It's no secret that the rental market has become very competitive in recent years; with more homes being built renters have a huge selection of properties to choose from.
I'm sure you'll agree that the measure of a successful rental season is renting all of the weeks you placed on the market. And of course you want to have a successful season every season. To achieve that goal, you have to retain your renters and have them return to your home every season.
It takes a little more work to keep families coming back year after year, but the rewards are well worth it. You know how the family will treat your home meaning you don't have to worry about what condition you'll find it in come checkout time, you can count on the rental income from year to year and some of the lucky owners even forge friendships with their repeat customers.
After speaking with tenants who return to the same property year after year, we present the Top 5 Ways To Keep Your Tenants Coming Back:
1. Cleanliness: Nothing is more disappointing for a family than checking into a home that's not been cleaned properly. After a long drive full of excitement, no one wants to have to clean up the mess of another family and they certainly don't want to skip the beach to wait around for an emergency cleaner to get to the property.
The fastest way to lose a tenant is to have them walk into a dirty home, they're willing to forgive almost anything else, but it's hard to win them back after that.
2. Condition of Property: Tenants look at your property differently than you do, those little items that you overlook (the squeaky appliance, the slider that gets stuck, the dresser drawer pull that falls off, the running toilet) can become major annoyances. They're paying good money to relax, and expect things to be working properly.
3. Amenities: Going beyond the basics is another easy way to make sure your tenants keep coming back to you. Multiple televisions, DVD players and VCRs, an outside shower with warm water, upgraded cable packages, and wireless internet access are all just a step above what's expected, and the tenants we spoke to agreed they are greatly appreciated.
4. Extras: What makes your home stand out from the rest? Tenants do notice and appreciate the little extras that are provided, whether it be beach tags, a video/DVD library for rainy days, beach chairs, bikes, a cart to take to the beach. Sometimes it's the little extras that really seal the deal.
5. Incentives: These don't necessarily need to be repeat tenant discounts (though they're certainly appreciated by your tenants!), it could be something as simple as a personalized welcome note or a $10 bottle of wine. Making updates to your property in the off season, whether it be new curtains, new furniture, redoing a bathroom-these are all incentives.
And as a bonus "The Number One Tip From a Rental Agent for Keeping Your Tenants" (long title, simple concept):
1. Listen to your tenants. Tenants communicate with their rental agent about the things they liked about your property and also let us know if there were any issues during their stay. As a rental agent, it's my duty to report that to you (even if it's unpleasant). Don't ignore the comments from your tenants.
Eventually suggestions will turn into complaints, and at that point we may have both lost a great customer.
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