Resident Retention: 5 Simple Property Management Strategies to Retain Residents

Lee Blackburn

As Nashville property managers, we’re always trying to create a great rental experience for our tenants. It’s a priority for us because it leads to better tenant retention. 

Tenant turnover is expensive for owners, and we want to help you avoid that expense. We also know that turnover can disrupt your cash flow and your consistent rent collection. It leads to vacancy loss, and it often involves expensive repairs, upgrades, and cosmetic improvements. There’s cleaning and marketing to be done. All of which needs to be paid for out-of-pocket because there isn’t any rent coming in on that particular property.

One of the best ways to increase what you earn on your property is to retain your tenants. 

Lease renewals are better for business than finding new tenants. You also enjoy more stability and safety for your investment property. The cash flow is more consistent and there’s a growing return on investment (ROI). 

If you’re looking for ways to boost your own retention numbers, here are five simple property management strategies that will help you renew your lease agreements with your best residents. 

1. Communicate Expectations with Tenants 

Your plans for tenant retention begin as soon as you make contact. The relationship you want to establish starts as soon as your prospective tenants get in touch to ask about your property. 

Make the process of showing and applying for your property as easy and convenient as possible. Then, make sure the move-in process is a breeze. When you are clear about your move-in procedures, tenants feel like they understand what will happen and when it will happen. 

Always discuss your expectations at the start of the tenancy. Go over the lease agreement in detail and answer any questions. When tenants understand what they’re responsible for and what you expect from them, they’ll feel confident and comfortable as they settle in and begin living in their new home. They also won’t hesitate to get in touch with you if there’s any confusion. 

Be an open and transparent communicator. Listen actively. Be responsive and available. This will get your relationship off to an excellent start, and good relationships lead to better retention. 

2. Provide a Positive Rental Experience in Nashville

Your job is to ensure your tenants never want to leave. 

The best thing you can do to keep good tenants is to provide a pleasant and stress-free rental experience. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Invest in a positive, professional relationship. This starts with communication and with treating your tenants like the customers they are. Make sure they feel valued and appreciated.   
  • Check-in once in a while. Tenants shouldn’t hear from you only when something’s wrong; like rent is late or the water needs to be shut off for repairs. See how they’re doing after a repair is made. 
  • Provide thoughtful cards and gifts on birthdays and holidays. A move-in gift is also appreciated.
  • Share resources tenants may find helpful, such as local school information or new restaurant openings in the area. 
  • Make renting from you easy. Ask for written maintenance requests so they don’t have to play phone tag with you. Provide a way for rent to be paid electronically. 

You should consider conducting routine surveys to find out what’s going well for your tenants and what they wish to see improved. 

3. Maintenance Matters to Nashville Tenants  

Immediate maintenance responses lead to retention. 

Not every landlord realizes just how important it is to respond to maintenance requests right away – even if they’re minor. Tenants will notice what you do and what you don’t do. 

Emergencies, you are prepared to respond to right away, and that’s fantastic. Why not respond to routine maintenance issues with the same sense of urgency? When you respond quickly to maintenance needs, tenants feel like you’re taking their needs seriously and that you care about their comfort and happiness. One of the main reasons that tenants leave rental properties is because repairs were not taken care of in a timely manner. Not a great way to lose a tenant. 

4. Pets are a Plus

We recommend you allow pets. There are several reasons for this, and one reason is that tenants who own pets are more likely to renew their lease agreement. They’re not going to move out when the lease ends. Who wants to pay another pet fee? Who wants to find another pet-friendly property? Not your residents who own dogs and cats. 

A majority of tenants in Nashville have at least one pet. So, allowing pets cuts down on your vacancy risk. It also increases the likelihood that you’ll retain your residents. 

5. Raise the Rent, but not Outrageously

If the market demands it, you should definitely raise your rent when you offer tenants a lease renewal.

Raising the rent every year when the lease renews is typical, and most tenants in Nashville will expect a slight increase. However, keep the amount reasonable and market-driven. Don’t overprice your property at renewal time. A price that’s too high will only inspire tenants to look elsewhere for more value.  

When you have great tenants in place who pay rent on time every month and cause little trouble, you want to retain those tenants. These are the residents you’re hoping to renew year after year, so implement a small increase that matches inflation and the market rental values. You don’t want to be at the high end of what similar properties are renting for. Keeping a good resident in place is more valuable than a couple of extra dollars in rent every month. 

Your tenants will take a look at the market and see what else is out there. We recommend that you raise your rent enough to cover your higher expenses but leave the rental value just below market rent. This will show residents they’re getting a value with you, and they’ll be more likely to stay. 

Contact Property ManagementThese are five of our hottest tips for tenant retention. We can tell you more, and make sure you avoid vacancy and turnover costs whenever possible. Please contact us at Omni Realtors & Property Management.