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How to Get Tenants to Renew Leases

April 05, 2022

Easy Lease Renewals

Rental property industry surveys have shown that attracting and retaining high quality renters is gaining top priority among landlords and property managers.

Tenant churn likely to increase now that the pandemic is easing and due to fast rising rents. Unaffordability alone will result in many of them giving up their apartments, condos and rental houses this year. With inflation rising persistently, their rising wages won’t cover the rises in rent. Others still will be moving to new parts of the country for lifestyle, tax or employment reasons.

But many renters leave due to discomfort, stagnation, or some “grass is greener on the other side” belief.  Through strategy, you may be able to keep many of them leased.

Renewing leases is a whole lot cheaper and less time-consuming than trying to acquire a new tenant. Consider that one month of lost rent, cost of advertising, time to market the unit, time to show the unit, inspect and clean the unit, renovate or fix, along with onboarding, and it could equal 2 months rent at least.

Your loyal tenants may also want a roomier place to live, with better appliances, amenities, parking and more. But those are perceptions which you could try to manage.  Keeping all your loyal, reliably paying tenants is good business because it costs much more to replace a good tenant than to keep one.

3 Keys to Leasing Renewal Success

Realistically then, you may have to do more to keep them. That might be accomplished via:

  1. tenant experience management
  2. tenant communications and marketing
  3. leasing technology

Tenant Experience Management

This might fall under the umbrella of tenant management strategy. The tenant experience encompasses everything you do from the initial advertising listing, to creating the right lease, to showing and inspection, to leasing negotiation, to onboarding, to ongoing communications and tenant support activities. You can learn more by clicking on those links that cover the individual facets of the tenant lifecycle.

Tenant Communications and Marketing

Via your software platform’s tenant portal, you can deliver the type of communications that tenants need to receive. That communication isn’t just informational but rather crafted to show respect, concern, and a dedication to make their living experience the best it can be. For tenants, it is all about lifestyle and quality of life. For each tenant, that experience varies. Your tenant communications system can play a big role in getting to know your tenants and easing any issues they may have.

Leasing Technology

Some aspects of the leasing process can be virtualized and automated. If you use customized or templated leases ready to send to tenants, it can make it very convenient for them. And convenience is important to today’s tenants.

Most tenants don’t think too much about it, and may not even read the lease fully. It’s so convenient, they just sign even though they have thoughts about leaving because of the rising rent or other issues.

We’re assuming you’ve spoken with the landlord and know what their needs and intentions are, what concessions might be offered, and what the rent will be. Whatever documents you need to have them read and sign can be sent, with instructions included. In your property management software, you can track customer info, leasing and move in dates, particulars such as pets, parking, etc. The system notifies you and can send the renewal notice out on the day you specify.

Lease based administration: And the lease actually can control activities, late fees, partial payments for utilities, invoice amounts, bills, and rent due, thus enabling automation and consequently much easier administration for busy property staff.

The administrative details apart, the real value of leasing technology is better preparation, fewer errors, and everything executed according to lease dates. Because the real goal is to make being your tenant a breeze.

Continuous Support for Lease Renewal

Your ongoing tenant communications strategy starts when you meet them and when they move in. If you continuously communicate and reinforce your brand, tenants get a laser clear idea of why they should stay put.

And tenants do leave unwisely. They get seduced by other property managers and developments and about feeling better in a new location. Hopefully, when you get feedback, you’ll learn about which apartments/developments they feel are better than yours.

The Lease Renewal Strategy

As a Property Manager, your goal is perpetual lease renewal. Strategy means purpose for everything you do — to keep them feeling good and building intent to stay put. So when you’re thinking about how to get tenants to renew their leases, it’s best to plan how everything will point to that simple goal: lease renewal.

Be Systematic and Use Your Software

A good lease renewal strategy is simple and focused and that makes it easy to do.  Here are the strategic touchpoints to evaluate and improve, during the life of a tenant lease:

  • using media to build and promote your brand (unequalled quality they won’t find elsewhere)
  • tenant communications (from first contact to ongoing updates with tenant)  — builds friendship and caring relations so they feel they do belong and are glad to be renting your property
  • lease writing and presentation online —  (clearly stated, and worded to convey respect and value for the tenant)
  • automating lease delivery through tenant portal
  • style of doing business — transparency, consistency, honesty in communications (trust)
  • communication via phone, email or property management software (relationship building – makes the tenant feel this is where they belong)
  • maintenance and repairs — asking the tenant what they like and how they’re enjoying living there and if there’s anything you can do for them
  • creating an enhancement to unit each year (incentives)
  • responding to their intent/notice of terminating the lease (being ready to respond or make a better offer to them )

All of the above points reinforce the theme of them staying as your tenant and signing the lease soon.

Big Picture Thinking Makes it Simple

This isn’t an automation process. You’re enhancing the timing your personal communications/service in a human way with a underlying message of “stay leased, you belong here.”

 

What you say to tenants, do for them, how you express appreciation, and how you respond tells them whether they should stay.

 

Look at how you onboard, handle maintenance tasks, compose a newsletter, write your leases, and when you reach your tenants. How do your phrase your communications with them? Read those messages again months later like an editor would. Do your old messages sound like you appreciate them and want them to stay?

Even the tone of your voice has an impact. It shows your real intent whether you realize it or not. And for some tenants, these things have big emotional impact.

The Power to Stay or Leave

Some tenants leave because they feel that leaving is the only power they have. In your messaging, you can make them feel they have power to create the lifestyle and relationship with you that they prefer. They can vent their feelings constructively.

Speak about the property professionally and make it sound like a great place to live. Talk about it as though it’s the best launchpad for the rest of their lives. Tenants leave when they have a reason to leave – don’t like the neighborhood anymore, moving to be 10 miles closer to work, or to lease at some other place which has better appliances and amenities.

Ask for feedback on how you can help them feel more comfortable in their apartment or building. Find out what disappointments, friction, and conflicts they have so you know how to make them feel empowered.

What You Visualize Becomes Reality

When you think ahead and visualize positive relationships with valued tenants, everything you do as a property manager or landlord will make business sense. Property management is tenant management.

It’s not enough though to visualize and hope all goes well.  Examine all touchpoints, interactions, and the real value of your property to them, and you’ll find ways to keep them happy.

 

See also: Property SolutionHow to Hire Maintenance Contractors | HOA Management Software | Homeowners Association SoftwareTenant Screening | Tenant Churn | Improve Cash Flow | Cloud Property Management Solution  | Best Multifamily Markets | Multifamily Investment | Multifamily Property ReportWhat Renters Want |  San Francisco Housing Forecast | Furnished Apartments | Phoenix Housing Market Forecast | Las Vegas Housing Market Forecast |  Property Management Companies | Property Management AppsRental Housing Market |  Cloud Property Management Solution

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