How to keep tenants long term and reduce tenant turnover

Tired of turning over tenants in your rental property?

If so, you’re not alone, especially in markets with higher vacancy rates like Alberta is currently experiencing. Of course this isn’t an issue across most of BC as vacancy rates are at extreme historical lows right now, but remember that all markets are cyclical, and nothing lasts forever.

For markets with higher vacancy rates, tenants have all the choice in the world, and will not hesitate to break a lease and move to save a few bucks.

Why don’t you want turnover?

Tenant turnover is extremely expensive to a landlord. You have to deal with;

  1. Renovations. Generally flooring, new paint, fixing broken things, etc.
  2. Marketing costs. If you are self managing or using a property management company, this is going to cost someone time and money to market the property and find new tenants.
  3. Vacancy. Plan on sitting vacant for a month while you advertise and vet new tenants. Also factor in time for renovations. One month vacant out of the year is 8%.

Here are a few tips for property managers and landlords to keep tenants long term and reduce tenant turnover, even in high vacancy rate markets.

Tip for property managers to keep tenants

  1. Allow pets. Half of the rental population owns pets, and if you’re not renting to pet owners, you’re eliminating half of your potential market. Pet owners have far fewer rental options to choose from, and you can really stand out in a crowd of landlords. If you’re worried about damage, then take a REFUNDABLE pet deposit.
  2. Keep your rents below market. If the going rate for a 2 bedroom condo is $1500, then charge $1400. Tenants will stay put and not be chasing the next property if they feel like they’re getting a good deal. It’s human nature. For the extra $100/ month, or $1200 per year, you will be much further ahead to keep your vacancy rate at 0% instead of footing a $3000 bill (one month vacancy and renovations) when your condo turns over.
  3. Communicate. You were probably looking for some magic pill here, but it’s amazing how communicating with your tenants in a timely and open manner can eliminate those dreaded midnight moves!

I hope these tips help a bit and save you some money be decreasing tenant turnover. Please feel free to contact our property management company  if you need any help with your property management needs!

Chris Stepchuk

Nov 11, 2017



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