6 perks that keep renters for longer

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Ever owned a rental property that felt more like a revolving door than an apartment? If so, you know the headache that comes with high turnover. It costs time, effort, and money when someone moves out. Plus, the money lost while an apartment is vacant in between tenants can add even more financial strain. Good landlords know good tenants are worth keeping. If you want to stand out from the rental competition, here are six perks to keep your renters right where they are.

Financial Perks

Everyone loves a great deal, and renters are no different. While many landlords offer “first month free” discounts, you can use similar incentives to keep the renters you have. Offer a half month free for resigning their lease or take the same amount and divide it by 12 to reduce their monthly payments upon renewing a lease.

In an area where tenant turnover high, some landlords opt for refunding a couple of hundred dollars of a deposit or reducing a pet fee if they’ve been good tenants. As many as 80% of renters prefer a monetary discount when it comes to perks that make a rental more appealing.

Pet Amenities

One in three renters owns a pet, so offering perks for Fido is key to keeping them in their homes longer. Community dog parks provide a place for pups to run and they’re a great place for owners to socialize and get to know their neighbors. If you’re renting a home, consider adding a fence to the property to make it more pet-friendly.

Renters also love having a dog-washing station on-site, so they don’t have to drag their muddy pooch through the apartment to the bathtub (a bonus for you, too). Another way to keep your rental community in good shape, while offering perks, is to provide doggy waste disposal bags and stations in numerous areas on the property. Some landlords even offer free dog treats in the office.

Parking

Few things are as frustrating as circling the lot or block looking for a parking space in front of where you live. If you can offer a place to park, especially in a city, it’s a perk many renters covet. In an apartment complex, provide at least one space per unit, two if possible. Even better, offer covered spaces. Many tenants will pay a little more to protect their vehicle. If your building is in a large city and you don’t have access to a lot, partner with a nearby garage and work out a deal for your renters.

If you lease out single-family homes, “street parking only” is less than ideal. A garage, or at least a carport, will keep tenants happy. When neither option is available, a private driveway can also do the trick.

Updated Technology

Technology is front and center in our lives. Most tenants, especially younger ones, are looking for smart homes. Once they find them, they’re more likely to stay put.

If you’re new to smart homes, start with the basics. For example, misplacing your keys is a thing of the past with smart locks.  It has the added benefit of reducing lockouts (and those late-night calls when your tenant has lost their key.) When a tenant moves out, you can change the code, instead of the locks. Remote-controlled thermostats, like Nest, are another good idea and will save renters on heating and cooling bills in the long run.

Today’s renter is also looking for an eco-friendly home. Energy-saving appliances and solar lighting are big draws. Another easy thing you can do is provide an online portal where rent can be paid, and lease information is available. Offer car-charging stations in parts of the country where hybrids and electric cars are popular.

Fitness Areas

Indoor and outdoor fitness areas are high on the list of incentives for getting renters to renew their lease. Your on-site gym should have weights, mats, and aerobic equipment, like bikes, treadmills, and elliptical machines. If a center on the property isn’t possible, partner with a nearby gym for a lower membership fee for tenants. Also, consider bringing in an instructor and holding classes like yoga, pilates, or boot camps.

Outdoor Space

Renters love a good outdoor area, especially with green space. Private spaces, with small, fenced-in backyards and a lawn, are perfect for pet owners. (Most don’t even mind the yard work!) The next best thing is a balcony, where tenants can display potted plants and flowers.

If it’s impossible to add outdoor space to each unit, create a communal area. Put grills around a grassy area and maybe a fire pit. A sand volleyball court is a unique touch. Add a small playground for renters with children. In large cities, add amenities to a rooftop deck if you have one. Basically, you just want to look at your rental property and see if there’s anywhere you can create a comfortable outdoor area.

Renter (like everyone else) love things that make their lives easier and better. Adding some of these perks to your property will keep renters calling it home for a long time.


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