Buildings of downtown Raleigh NC lit up at night

High resident turnover rate? Here’s what to do.

Except in rare circumstances, losing residents is never good for your business. New recruitment costs include advertising and marketing fees, as well as pricey background checks needed for the screening process. Additionally, you’ll need to spend time on administrative work, taking away from your ability to manage current residents. 

Even worse is that vacancies do not generate any money, and due to expenses like taxes and HOA fees, an empty property likely means you’ll experience negative cash flow. 

If you own property next to a university, high turnover is going to be a part of the business. However, even then, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the process of coming and going. 

Step 1:  Reward good resident behavior

Most residents, and especially younger residents, are more likely to stay at a property where they feel valued and appreciated. Do this by rewarding good behavior through small perks such as holiday cards, low-cost gift cards to local restaurants or even resident raffles. Because this is not the norm, your residents will appreciate these gestures even more—and be even more likely to stick around.  

Step 2: Reward loyal behavior

When it comes time to re-sign a lease, some landlords have been known to provide a monthly discount of up to five percent off the previous year’s rent. This may actually make financial sense, especially if the resident has been outstanding, because it will eliminate the all the money and time you’d otherwise spend acquiring a new occupant. 

Step 3:  Stay up to date  

From technology to amenities, you can keep your residents around by providing them with the best possible living experience (within your budget, of course). For example, property management software has become the norm these days by providing the option to pay rent online or place maintenance requests through an app. Staying on trend will keep you at the top of the list among local options.

Step 4: Charge a fair price   

This goes without saying, but you must adhere to the rules of supply and demand. Every year, or every other year, we suggest you evaluate what other properties in your area are charging for rent. Renters tend to be extremely price-conscious, and if your price does not reflect the market value, they’ll leave as soon as the lease is up. 

Bonus Tips

Create community. It’s not what we do that makes a place feel like home; it’s the people we meet. If you own a multi-unit property, you may find it’s a good idea to help create an atmosphere of familiarity by encouraging your residents to connect on a regular basis. You could do this through periodic resident events or through social media pages/groups. 

Manage maintenance. Always try to be as responsive as possible to maintenance requests. Residents will appreciate landlords who can accommodate their requests in a timely manner.

Be communicative. Communicate regularly with residents and make sure your residents know they can reach out to you, be it through email, text or a phone call.

See more insights