenant moves in, ensure they have the appropriate contact information for you and set up boundaries and guidelines for reporting any issues that might arise. You might want to consider putting together an email (remember always get everything in writing!) that provides the tenant with examples of what is an emergency and what is not, and how to best troubleshoot certain issues. Schedule repairs to be completed quickly and efficiently, and always insure that you are communicating timelines for bigger repairs or if a home warranty might be involved, so as to avoid any frustration and discord. Avoiding tenant turnover could be as simple as communicating with your tenant and ensuring they can communicate with you!
5. Maintain Reasonable Rent: We understand that you don’t want to lose money on your rental property, and that you are looking to achieve the maximum return on your investment. However, raising rent in between rental terms is a tricky situation to navigate. Research averages rents in your area for similar property types to avoid over-charging, and thus potential tenant turnover, where they might search and find a home that better suits their financial needs. Maintaining a rental value might mean avoiding vacancy time which could end up meaning loss of income, so it’s highly important to think increases through before making the move to do so. If you’re uncertain, ask a professional in the area if they can help with the research and weigh your options completely.
We know what a challenge managing property can be, and that tenant turnover is just one issue to deal with. That’s why we offer a variety of options to assist independent property investors in acquiring the best tenants, so you can focus on managing the property you have. If you’ve got additional tips to share to reduce tenant turnover, or if you have questions about managing property, the California Leasing team is here to help our friends and neighbors be as successful as possible!