10 ways to retain your best tenants

Last updated
Jan 25, 2024
The average cost of tenant turnover can range from $1,000 to $2,500 per unit, not including lost rent. Turnover also distracts from other important aspects of property management like maintenance, marketing, and bookkeeping. By focusing on tenant retention strategies like the ones here, landlords can build stable income streams and long-term relationships with residents. 

Retaining quality tenants is one of the most important challenges for any landlord. 

According to a study conducted by the Institute of Real Estate Management, the average cost of tenant turnover can range from $1,000 to $2,500 per unit, not including lost rent. 

It also distracts from other important aspects of property management like maintenance, marketing, and bookkeeping. 

Maintaining a stable tenant base is not just a matter of convenience, but also a significant financial consideration.

By focusing on tenant retention strategies like the ones here, landlords can build stable income streams and long-term relationships with residents. 

1. Provide responsive maintenance 

Tenants have a right to expect a certain level of comfort and functionality in their rental property, which is the landlord’s ultimate responsibility.

Delaying repairs or ignoring maintenance requests can lead to frustration and inconvenience for tenants, which can ultimately result in a negative experience for both parties.

By promptly addressing repairs, landlords can also prevent small issues from developing into larger, more expensive problems. 

This not only saves money in the long run, but also shows tenants that their landlord cares about their well-being and is committed to maintaining a safe and comfortable living environment.

2. Communicate regularly

In addition to addressing repairs promptly, landlords should also communicate clearly with tenants regarding maintenance. 

This can include providing information on how to report issues, expected response times for repairs, and any necessary procedures for accessing the property for maintenance work.

OpenWorks, a facility management firm, says that 60% of tenants leave due to poor customer service and communication.

Regular communication and feedback with tenants can also help foster a sense of community within the rental property. 

Send monthly newsletters to update tenants on any important information or upcoming events, and you can slip in a perk for a local offer to thank them.

3. Ensure safety standards are met 

The safety and well-being of tenants should always be a top priority for landlords. This includes not only addressing repairs promptly, but also regularly inspecting the property to ensure that it meets all necessary safety standards.

A checklist of safety standards that landlords must always be mindful of include:

  • Fire safety: Install and regularly check smoke detectors, ensure fire exits are clearly marked and unobstructed, and provide fire extinguishers in common areas.
  • Electrical safety: Regularly inspect and maintain all electrical installations to prevent electrical fires or shocks.
  • Gas safety: If the property uses gas for heating or cooking, landlords should ensure all gas appliances are serviced regularly by a certified professional.
  • Structural safety: The property should be structurally sound, with no risk of collapse or substantial damage.
  • Security: Install secure locks on doors and windows, and provide adequate exterior lighting.
  • Healthy environment: Address issues such as mold, lead, or pest infestations immediately as they can pose serious health risks.
  • Accessibility: If applicable, make sure the property is accessible for people with disabilities, following the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Emergency protocols: Have a clear set of procedures in place for dealing with emergencies and make sure these are communicated to tenants.

4. Welcome feedback

Feedback gathering tools such as surveys or suggestion boxes can be valuable tools for landlords to gather insights and feedback from tenants.

This shows a commitment to providing a high-quality living environment and can help differentiate the rental property from others in the market. Don't just ask for the feedback, but actually act on it, to conspicuously show that you're addressing tenant requests.

5. Offer resident perks 

Offering perks and incentives can be a great way for landlords to stand out and add value to the rental property. This could include hosting community events, providing access to streaming services, or offering discounts on local memberships.

Millennial renters are more likely to respond to the right perks, according to a property software company's research.

Source: Softwareadvice.com

A study conducted by Apogee, a property management company, revealed the top perks that tenants look for in a rental property, which include:

Having a perks management system in place can help landlords track and manage the perks they offer, ensuring that tenants are receiving the benefits they were promised. This can also help landlords stay organized and budget for these extras accordingly.

6. Maintain common areas

Landlords should also ensure that common areas are well-kept and maintained. This includes any shared spaces such as hallways, lobbies, or outdoor areas.

Boost the overall pride of residence by keeping a clean appearance. There is no end to the number of DIY videos you can find that will help you spruce up common areas without a full renovation. This creates a positive living experience and fosters a sense of community and pride within the rental property.

7. Show empathy 

By showing compassion and empathy towards tenants, landlords can foster loyalty and mutual respect. 

By showing empathy towards tenants, landlords can create a more harmonious living environment and establish a positive reputation in the market.

8. Offer stability 

Instead of having frequent turnover and constantly increasing rent prices, consider locking in multi-year lease terms with tenants.

This not only provides security for tenants, but also creates a stable income for the landlord. 

It can also foster a sense of loyalty and commitment from tenants who know they have a reliable living situation for the foreseeable future.

9. Address issues privately

In the event of conflicts or issues arising between landlords and tenants, it is important to address them privately and calmly. 

This means avoiding public confrontations or aggressive behavior in the building or online. Keep your social media profiles private, and don't vent about work online.

Handle conflicts in a respectful and diplomatic manner, so you can preserve your relationships with tenants and avoid potential legal issues. It also shows a level of professionalism and maturity, which can benefit the landlord's reputation in the rental market.

10. Continuously improve

Keeping track of residential estate trends  and implementing them will help landlords be up to date in their rental properties, making it more attractive for potential tenants. Continuously improve and update your rental properties to stay competitive in the rental market and potentially increase property value over time. 


At the end of the day, it's all about providing a positive living experience for your tenants. 

If you're looking for expert help in offering perks to your tenants and creating a thriving rental property, reach out to us

Our team of experienced professionals will guide you through the process and help you take your tenant retention game to the next level.

About the author
Adrienne Kmetz
Adrienne is a marketing expert with a career history of working in startups of all sizes, from early stage to series A. She has 17+ years of experience writing about business, finance, and entrepreneurship. She went to Colorado College where she majored in skiing.
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