How to Keep a Resident for 20 Years

How to Keep a Resident for 20 Years

Keeping a resident long-term is a tall order. That’s because maintenance issues, rent increases,  poor management, better opportunities, and personal life change can all lead any resident to potentially end their lease rather than renew. But it’s definitely in your best interest as a landlord to do all you can to maintain a positive, long-term relationship with great tenants.

Why? Because this is the fastest route to maximizing your rental property profits!

While it may seem impossible to control a lease renewal outcome, there are steps you can take to keep reliable tenants around. In this article, we’ll explore several strategies to keep a resident you love for 20 years (or as long as possible).

Let’s dig in!

Choose the Right Property or Improve Your Current Property

If you are putting your own home on the rental market, you may not have much control over the characteristics of your property. Some features such as loud or busy locations, power lines on the property, or steep driveways and landscaping are seen as less desirable and can affect the rental rate you can charge for your property.

However, even if your property has a few less-than-ideal features, you can still implement other updates that will attract residents. Replacing appliances with newer, more efficient models, implementing low-maintenance landscaping, and offering additional management services like pest control services go a long way in making a property more desirable for residents.

If you’re looking to make some changes, or if you’re in a position to purchase a new property purely to rent it out, you should consider these characteristics:

  • Location: Proximity to amenities such as schools, parks, shopping centers, and public transportation.

  • Safety: Low crime rates and a safe neighborhood.

  • Condition: Well-maintained with modern appliances and updated interiors.

  • Curb Appeal: Attractive exterior and landscaping.

  • Amenities: Features like in-unit laundry, parking, outdoor areas, etc.

  • Space: Adequate living space, storage, and a functional layout.

Get Your Property In Great Shape

Whether you’re revamping your existing property or purchasing a new one, it’s now time to focus on getting everything in tip-top shape. Walking through the home and evaluating everything with an eye for detail will ensure the property is at its best when your tenants arrive to move in. 

Here are some parts of the property you should evaluate and consider updating:

  • Kitchen: Modernize with new appliances, countertops, and cabinetry.

  • Bathroom: Upgrade fixtures, lighting, and add new tiles or flooring.

  • Flooring: Install new carpet or consider replacing it with hardwood or laminate flooring.

  • Paint: Apply a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint throughout.

  • Lighting: Install energy-efficient and aesthetically pleasing light fixtures.

  • HVAC System: Make sure the heating and cooling systems are modern and efficient.

  • Security: Add features like secure locks, alarm systems, and outdoor lighting.

Respond Promptly to Maintenance Requests

A solid maintenance response system is essential in keeping residents happy. Quick response times show residents they are valued and encourage long-term stays.

Once your property is in great condition and you’ve secured great residents to move in, it’s time to focus on what you can do as a landlord to make their stay more positive. One of the biggest considerations is the maintenance response system.

Maintenance issues will no doubt arise at some point in your tenant’s lease term, and your response to these issues will play a large part in their overall satisfaction and willingness to stay long-term. Quick and competent maintenance services show residents that their comfort and safety are valued, encouraging them to stay in a place they feel comfortable.

Some landlords choose to handle maintenance issues themselves, either providing support or coordinating external contractors to visit the property. Others choose to hire a professional property management company whose team of experts can handle all aspects of this process in-house. Whether you choose to take it on yourself or go with a pro, the most important thing is that you consistently offer quick, quality service. The key is to make sure your tenants are satisfied and safe!

Provide Excellent Customer Service

How to Keep a Tenant for 20 Years

Treat property management as a customer service business. In other words, address residents' concerns and provide exceptional service to foster a positive relationship.

The way you approach property management and the responsibility of being a landlord matters. Some people treat their property as a cash cow and their residents as an ATM. We think this is a big mistake! The truth is that property management is customer service and the way you treat your tenants should reflect a desire to provide the best service possible.

This means offering transparency, support, and reliable communication at all times. Whether you’re helping your tenants by performing winterization at the property so they don’t have to worry about it or responding on weekends to an urgent maintenance request, the list of possible scenarios is endless. What’s most important is your attitude toward providing this level of service and your ability to follow through. This will directly affect how long a tenant stays at your property and, essentially, how reliable your income will be!

Show Appreciation

Showing appreciation for tenants is an element of property management that many landlords overlook.

Celebrating your tenants by acknowledging lease renewals, successful inspections, or personal milestones will demonstrate a new level of investment and care. Small gestures like handwritten notes or gift cards can increase resident satisfaction and make your rental property feel much more like home.

Other Tips to Consider

In the end, there are plenty of ways to make your tenants feel valued, cared for, and happy to renew their lease. We ultimately encourage landlords to put themselves in the shoes of their tenants and think about how they would want to be treated!

Here are some other tips to consider when building a positive, lasting relationship with your residents:

  • Offer Competitive Rent: Keep rent competitive and fair. Regularly review local market rates to ensure your property is attractively priced.

  • Implement Technology: Use technology for seamless communication and management. Online portals for rent payment and maintenance requests can streamline processes and improve resident satisfaction.

  • Encourage Community Building: Foster a sense of community among residents. Organize events or create social media groups to help residents connect and feel more invested in staying long-term.

  • Provide Incentives for Long-Term Leases: Offer incentives such as discounted rent or upgrades for residents who sign longer leases. This can encourage commitment and reduce turnover.

Final Thoughts: How to Keep a Resident for 20 Years

Keeping a tenant for the long term is a tall order for many reasons, from maintenance issues and rent increases to better opportunities and personal life changes. But fostering a positive, lasting relationship with great tenants is crucial for maximizing rental property profits.

By choosing the right property, keeping it in great shape, responding promptly to maintenance requests, providing excellent customer service, and showing a little appreciation, landlords can significantly increase their chances of retaining great tenants.

Remember, the key to a successful rental business lies in treating your tenants as the most valuable assets and always providing the best customer service possible!

If you want a team of property management professionals to help you implement these strategies (and so much more), consider Evernest! We’ve helped countless landlords across the country find, secure, and maintain great tenants through our wealth of expertise and experience. 

Find the Evernest team in your area and get started today!