12 tips to find the right renter and keep them
The best way to reduce vacancies in your rental property is to focus on finding good tenants and keeping them. Here are 12 top tips to find quality tenants and when the time comes, to help make it an easy decision for them to stay.
1. Raise rent with care
You should treat your rental property like a business and the consideration to raise rent is a part of this. Repeat customers (in this case, renters that stay) are an essential part of a healthy business, so raise rent carefully. Stay within rental guidelines. If your property does not fall under rental control guidelines, consider what impact a sharp increase will have on your tenant. Cranking up your rental rates will incentivize a good tenant to leave.
2. Be open to tenant referrals
If you have a great relationship with your tenant, encourage them to refer their friends — whether you have other vacant properties, or the tenant-referrer is moving out and they have a recommendation on who can replace them. If your original tenant was trustworthy and respectable, there is a good chance that their friend will be as well.
3. Market smartly
As mentioned above, getting ahead of a vacancy by getting the place out on the market quickly can prevent revenue losses. Powerful digital platforms, like Rhenti, allow property owners to move swiftly and strategically when attracting new tenants. Your property will be automatically marketed on all of the top listing and social sites to get more renter awareness than any other way.
4. Use Rhenti to find the right renter
If you want to find a renter in the fastest way possible, Rhenti’s powerful digital tools have got you covered. With Rhenti, you can upload all the essential information about your property once, and it will automatically be listed on all the major rental listing sites including Viewit.ca, Kijiji, TorontoRentals.com, Property Guys, Zumper, Padmapper, Zillow, and Hotpads. A layer of paid priority marketing is added to your listings to increase the chances of it being seen by all of the renters that are currently in the market to find a new place to call home. For even more exposure, you can leverage the power of social media with ease using Rhenti as well — our marketing add-on includes the option to run ads for your property on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Google.
5. Find and vet tenants
Rhenti’s all-in-one toolbox for landlords allows you to book and manage viewings with renters easily, and chat with inquiring renters in one central place. You can also review detailed renter applications, including credit summaries and references. Best of all, Rhenti’s average lease rate is under one month.
6. Move through leases in a quick and compliant fashion
Once you’ve found a great applicant, it’s important to get them to sign the rental agreement quickly. Rhenti uses standard rental agreements based on your region. This ensures everything is compliant on a regional level, but also has areas to customize the agreement to meet your specific needs. For example, if you have a condo with specific rules for residents, you can append them to the agreement.
7. Fix things quickly
A huge push factor that causes tenants to move is living in a rental that’s in need of repairs. When something breaks, it’s important to get it repaired quickly. Having go-to contact list of trade professionals to fix issues helps expedite this process. If you build relationships with contractors like plumbers, HVAC contractors, appliance technicians, handy-people, and painters and provide them with repeat business (especially if you are managing multiple properties) they might offer you discounts that can add up over time. This serves as a win-win for tenants and for your pocketbook. Read more about what to do when your rental property is damaged.
8. Keep the place warm
In cold climates, no matter how great your space is, keeping it too cold makes tenants want to leave. You must ensure your rental properties are kept at the legal temperatures for winter, but if tenants still complain they are cold you should actively offer solutions like raising the temperature, providing space heaters, and repairing windows and doors that may create drafts.
9. Respect your tenant’s privacy
People tend to like a landlord who is attentive to the needs of a unit but keeps the relationship professional. Unexpected pop-ins are not only illegal but considered disrespectful. The best way to communicate with your tenant is by sticking to the rules which means giving them 24-hour written notice before you or a repair person enters the unit and keeping your conversations in writing. This not only keeps the landlord-tenant relationship professional but also ensures you get everything in writing which is always good in case any legalities should unfortunately arise.
10. Be open to feedback
The landlord-tenant working relationship can grow stronger with trust. If you've got a great tenant, consider opening up a discussion for feedback on how you can help to improve their living situation. If they have a list of suggestions, ask them to order them in priority and tell them that you will take the list away to consider. Without promising that you will fulfill the entire list, addressing a few items may help to build trust in the working relationship and incentivize them to stay longer.
11. Incentivize people to stay
If a good tenant wants to leave, consider sweetening the arrangement for them. Incentives you might want to consider are adding a dishwasher or in-unit laundry machines (if there is no laundry onsite) or offering a discount on rent.
12. Be proactive when discussing renewals
If you have a tenant who pays on time and takes great care of your place, you naturally will want to keep them. Get ahead of this conversation three months before their lease is about to expire. If you are in the stage where their rent is month-to-month, check in three months before the anniversary of when they moved in to see how things are going and if they are looking to stay. If they raise issues, do your best to fix them. If it’s clear that they want to move regardless, this is a great chance to get ahead of the vacancy and find someone to rent the place to so you don’t miss out on a month’s rent.
Being a landlord doesn’t need to be complicated. Getting ahead of potential issues, knowing the rules and frameworks you need to operate within, and building great relationships with your tenants saves energy for when bigger issues arise. Use Rhenti’s suite of leasing tools and property owner’s blog to navigate the process and avoid surprises.
Rhenti helps property owners find the right renters. Best of all, our lease rate is under one month. Book a demo today.
The blog posts on this website are for the purpose of general introductory information. They can’t serve as an opinion or professional advice. Speak to a professional before making decisions related to your circumstances.