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Property Management Blog

Keeping Good Tenants

Mendell Gosnell - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Keeping Good Tenants

Property managers and owners can save money in advertising and “make ready” expenses by simply focusing on keeping the tenants who pay their rent on time, keep their rentals clean and are generally friendly to the other tenants around them. Consistently losing your good tenants can take money right out of your pocket and makes your multi-family, single family or condo a far less valuable asset. Should you have a high turn-over rate, we’ve put together a few reasons why that may be happening, and what you can do to reverse it.

  1.  Customers will not return to a place where they were treated poorly.

In Calming Upset Customers, Rebecca Morgan describes the reasons people stop being your customers:

  • 3% move out of the area
  • 5% buy a house
  • 9% find a better place
  • 14% just simply don’t like their apartment
  • 65% felt slighted in some way by their landlord or staff

A 65% customer loss is huge; however, the good news is that great customer service can control that number.

  1.  When you don’t know what’s wrong you can’t fix it.

Most people don’t complain when there is a problem. In fact, according to a Technical Assistance Research study, only 1 out of 10 people will likely speak up when they have a problem. The renters who don’t complain are also the ones who get the most upset. You may never hear about it, but their friends will. They pay their rent on time, take care of the property and are probably your best tenants. However, if you don’t know something is wrong, and get a chance to fix it, they won’t be your tenant for long. You need to hear about complaints. If you don’t hear about, it may get posted as a bad review on resources like Yelp or Google Places, and then you’re in real trouble. Residents who complain and are satisfied with the response are likely to renew their lease agreements.

  1.  Give your tenants the opportunity to voice their concerns

Here are some tools to help tenants alert you to potential problems:

  • Periodically, place a “Just Checking” card on your tenant’s front door, asking for maintenance requests.
  • Leave a “Rate Your Maintenance” card when a service request is completed, so you know the work was completed to both your standard and that of the tenant.
  • Include a “Maintenance Request” card in each month’s rental invoice, to give your tenants a friendly reminder that repairs and maintenance are important to you.
  1.  Residents may never tell you exactly what the problem is

Whatever the reason, residents do get upset–justified or not. In order to make a resident happy, you must determine the source of the problem. A few reasons for an upset resident may be:

  • Don’t feel listened to.
  • Embarrassed by doing something incorrectly.
  • Expectations have not been met.
  • Already stressed-out from a day at work.
  • Had a fight with spouse.
  • Was told two different things by different people in the office.
  • Was promised something that hasn’t been delivered.
  • Has waited too long.
  • Damage done to personal items.
  • Told “I’ll call you back,” and never received a call.
  • Someone in the office has argued with him.
  • Was given an out-of-the-blue reply.
  • Tenant’s integrity or honesty was questioned.
  • Someone laughed at something the tenant didn’t feel was funny.

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