If property managers and landlords had their druthers, all their tenants would pay their rent on time every month, not cause disturbances that may distress other residents, and stay in their units forever, never even considering a move.
Unfortunately, tenants come and go. Presenting new tenants with a well-maintained rental unit with desirable appliances, fixtures, and amenities is not always enough to keep them on your property. The best kind of tenants usually expects more. When the property manager gets sidetracked with tenant screenings, move-ins and move-outs, walk-throughs with prospective tenants and the endless responsibilities he or she juggles, they may not have the time, or they may even forget to make simple upgrades to the property. Again, the best kind of tenants expect more, and when it appears that things are being neglected, they can become anxious, lose trust in the property manager, and begin debating whether or not to renew their lease.
Here are some ideas for attracting long-term tenants, keeping them, and ultimately minimizing vacancies. If some of these seem trivial or petty, fair enough. But if a tenant is coming home every evening to things that bug him or her about the place, they’re not going to want to keep coming home there.
White walls may be good for showing a unit, but they do little to nothing for visual interest among prospective tenants. Same for tan walls. Consider some trendier wall color options, such as light gray.
Grey is the cooler, smarter, more fashionable cousin of white that everyone likes. Its neutral tone can have a calming, elegant effect. It can also have a stimulating effect, which makes it a perfect choice for accommodating any décor and personal taste.
Get some advice if you’re not a color connoisseur. Better yet, allow your tenants to choose their own paint color, or to choose from a list of pre-approved colors. When tenants get to make important decisions like what wall colors they’ll be living with for the next year or more, they feel more at home in their place and stay longer.
When it comes to window treatments, don’t go cheap. Plastic or aluminum window blinds
look drab, and ugly. Consider upgrading to a faux wood blind or allow your tenants to choose their own window treatments. This s one more simple, albeit slightly more costly way of keeping tenants long-term.
Few conveniences please renters more than in-unit washers and dryers. The added expense can go a long way toward keeping your rentals highly desirable. Today’s washer-dryer-in-one machines make space in tight units no longer an obstacle.
Kitchens are very important when it comes to tenant appeal. If your units' kitchen cabinets are perfectly functional but look dated, give them a modern boost with a new coat of paint or stain, or have them re-faced. Replace old handles and pulls with something more contemporary and appealing. Remove old laminate countertops and replace them with prefab countertops or even granite for maximum tenant appeal, if your budget can manage it. Most tenants prioritize the look and feel of a kitchen, so offer them a room to which they are happy to come home.
Bathroom and kitchen fans
Tenants won’t use old, soiled, noisy kitchen and bathroom fans, and they’re just one more item
that can cause dissatisfaction with a unit. Replace old fans in these rooms with new fans. It’s a small expense, and you’ll eliminate the accumulation of moisture since your tenants will be happy to put them to use.
RentVest Property Management offers customer-centric property management services to property owners in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Dallas, Phoenix, Tucson, Reno, and Hawaii. To learn more about our full-service management benefits, visit the RentVest Property Management website.