Attracting, screening, and placing high-quality Santa Cruz tenants is an important part of the rental process. Retaining those tenants is even more important, especially when you’re thinking about the cost of turnover and the value of stable and consistent income.
Tenant retention plans often don’t get the attention that they deserve. It should be a priority, especially if you want to reduce vacancy. Avoid unnecessary vacancies and increase your retention rate with these simple tips.
Screen for Long-Term Santa Cruz Tenants
Tenant retention isn’t something you should scramble to think about as a lease term comes to an end. It should be part of the entire tenancy, and it even starts before you approve a resident. Think about the likelihood that you’ll renew a lease agreement when you’re screening your tenants. Look for a long-term renter who will not only fulfill the lease term but renew the lease when it’s time.
Your tenant screening process should be about more than credit reports and income verifications. Check for evictions, too. Make sure you’re closely reviewing the applicant’s rental history. If an applicant tends to move every six months, you aren’t starting with great chances of retaining them. On the other hand, if you come across an applicant who has stayed in rental properties for three years or more, you’re looking at a resident who may be easier to retain.
If you invest more time upfront finding the right tenants for your Santa Cruz rental property, you won’t have to invest nearly as much time and money to fill vacancies when tenants decide to leave.
Communicate Often and Openly
Responsive and accessible rental property owners have an easier time retaining tenants than landlords who are non-responsive or difficult to talk to. Make sure you’re communicating with your tenants. Be helpful and provide resources. When you’re willing to be a positive and professional partner in the tenancy, you’re more likely to build a good relationship that will result in longer lease agreements. No one wants to renew a lease with a landlord who is unpleasant to deal with or routinely unavailable.
Maintain Your Santa Cruz Rental Property
Well-maintained properties will do an excellent job of retaining good tenants, so it’s important to respond to routine repair requests quickly. If you’re slow to respond or you forget what was requested, your tenants are likely to leave at the end of the lease term. Make maintenance a priority, and respond to repair needs with a sense of urgency and respect for your tenant’s requests.
You’ll want to do more than respond to emergencies and close out routine repairs. If you really want to impress your residents and give them a reason to stay, pay attention to property improvements and occasional upgrades. Good renters want to live in a home that’s attractive and comfortable. Replace out-of-date appliances, make sure the walls have fresh paint, and pay attention to curb appeal.
Rental Increases Must Match the Market
Rental increases are normal, and most tenants will generally expect them. But, you don’t want to chase away a great tenant with an increase that is outside of what the market will demand.
Do your homework. Take a look at what similar properties are renting for, just like you did when you established the rental value initially.
There’s a lot more to learn about tenant retention, and we’d be happy to share some additional strategies with you. For more information, please contact us at Real Estate Eight Three One. We can answer all your Santa Cruz property management questions.