Is the win-win-win really possible in property management? Can the tenant, owner, and property manager simultaneously all be happy and satisfied at the same time?
It’s not an impossible occurrence but it is an uncommon one.
However, there is one secret, lease renewals. And, it keeps all three parties in harmony.
Lease renewals indicate both the tenant and the owner agree to be under the umbrella of your property management group, at least for the time being. When retaining a tenant you’re better guaranteeing you retain an owner — and their door. Win-win-win.
Tenant Retention Means Owner Retention
How many times has the tenant notice-to-vacate been the catalyst for door churn? Once the tenant gives notice, the property manager has to make the “new tenant placement” phone call to the owner which ignites fear, disappointment, and regret within a homeowner.
Homeowners fear losing money on their asset while the property manager finds another tenant. They also fear the new tenant will not pay rent on time or damage their investment property.
They’re concerned a costly tenant placement fee is around the corner. And, they might be skeptical the property manager isn’t working in their best interest.
And, sometimes, they regret choosing to hold onto their asset or using your group to manage their property in the first place. Regret makes the homeowner seek alternatives in the form of selling their asset, choosing a shiny new property manager to work with, or self-managing their investment property.
Fear, disappointment, and regret are generally feelings you want to avoid when asking people to continue to do business with you.
An unhappy homeowner means an unhappy property manager.
The tenant? Probably unhappy a long time ago.
Strategies to Proactively Improve Tenant Retention
If tenant retention leads to homeowner retention, the property manager may benefit from paying more attention to the tenant than the current industry standard some single family property managers are notorious for.
Respond to Communication Quickly and Thoroughly
And no, your auto-response email does not count.
Include more information in your email response than you think you need to. If you keep your emails short in order to move on to the next task, consider the ping-pong email thread you might be getting yourself into with a tenant.
Also consider the headache you’re causing the tenant and the dissatisfaction created from short, delayed, and incomplete communication — especially if this is your company norm.
We get it. Lengthy emails require attention and consistency. Mitigate the time demand by using communication templates containing common and thorough information. Use merge fields to make template responses feel personal while maintaining a streamlined approach and include as much information you think the tenant will need based on previous experiences.
Get a Head Start on Renewals
Be proactive about resolving any outstanding issue or maintenance work orders well ahead of the renewal ask.
Let the tenant know your intention! Send a courtesy check-in four months ahead of their lease end date so you have time to attend to tenant needs (and maybe some demands). If bargaining is needed to settle a past issue with the tenant, it’s best to get ahead and lay your cards on the table as to why you’re showing up in their inbox.
Get a Real Time Pulse on Owner and Tenant Sentiment
When a renewal is complete, send a survey to both parties involved to get real-time feedback. This is your opportunity to take advantage of an owner who is likely pleased you were able to retain their tenant. High tenant sentiment is also important, because it’s an indicator for future renewal potential. It’s all about maintaining happiness from here.
When the Property Manager Wins Too
Now that you have high sentiment, capture the elusive win-win-win with an online review ask.
It can be difficult to gauge the right time to ask someone for a review. When you score a renewal, you basically have both the tenant and owner saying, “I like you. I choose to continue to do business with you.”
Take advantage of the good timing and you can potentially score a positive online review.
Happy tenant. Happy owner. Happy Property Manager.
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