By Operations Team. For more information, contact Robert Parmar
As a property owner, you understand that vacancies in multifamily properties are normal. There will always be vacancies and they can happen at any time of the year. While tenant turnover is never unavoidable, minimizing tenant turnover cost should by the goal.
As times change, so do the needs of your tenants, who are looking for the best possible experience when renting from you. One reason it’s important to be flexible is that tenant turnover is likely one of the biggest costs associated with owning rental property. Of the things that can be controlled, nothing drains profits faster than excessive vacancy and unit turnover cost.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce costly turnover — starting with these seven tips:
Resolve Issues Quickly
One of the biggest complaints from apartment tenants is when the front office and maintenance crews are slow to respond. When you change that narrative, your property will become a top choice in the area. A property that clearly cares about their tenants and their quality of life will be appreciated by current and future tenants. Your property management firm should have the right tools in place to track tenant requests, a system for returning calls, assigning maintenance, and taking care of urgent issues. If that is a constant struggle for your team, it might be time to consider a professional management company like Summerfield Property Management.
Maintain Your Property
Along with prompt responses, regular maintenance should be a priority. There are always necessary repairs when an item breaks, but the daily upkeep of the property will enhance curb appeal that allow tenants to feel proud to call it home. Remember property upkeep doesn’t necessarily mean spending lots of money. It is as simple as having working lights on every building, regular lawncare, clean parking areas, and safe stairwells. With this routine maintenance, the value of your property to tenants will remain constant and can even increase over time.
No one likes hidden fees. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to ensure transparency of housing cost for tenants. This builds credibility and trust. Residents have moved into their unit with a budgetary expectation and for that to be changed without mutual agreement will almost certainly cause a tenant to move as soon as they can. Until then, they are forced to pay the fees or move, which means an unhappy tenant which is never good.
When you work on property and spend a lot of time on the property, it is easy to blur lines and make friends with tenants. It is a positive step to have a good working relationship between residents and staff and it can improve the sense of community but it is more important to preserve a level of professionalism between owner and office staff, office staff and residents, as well as between maintenance and residents. This ensures all tenants feel comfortable approaching the staff about problems and having maintenance in their unit making repairs, even when they aren’t home.
Offer Worthwhile Amenities
The pandemic taught property owners a lot about how to improve their properties and what tenants really want. Worthwhile amenities include ways to make life easier. Gone are the days when large meetings rooms, common office areas, and resident pizza parties top the list for desired amenities. Multifamily tenants want amenities to make life easy such as an onsite dog park, valet trash, reliable high-speed internet, cable packages, laundry services, covered parking, and the list goes on. If you aren’t sure what to add at your property, your manager can send out a survey to find out what your tenants would value. Not only will this provide valuable insight, but it will also give your tenants a voice and that type of validation will go a long way when their lease renewal comes around.
Create a Safe Environment
Safety should always be a top concern. Not every property will be in an idyllic location. Class C or D property might be in an area where safety is more of a concern than a Class A or B property. This doesn’t mean that you, as the owner and investor should reduce safety measures. You can provide each unit with solid door locks, windows that lock, working fire extinguishers in common areas, and a well-lit parking lot at a very reasonable expense. Safety measures should always be taken when possible because when a resident feels safe in their home, they are likely to stay. Tenant concern for safety can lead to a higher vacancy rate.
You appreciate your tenants. They are the lifeblood of your investment property. Without them, you just have an expensive building. By keeping a high occupancy rate, you are able to pay all the operating expenses and hopefully make a good profit. Your tenants rely on you for their housing, and you rely on them to make a good return on investment. When you express appreciation, you are giving them another reason to stay. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Little things like holiday cards, hosting a food truck on Tuesdays throughout the summer, offering pool toys, and even birthday cards can go a long way to let your residents know how much you value them.
In today’s rental market, there are many factors that contribute to tenant turnover. Some renters decide to purchase a home, some move because they don’t like their apartment, and some tenants have sudden difficulties managing their financial obligations. Whatever the cause of your tenant turnover issues, it’s important for a property manager to understand what is going on and make changes in their management operations to increase retention rates.
If you haven’t found success in this department and are currently experiencing higher than market vacancy and excessive turnover cost, we recommend you and your property management firm implement these seven easy things to reduce tenant turnover right away. If you do not feel like your current management firm can deliver, consider Summerfield Property Management as an alternative.
Contact us today and let us show you how our management program can benefit your properties. From well-trained on-site staff to cloud-based operations and call centers, we offer the latest technology and top talent to ensure your properties are managed efficiently and effectively. Don’t settle for less, choose Summerfield for your property management needs.
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