One of the best ways to increase both your cash flow and your long-term ROI as a Portland rental property investor is by placing and retaining high quality tenants. Not only is it good for your rental income, it’s also good for the condition and value of your property.
Vacancy is expensive. When you are constantly moving one tenant out and another tenant in, you’ll find yourself paying a number of expenses, including utility costs, maintenance, cleaning, and marketing. The best way to avoid vacancy is by keeping the tenants you currently have in place. Low turnover will usually indicate a great investment performance.
Provide an Outstanding Portland Rental Property
Good tenants will stay in place when they’re living in a great property.
Start the tenancy off strong by ensuring the property is professionally cleaned and functioning the way it should before your residents move in. Consider leaving some welcoming information about the neighborhood. A small gift is also a great way to establish a good relationship. Welcome new residents with a gift card to the local coffee shop or with a scented candle or a small plant.
When tenants move into a well-maintained property and have a stress-free move-in experience, you’re going to set everyone up for success. Make sure they know where to park and how everything in the property works.
Pay Attention to Customer Service During the Tenancy
Good landlords have an easier time retaining tenants than landlords who are non-responsive or difficult. Make sure you’re communicating with your tenants regularly. Be accessible to them, and provide resources when you can. Helpful property owners always do a better job of retaining good tenants than those who are disinterested or unavailable.
Maintenance requests need immediate responses, even if they’re minor and routine. If you’re slow to respond to their repair issues, your tenants are likely to leave at the end of the lease term. Make maintenance a priority, and take care of all repair needs with a sense of urgency. Tenants will appreciate this, especially if they’ve had less than responsive landlords in the past.
Create a relationship so tenants feel comfortable reaching out to you when they need help. Your tenants are your customers, and in order to keep good customers, you need to treat them with respect and professionalism. Portland property owners who go out of their way to deliver a higher standard of service will always earn more money on their investments because their tenants are going to continue renewing their lease agreements year after year.
Consider Making Upgrades and Updates
Upgrades and improvements will also help you retain residents.
While preventative maintenance is always important, going a step further will get the attention of your residents and keep them in place. Your tenants want to live in a home that’s attractive and comfortable. Replace out-of-date appliances, for example. If you’re called to fix a refrigerator or a dishwasher several times over the course of a tenancy, instead of fixing it again, replace it. Your residents will appreciate a new, energy-efficient appliance. Make sure the walls have fresh paint, and consider your tenant’s requests when they ask for something like new carpet or pest control.
Rental Increases Must Match the Portland Market
Rental values are increasing in Portland, and when tenants renew a lease agreement, they’re going to expect that their rent will be increased a bit. Keep them within the legal guidelines and make sure they aren’t outside of what the market requires. You have to know the Portland rent control laws and understand your responsibilities as a landlord when it comes to increasing rent. You also have to consider whether your residents will decide there are better values elsewhere when it comes to rental housing.
When focusing on tenant retention, you’ll also want to consider the current economic climate as well. Losing a good tenant is going to cost you more than keeping the rent the same. Pay attention to the market and prioritize retaining your best residents.
If you’ve struggled to retain tenants in the past, we can help. Contact us at Performance Properties for all of your Portland property management needs.