Vacancies are expensive, especially unexpected vacancies.
Empty properties mean you’re still paying for all the expenses associated with the rental without generating the income to cover the costs. The longer the home is vacant, the more money you spend.
Tenant retention strategies and a focus on lease renewals in Salt Lake City help local landlords prevent unexpected vacancies. They also help to maintain a steady stream of rental income.
But tenant retention in Salt Lake City doesn’t happen by accident. It requires methods and strategies that are focused on keeping tenants happy and maintaining a safe and livable rental property.
If you’re looking for ways to boost tenant retention in your Salt Lake City rental property, keep these six things in mind:
One of the most common reasons tenants break their leases in Salt Lake City is because their landlords are unresponsive or don’t take care of their needs promptly.
Many tenants report that their landlords don’t answer their calls, return their messages, or reply to their emails. This can be frustrating for tenants, especially those who are paying their rent on time.
By prioritizing communication, you’re showing your tenants that their comfort and their issues are important to you.
The landlord-tenant relationship should be treated just like any other business relationship. You’re providing a service and should be transparent about your intentions and your expectations.
A lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings about who is responsible for what.
When you sign a lease with the new tenant, it’s important to let them know what your intended communication method and timeline is. For example, if you’re not much of a texter, let them know. This way, they don’t text you with an emergency and then get upset when you don’t respond. Provide multiple avenues of communication for your tenants so that they can get ahold of you quickly.
If tenants are always having to chase you down to get an answer to their question or a solution to their problem, they won’t stay around for very long.
Ask your tenants what their preferred method of communication is so that you can reach them in the way that works best for them.
Get Innovative With Rent Collection
Another way to avoid unexpected vacancies is to have a modern approach to rent collection. When rent is easy to pay, tenants are more likely to pay it. If they have to jump through hoops to pay their rent, the chances of it being late increases.
Implement an online rent collection program or an app for tenants. Some rent collection apps send out reminders to tenants a day or two before their rent is due and can even automate confirmations to let them know that their rent has been paid.
Implementing an online rent collection option can also make your life easier, especially if you manage multiple properties. Instead of waiting around for checks to come in the mail or having to chase down tenants across multiple properties, you can access rent on one online portal.
Giving your tenant the option to pay rent online can be safer and more reliable than more traditional methods. It’s an easy way to increase tenant retention in Salt Lake City and is easier to track and manage. It can also appeal to a wider audience of contemporary renters.
Be Intentional About Improvements
Along with intentional communication, being proactive with upgrades and improvements is another way to increase tenant retention.
Instead of waiting for things to fall apart, take a more proactive approach. Ask your tenants about what issues they have with the property and prioritize these repairs.
If repairs and upgrades are going to take a while, be honest, and transparent about the timeline. Tenants would rather you tell them the truth that the repair is going to take a few weeks than to drag them along and make them think it’s going to happen faster.
Remember to keep your tenant’s schedule and lifestyle in mind when scheduling repairs and do your best to do these things at a time that is convenient for them.
One way to earn points with your tenants is to make improvements that aren’t necessarily required. Consider upgrading light fixtures, installing new appliances, scheduling a carpet clean, or updating the backyard area “just because.” This is a nice way to improve the value of the home while showing appreciation to the tenant for their loyalty and always paying their rent on time.
When it’s time for your tenants to decide on their lease renewal, they will remember how you were intentional about taking care of repairs and maintenance.
One of the best times to do major repairs and renovations to a rental property is when the home is vacant. Although vacancies typically mean a loss of income, they’re a great opportunity to spruce up the property to attract higher-paying renters.
Be A Good Landlord
This may seem obvious, but one way to improve tenant retention in Salt Lake City is to just be a good landlord. This means being fair, transparent, and honest. Take the time to get to know your tenants and what is important to them. Keep your promises, and practice common landlord etiquette such as:
- Call before coming over to the property
- If you’re mailing important documents, call the tenant so they know to look out for it.
- Respect tenant boundaries. Don’t call or text in the middle of the night or expect immediate responses over the weekends or holidays.
- Remember this is a business relationship. Things can get messy when the landlord/tenant relationship becomes more of a friendship than a business transaction.
- Be consistent, reliable, and accessible.
- When there is a disagreement, stay calm and professional.
- Listen carefully to tenant issues.
- Keep electronic copies of everything and keep documentation organized.
- Know the rental laws in your area.
Don’t Skimp on The Screening Process
One of the best ways to boost tenant retention in Salt Lake City is to make sure you get good tenants in from the beginning. This means spending time and money on careful screening processes.
If you’re dealing with an unexpected vacancy, it can be tempting to quickly fill the vacancy to avoid a lapse in rental income. But rushing through this process could be more expensive than a few months without a rent check.
Start by requiring all tenants to fill out a rental application. This will allow you to look into their:
- Current and previous employers
- How much income they make
- Where they’ve rented before
- Contact info for previous landlords
This basic information will help you determine if the applicant is qualified to pay the rent on time and their reputation as a tenant.
Credit checks, background checks, and contacting previous landlords are all critical steps in ensuring you get the right tenants into your property. If you are managing multiple properties, the tenant screening process can seem a little overwhelming. Many landlords hire a property management company to take care of this very important task for them.
Don’t Be Afraid of the “E Word”
Every landlord worries about the day when they will have to formally evict a tenant.
Eviction can be awkward, frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. But it’s better than having an irresponsible tenant in your property who is costing you money and decreasing the value of your property.
Evicting a tenant should be your last resort, after multiple attempts at reconciliation. If possible, sit down with a tenant to discuss your issues or concerns with their behavior, their rent payment history, and how they’ve been taking care of the property.
If an agreement cannot be made and the tenant behavior is consistently causing you to lose money, do not be afraid to proceed with an eviction. It’s not fun for anybody involved, but it’s better than keeping a bad tenant in your property.
The Bottom Line: Tenant Retention in Salt Lake City Starts with Being Proactive
To boost tenant retention in Salt Lake City, local landlords must be proactive. This means not waiting until a tenant is unhappy or threatening to leave to take care of their issues. It also means being accessible, consistent, transparent, fair, and flexible.
When it comes time for lease renewals, tenants will think back on how responsive you are, how you took care of the property, and how you treated them as individuals.
Keep these things in mind as you build a professional landlord-tenant relationship to avoid expensive and unexpected vacancies.
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