The rental market can offer great opportunities to home owners who are keen to invest in property and rent it out, creating an income stream which helps them pay for the mortgage and which, in many cases, helps to safeguard their financial future.
Owning property that you can rent out is very much considered an asset. But it often relies on having a consistent stream of short term tenants, or a reliable long term tenant who stays in situ for an extended period of time. And it’s this which forms the basis of the topic that we’re covering in this guide: how to reduce tenant turnover from a landlord perspective.
Why having a long term tenant in place is easiest for landlords
Being a landlord is a multifaceted job, which covers customer service as well as practical support and maintenance work, managing finances, collecting rent, and more. But it also brings with it huge benefits, which include the chance to earn money on a property that you own, with many landlords owning multiple properties as part of an entrepreneurial side hustle or business.
Of course, when a property is vacant, the job list associated with that property doubles – suddenly making you responsible for marketing and advertising the vacancy, conducting viewings, discussing rent agreements, and ensuring that the property remains in excellent condition ready for a future tenant to move into.
The higher the tenant turnover at one of your properties, the more time it spends vacant as you have to clean and repair any issues before re-listing. This means lost revenue, higher stress, and much more time and energy spent getting the property ready for a new tenant.
Tips for reducing tenant turnover
The following advice for landlords taps into some of the core services that we offer here at Pat Robson & Co., combining decades worth of expertise with our up to date knowledge of the rental market and what prospective tenants want to see from landlords before committing to a rental agreement.
1. Make sure that your marketing is spot on
The way that a property for rent is photographed, marketed, and listed can help to ensure that prospective tenants experience full transparency from the early stages of their search. Here at Pat Robson & Co., our Tenant Find Service includes a whole section dedicated to marketing and listing the property to ensure that it appeals to the best possible audience, with professional photographs and support in accurately portraying the details of the property.
We then work with landlords to ascertain the ideal tenant and ensure that marketing covers the platforms and areas where those individuals are most likely to find the property. All of this contributes towards ensuring that the right tenants are placed in a property from the start, thus reducing turnover and establishing a positive relationship between the landlords and their tenant.
2. Screen applicants to ensure that both parties are confident and comfortable
When we talk about this part of the tenant management process, many landlords unsurprisingly think about the benefits of screening applicants from their own perspective. From assessing communication to meeting the tenants and establishing whether they are a good fit, the screening process is an effective way of making sure that you, as the landlord, are happy with the individuals or family moving into your property.
But it’s important to note that this actually works both ways – with the screening also an opportunity for prospective tenants to consider whether the tenancy works for them. From the way that landlords interact with them to the quality of the service and support they receive, this stage can make or break a potential tenant-landlord relationship so is an integral stage of the very early process in tenant management.
Being aligned with your prospective tenant at this early stage is an excellent way to ensure that both you and they feel comfortable with the arrangement, minimising the risk of quick turnover. The team at Pat Robson & Co. combines this with other services as part of our Tenant Find Service – managing enquiries and conducting early screening through viewings and the collation of feedback.
3. Be a good landlord
This one might seem really obvious, but there are little things that you can do and services that you can provide to your tenants which make a world of difference and can ensure that move in day is a positive and memorable experience for them.
A letter or note with numbers to call in an emergency or if something goes wrong is a great way to establish open lines of communication from day one – with the more advice you can provide, the better.
Some other ways that you can maximise your reputation as a good landlord include:
- Providing advice on things like parking, local community regulations and even information about places and events that the area has to offer that the tenant may be interested in learning about.
- Information about the rent, how to pay and what exactly is covered
- Advice on the best suppliers to contact to set-up things like WiFi and other household bills and appliances
- Maintenance information for build-in appliances
It really does come down to considering what tenants might want or need to know when they move in and making it all really accessible for them – making them feel at home from day one.
Often, little details like these can make a tenant feel both welcome and valued, inspiring them to put down roots in your property for longer (and minimising the risk of a quick move).
4. Keep rent collection and property management professional
Yes, you want the rent to be paid on time as a landlord – after all, it’s your business. However, retaining a professional distance is often the best way to handle this and to handle positive relationships with your tenants. That’s why having a professional agency to handle the contractual obligations and ongoing administrative management of your properties is so beneficial – making them accountable for rent collection and more.
Here at Pat Robson & Co., our property management service is heralded by both landlords and tenants as removing the complex and often awkward topic of payment and contractual details between them, facilitating an easy and more positive relationship. Not to mention, when rent is handled professionally by any agency like ours, we send efficient reminders and set clear payment terms which minimise the risk of late payment and make the financial agreement easier for both parties to understand.
5. Manage the upkeep of property effectively and efficiently
Once a tenant has moved in, if they report a problem or need help with an appliance or feature in the property, it is your responsibility as the landlord to provide efficient and effective help.
Maintenance work and repairs are difficult to predict; however, it is up to you as the landlord to ensure that the property remains in a fit state for your tenants to live in. This could mean coming in yourself to help with repairs or appliance checks, it could mean hiring a local service provider, or it could mean leaning on a property management agency to facilitate communication between tenants and approved service providers. Whatever you decide to do, ensuring that there is a contingency plan for emergencies – and taking the time to offer management and maintenance support – is key to a long lasting tenancy.
After all, if you ignore these problems for too long, the tenant may simply find somewhere else to live.
Why hiring a property management agency is the go-to for many landlords
We’ve already covered some of the main roles of a landlord, from fixing up a property and presenting it on the market, to managing the listing, sorting through applicants, and identifying the most suitable tenant for the property. And that’s before they’ve even moved in or started paying any rent!
The fact is that managing a property can be difficult and time consuming – and if it’s not done right, can lead to a high turnover. This increases workload and reduces the income that you get during the periods in which the property is vacant – losing you money.
Rather than trying to juggle all of the above requirements yourself, working with a trusted company that offers property management services can streamline the entire process from marketing the listing through to signing the contract and managing the ongoing expectations of tenants.
Get in touch today to learn more about our Tenant Find Service and how Pat Robson & Co. can help with all your property letting needs.