Finding reliable, long-term residents is one of property managers’ most important tasks. Keeping units occupied and bringing in steady rent payments are crucial to any rental property’s success. How can property managers ensure their residents feel appreciated and acknowledged during lease renewal?
Keeping residents happy as their lease renewal approaches can mean more than another month’s rent. Small gestures can reassure residents that they are appreciated and that their needs will be taken care of, as quickly and completely as possible. Everyone wants and deserves to feel safe and happy in their own home, even if that home is owned by someone else.
Make the process simple. Lease renewal should not cause stress to your residents. Make sure they have all the information and documentation available beforehand so they have time to review it and ask about any changes or new policies. If you can offer an electronic option, this can be extremely helpful to residents who work long hours, travel, or have busy schedules.
For residents approaching renewal, ask about necessary upgrades, repairs, or concerns they may have. This will let residents know that you are committed to keeping them happy and ensuring their rental unit is up to date, safe, and modernized. Assess the reports and give a realistic time-frame as to when work can be completed. New appliances or cosmetic upgrades may seem expensive, but the price is often far less than what it will cost your building for a vacant unit or find a new resident.
Offer incentives. You can really be creative with this depending on what you can offer to residents. If you have units opening up, ask current residents for referrals in exchange for money off rent or a gift card to a local restaurant. You can also engage residents through social media by running contests or drawings. For example, you can let residents know that the first 100 people to complete their renewal will be entered in a drawing to win a free month’s rent. Not only will this encourage residents to process their renewal quickly, but the opportunity to live a month rent free may also sway residents who were considering a move.
Start a conversation. While you should keep in contact with residents as often as possible, nearing lease renewal is a good time to send an email, make a phone call, or stop by for a visit. Residents will want to feel your presence and know that communication lines are always open. Simply being responsive and available can be enough to keep residents happy and encourage long-term stays.
A kind word or a small gesture can go a long way. Do not underestimate the power of appreciation. Making residents feel special is a task property managers should work on all year round.