The last thing a property manager wants is for a quality tenant to move out.
Between cleaning, marketing, tenant screening, and potentially months of lost rent payments, vacancies can cost you valuable time and revenue.
So how do you encourage tenants to stay?
- Be proactive about notices
Ontario requires landlords and property managers to give 60 days’ notice before the lease expiration date, to either end or renew the tenancy.
Consider contacting the tenant earlier, up to 90 or 120 days before the lease is up. The sooner you give them notice, the sooner they may get back to you with a favourable answer – and the less anxiety you will have about the future of the property.
And if the tenant does decide to move, you can get an early start on finding a replacement.
- Offer monetary incentives
Unsurprisingly, monetary perks are the most attractive lease renewal incentives for tenants – although they’re usually a last resort for property managers.
Some property management businesses offer one free month of rent. According to a Software Advice survey, 80% of renters say a temporary discount on rent would be enough to convince them to renew.
Cash and gift cards are also an option.
Be sure to get the owner’s permission before making any changes to the rent amount.
- Upgrade the unit
Improvements to the property also go down well with tenants.
This could include a new appliance (such as a stove, fridge, washer, or dryer), fresh paint, carpet cleaning or floor refinishing, modern smart door locks, or other desirable features that tenants can’t take with them if they move out.
- Use property management software that makes their lives better
Make tenants not only want to stay in the property, but also want to stay with you. Inconvenient rent payments and delayed maintenance can easily drive them away.
Property management software that enhances your customer service with hard-to-match convenience will be loved by tenants and landlords alike.
For example, PayProp provides tenants with their own Tenant portal, which allows them to quickly and easily pay rent online, access their entire payment history, and submit maintenance requests.
Automated rent collection and reconciliation also frees up property managers' time, which you can use to build positive relationships with tenants.
- Ask them
The most effective incentive will be the one a tenant specifically asks for.
Asking a tenant directly what they want – whether it’s a rent credit, a new appliance or flexible lease terms – can speed up the decision-making and renewal processes.
It will likely end up costing you less to accommodate their request than to find a new tenant!
Fuel long-term success with strategic lease renewal incentives
At the end of the day, be prepared to take “no” for an answer. If a tenant wants to let the lease expire, you’ll have to let them go – but you might still be able to get a referral from them.
High-quality service, a powerful property management platform and an irresistible incentive create a winning formula that’ll keep your tenants happily signing on the dotted line year after year.