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5 Strategies for Overcoming Lease Renewal Reluctance

As your renters reach the end of their lease, what strategies do you have in place to help them feel confident about renewing? With the housing market making its slow but steady way back to what it used to be, there is more urgency than ever to keeping your rental properties occupied and your renters happy. This can sometimes be tough to do if you don’t have a plan in place. One thing is for sure, you do not want to wait until the very end of the lease to find out if that your renter is reluctant to renew.

Here are 5 strategies to help overcome lease renewal reluctance:

  1. Stay in Good Contact

It’s important to stay in good contact with your renters throughout their lease. This starts before they ever move in. Call them before they move in, right after they move in and on a consistent basis after that. The more contact you have, the better relationship you will establish and the more comfortable they will feel. This allows you to hear any complaints they might have so you can address them right away.

  1. Reward With Security Deposit

This strategy works especially well when you have renters who have consistently paid rent on time and has demonstrated that they are responsible. Let them know that if they renew, you will return their initial security deposit in installments over the next 6 months to a year. Knowing that they have that money coming back to them is a great incentive to resign their lease.

  1. Be Sure to Highlight Property Features

Renters are more likely to stay put once they realize how good they have it already. It never hurts to point out some of the extra features that your property has (garage, pool, close to freeway) to remind your renters why they chose your property in the first place.

  1. It’s All About the Rent

When it comes down to it, renters are always looking for the most cost-effective choice. Traditional renewals typically include a hike in the rent. In fact, it may have been your strategy to get your renters in for the first year at a discounted rent, with the plan to raise it when they renew. If you are concerned with keeping your property occupied, it may be wise to forego the rent increase. Renters who know they can stay for another year at the same rent, and can save moving expenses at the same time are much more likely to stay put.

  1. Ask Early

Do not wait until 30 days before the lease expires to approach your renter about renewing. You might consider bringing it up as early as 6 halfway through the current lease, right at that moment when they are feeling settled in and the thought of moving hasn’t even entered their minds. Offer some kind of incentive for renewing in advance.

RPM East Valley has a proven track record when it comes to helping renters renew their lease. Call us if you have any other questions or concerns about renewal reluctance. 480-719-1243.

 

Inexpensive Ways to Attract Good Residents

Real estate investors and property managers are always looking for “good residents.” These are typically people who are willing to stay in the home for a long time, take good care of the property while they live there, pay their rent on time and have a solid credit history.

Finding and attracting these type of residents is an essential piece of the formula for success for any rental property. You can ensure you are bringing in good residents by taking the small extra steps to treat them well. This includes paying attention to the details that make your properties more attractive.

Most property owners want to avoid major costs of renovation no matter how much it helps them find good residents. So here are some small, inexpensive steps you can take to attract the best possible renters:

  •      Reward a Positive Track Record – offer your residents a special incentive for paying rent on time and without issue. This might be a rebate of their deposit split into even payments over 3-4 months.
  •      Discount for Lump Payments – some owners have considered offering a discount to residents who pay a year’s worth of rent at the beginning of their lease.
  •      Keep Bathrooms Clean – everything should look sparkling clean. Be sure to replace old, discolored caulking or grout. Keep plumbing in tiptop shape.
  •      Backsplashes – not only does this instantly add more to the look of any bathroom or kitchen, it also protects the walls of your home. It is easier to clean too.
  •      Focus on Smell – naturally pleasant smells are very important as potential residents look at your property. The trick is, you want to find a deodorizer or air freshener that is just enough, but not too much. Stick with more neutral smelling scents.
  •      Outdoor Security – good residents want to feel secure and safe in their home. This includes driveways and front porches that are well lit. A designated place to park is essential for most potential residents.
  •      Polish Your Wood – Check your cabinets and wood flooring for scratches or damage. Take the time to polish your wood so it looks good as new.

Remember how important it is to treat your residents well. Develop an appropriate relationship with them and be engaged throughout the move-in process. The last thing you want to be is just the person who shows up to collect the rent. The better relationship you have with your residents, the more comfortable they will feel and the longer they will want to stay.

Attracting the right kind of potential residents definitely requires some thought. RPM East Valley has been helping property owners in Mesa and Gilbert find the best possible renters for years now. Take advantage or our experience and knowledge by letting us help you get the right tenants in your property as soon as possible.

 

Are You Providing These 4 Important Maintenance’s?

One of the many reasons why people often consider renting rather than buying a home is the fact that they are off the hook when it comes to upkeep and maintenance of the property. They consider this an advantage to renting, which means property owners must be prepared to provide maintenance, especially if the goal is to keep renters happy and in place for as long as possible.

In the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, there is some key property maintenance that should be done on a regular basis in order to keep your home looking great and keep renters satisfied. Here are 4 important maintenances to focus on:

Landscape Maintenance

Many renters are looking for a property that requires the least amount of landscape maintenance, but they still expect the yard to look great. This includes everything from the lawn to trees and shrubs. Typically speaking, a well-maintained landscape requires a functioning irrigation system that is easy for the tenants to use. If landscape maintenance is not specifically addressed in the lease, you might find that your landscape can begin to look run-down, which can lead to further issues. It is best to plan on handling the landscape maintenance yourself.

Pool Maintenance

If your property has a pool, you will definitely want to have a maintenance strategy in place before your renters move in. Keeping a pool clean and healthy can be a struggle, especially for those who have no long-term tie to the home. When pool maintenance falls behind even slightly, it can lead to more complicated and expensive problems. We’ve seen many property owners make the mistake of allowing their tenants to handle pool maintenance on their own and it often turns out disastrous for the owner.

Plumbing Maintenance

Outside of a fire, nothing can cause major issues to the structure and foundation of a home faster than floods and leaks in a home. It’s crucial to address and fix plumbing issues right away to keep them from spreading or turning into bigger problems. Not only can a small leak in a pipe in the home ruin flooring and walls, it can also lead to unattractive mold, mildew and strong smells that will definitely turn your potential residents off. Make sure you are on top of all plumbing maintenance no how small.

HVAC Maintenance

There are a few reasons why you will want to make sure the cooling and heating system in your home is working properly. Because we live in a desert that experiences very hot summers, your tenants will expect that the air conditioning system works without a hitch. Properly maintained and functioning HVAC systems will also make a difference in the size of their utility bills. This is key when you are looking to attract new renters or keep your existing ones.

Some property owners are unable to handle the amount of work it takes to keep up with the maintenance of their home, which is why they turn to a property management company like RPM East Valley. Find out how we can help you keep your property hassle free and occupied on a regular basis.  Call us at 480-719-1243.

 

What Happens if Home Prices Grow in 2015?

If you ever wanted to chase a Millennial away in the last couple of years, all you had to do was bring up the idea of buying a home and then watch him or her run. Job scarcity, high prices at the pump, and the thought of years of paying off school debt has kept most people ages 25-29 away from even considering the idea of buying a home. This lack of confidence in their ability to successfully buy a home is one reason why the rental market is so high for people in this age group.

It doesn’t help that reports are now pointing to a continued rise of home prices through 2015. Many agree that this will most likely keep Millennials renting for the foreseeable future.

What does this mean for homeowners, real estate investors and property managers?

There may well be a very unique window of opportunity for property owners who have homes for lease. Capitalizing on this ongoing lack of confidence to buy a home, combined with the falling oil prices may just be the perfect storm. Not only will people continue to look for rental properties, but they may also actually be willing to pay more for rent because of the increase in discretionary income that comes with lower fuel prices.

This means it’s a good time to invest more in your properties. Upgrades and amenity improvements will continue to be an important strategy to attract the best possible residents.

Experts continue to stress the importance of keeping an eye on the Millennial trends that exist in the housing market. They urge real estate investors to pay close attention to these trends and focus on strategies to engage with Millennials, who now make up close to one-third of the population. If you really want to stay ahead of the game, they are the group to watch.

It is equally important to be ready to be ready to engage with Millennials on their levels based on your knowledge of their situation. You can improve the confidence your residents have in you by offering conveniences such as digital leasing applications and online access to maintenance teams.

Trying to gauge how quickly the US economy recovers is difficult. It’s no different for East Valley cities in Arizona such as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and Tempe. But when it comes to the housing market, making it a point to pay attention to the Millennial frame of mind might just make the difference in your success as a property investor.

For more information on how to take advantage to the current housing market in the East Valley, call Real Property Management at 480-719-1243.