Tenant retention is probably the single most important factor that determines the sanity of the property manager, the happiness of the tenant and the profitability of the tenancy.
Tenants that are happy with your management will recommend you to their friends, be more mindful of the property and appreciate the efforts made. This will ultimately result in less turnover of tenants. Less tenant turnover will mean less voids and less agency commission.
So how do we improve tenant retention?
- Start by recognising the tenants as customers
- Improve your systems so issues are picked up and dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible
- Ensure tenants are kept up to date with relevant information and documents are easily accessible
- Build a reliable team of contractors so that you are never reliant on one or two skill sets
- Don`t buy the services of the cheapest contractor, redoing works is expensive and leads to tenant frustration
Let`s look at each area in a little more detail:
Tenants are customers
For years the relationship between tenants and landlords was very much “them and us” and often the psychology was that “landlords are doing tenants a favour”. Tenants are customers, and should be treated as such. That’s not to say that the customer is always right but it does mean that as customers they have rights and are entitled to receive a professional service.
Improving your systems
Good technology is very important. Make the correct investment in a system that best suits your business. There are many systems available. Narrow them down to the ones that are
- Cloud based
- Offer true mobile compatibility
- Provide interfaces for your invited user groups such as tenants and contractors to access information and allow for communication
Look at what`s out there, investigate and interrogate the providers to find what best works for you.
Keep tenants up to date
Improving transparency and keeping tenants informed will improve your tenant retention. What tenants find especially frustrating is not knowing what`s going on when an issue is raised or when they ask for documents that they are not easily accessible. This can be dealt with by good technology. Tenants that are able to access their own documents or log in and track issues raised will gain confidence in you as a property manager.
Building a team of contractors will reduce your reliability on any one person. Besides, when your tenant raises a problem speed and efficiency to turn it around is all the tenant cares about. He or she won`t care if your contractor is busy or his van has broken down. Being able to offer your tenants raised issue to more than one contractor and having the job dealt with in the quickest time is the way forward for both you and your tenant. Good technology is now available to help deal with this very important and often stressful relationship. Namely that between you, the tenant and contractor
Contractors that are good at their jobs
It’s a false economy to buy the services of a contractor just based on price. Check them out, speak to others that have worked with them, review their feedback, all this will pay in the end. Once again good technology can help.
Contractors as far as tenants are concerned are part of your team, their work and manner will reflect on you.
Arthuronline was developed and built by landlords who recognised that tenant retention was paramount to the success of their portfolio. Applying the basic rules above Arthur has developed mobile and PC based technology that focuses on transparency, communication, work flow, document sharing and contractors. As a landlord who uses Arthur I have found tenant retention has improved substantially over the years. Whilst some of that may be attributed to market conditions I believe that good technology has been the overriding determining factor. Don`t take my word for it, take a look at how a tenant and contractor have found using this technology.