Retaining quality tenants is one of the most important aspects of owning a Tampa rental property. Having a tenant renew their lease plays a pivotal role in the success of your rental property and alleviates the stress associated with finding a new tenant.
Renewing the lease agreement with a tenant ensures continuous occupancy of your property, eliminating any periods of vacancy and ensuring monthly payments. When a quality tenant chooses to extend their lease, it significantly contributes to maximizing your profits as a property owner.
As experienced Tampa property managers, here are 5 strategies to improve tenant retention in Tampa, Florida.
Screen All Tenants
The first step towards retaining quality tenants is having quality tenants, and there are some essential steps to do so. Screening all potential tenants is the only way you should enter into a lease agreement. Tenant screening processes dive into the rental and financial history of potential tenants to ensure they are stable and qualified to live in your property and pay rent.
Tenant screening processes typically include investigating:
- Credit history
- Debt to income ratio
- Nationwide eviction search
- Background check
- Income and employment verification
- Previous two years rental verification
Ensuring your tenants are responsible and reliable is equivalent to laying the foundation of a thriving rental property asset. Screening tenants minimizes the risk of late rental payments, property damage, or legal conflicts. With a goal of tenant retention in mind, be sure to find tenants you would be happy with living in your house for multiple years.
Communicating With Tenants
As a property owner and landlord, the way in which you communicate with your tenants can have all the difference in their decision to renew the lease. One of the most important strategies to improve tenant retention is effective communication. When a tenant is living in your rental property, it is your responsibility to maintain an open line of communication.
Communicating with your tenants means responding to concerns promptly and updating them on any changes being implemented. Prior to implementing any changes to your property or lease agreement upon renewal, we highly recommend consulting with your tenant first — your tenant will not appreciate abrupt and unexpected changes like a high rent increase or remodeling.
Although it is your property, your paying tenants are what keep your investment afloat. A landlord has an obligation to be honest as trust and transparency play a big part in gaining the respect of, and retaining tenants.
In addition, your means of communication is a contributing factor to the satisfaction of your tenants. Thanks to technology, communicating is easy, and tenants would like to keep it that way. According to research by Buildium, “As of 2023, 90% of renters are interested in completing rental processes online, ranging from 72% of the oldest renters we survey to a full 96% of the youngest renters”. Communication doesn’t have to be complicated. According to this study:
- 59% of people prefer text
- 48% of people prefer email
- 42% of people prefer phone call
- 18% of people prefer in-person
- 14% of people prefer paper notice/ mailed letter
- 6% of people prefer social media
Communicating with your tenant by their preferred means of communication will allow for trust and comfortability and will highly improve tenant retention.
Prioritize Tenant Concerns and Property Upkeep
When tenants enter your property, your job as a landlord is not over. Now that you have people living on your property, it is your responsibility as the owner to ensure tenant’s concerns are addressed promptly. Addressing the concerns of your tenants will establish mutual respect; an important aspect in the tenants’ decision to renew their lease.
A newly renovated or centrally located home is rarely enough to encourage tenant retention. A landlord plays a large role in the living environment and can make or break the decision. Do not deprive your tenants of the information or answers they are looking for. People say that “everyone has a bad landlord story”— don’t let it be you.
In addition, the upkeep of your property is a major influencer in the experience and satisfaction of the tenant. Property upkeep responsibilities will differ depending on each situation and will be specified in the lease agreement. It is crucial that you adhere to your responsibilities and maintain your property.
One of the most important responsibilities as a landlord will be taking care of maintenance and repair issues. No tenant wants to live in a house with broken appliances, leaks, or other maintenance issues. Addressing these issues when they come up will prevent conflict, allow for a comfortable environment, and increase the likelihood of tenant retention.
Fair Rental Rates
If you currently have high quality tenants and want to improve your tenant retention rate, it is essential to keep your renewal rate at a fair price. If you drastically increase the rent from the price your tenants are currently paying, not only will it catch them off guard but it will encourage them to look elsewhere. Increase in rent is one of the most common reasons people do not renew their lease.
Although rent increases were necessary and warranted between 2020-2022, the rental market in Florida has begun to slow down. Unlike the past few years, rental rates have decreased and rental property owners are unable to skyrocket their rents upon renewal. Property owners and landlords must note that listing your property at the same price as a year ago will not be beneficial. As rent has decreased for 15 consecutive months, we encourage property owners to re-evaluate their listing prices.
It can be difficult to decide the right price for your property’s monthly rent. You want to make sure it is high enough to allow for a profit, but not too high where tenants decide not to renew the lease agreement. At The Listing Real Estate management, we can conduct a free rental price analysis to provide you with an accurate rental price that will help improve tenant retention.
Hire a Tampa Property Management Company
Hiring a Tampa property management company will significantly improve tenant retention and enable you to optimize your income and financial returns. Property managers possess a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be a significant asset to your rental property.
The Listing Real Estate Management has an extensive tenant screening process to ensure each tenant is well-qualified and reliable. We strictly enforce our tenant criteria so that each rental property will thrive.
In addition, a key advantage of hiring a property manager is that they will deal with tenant communication, maintenance issues, and all aspects of the rental process. Working with a property manager will ensure smooth and prompt communication, preventing any conflicts that would lead the tenant to end their lease. We work with a network of licensed and insured vendors to address maintenance issues promptly and efficiently.
With efficient communication and reliable maintenance solutions, tenants feel safe and secure in the home and develop a sense of trust with the property manager, improving tenant retention.
How to Improve Tenant Retention
At The Listing Real Estate Management, improving tenant retention is one of our top priorities for our rental property owners. Working with us means working with a team of professional property managers with experience and knowledge. We will guide you and your property to success through top-notch services that encourage tenant retention.
As your boutique property managers, we find value in managing your property and taking the time to educate, align, and guide you on your successful property management journey. We have years of experience teaching and being a resource for rental property owners across Central Florida.
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