There’s a popular saying that goes like this: “Happy wife, happy life.” Basically, as long as your wife is happy, things will be easy for you. As any experienced landlord knows, a similar concept holds true with renters. You could just as easily say, “Happy tenant, happy life.” It isn’t nearly as catchy, but it rings true, nonetheless.
7 Perks and Incentives Worth Trying
It’s not enough to simply provide your tenants with shelter and functioning utilities. In order to keep retention rates high and turnover down, you must find ways to keep your tenants happy.
There are multiple ways to keep a tenant happy. You can help them save money, make them feel appreciated, or go above and beyond their expectations. Some of this happens naturally over time, but you’ll benefit most by facing this issue headfirst.
Here are seven powerful perks and incentives you may consider offering new and existing tenants.
- Early Rent Discount
As you know, getting tenants to pay on time on a consistent basis is one of the biggest challenges of being a landlord. If they don’t pay on time, it requires a lot of energy and shifting on your part. Not only do you have to chase them down, but you have to move money around in your own accounts to cover the expenses that their rent check was supposed to fund.
One mutually beneficial incentive you can offer tenants is some sort of early rent discount. If rent is normally due on the first of the month, you could offer a $25 discount for submitting payment before the first. In lower income rentals, seemingly small discounts like this can be a huge incentive for tenants.
- Rent Refund Program
Another strategy is to offer a rent refund program. This incentive works in a similar manner, but encourages consistently paying rent on time over a longer period of time.
A rent refund program works like this. You let tenants know that every time they pay rent early or on time, you’ll set aside a certain amount in a “reimbursement fund.” At the end of the year, the amount in the fund is sent back to the tenant in the form of a check. But there’s a catch. The tenant has to make every single payment on time for 12 months, otherwise the fund goes away.
- Free Alarm Monitoring
An alarm monitoring service is something most people like to have, especially when living alone, but very few are willing to pay for. One incentive is to offer free alarm monitoring when tenants sign a 12-month lease agreement. In the grand scheme of things, this is a small investment when you know you’re retaining a tenant for a year. But for the tenant, it’s seen as a huge perk.
- Gym Membership
Most people have some desire to be healthy and remain fit, but gym memberships can be expensive when purchased individually. One unique and competitive offer – especially when you’re up against apartment complexes in the area – is to offer a complimentary membership to the nearest gym.
On your end, you can probably work out a deal with the gym. If you have five or six rentals in the area, a gym would probably be more than happy to give you a discounted rate for signing each tenant up. It’s definitely worth looking into.
- Free TV
There’s something really attractive about the idea of getting a free TV, right? So why not entice tenants to sign or re-sign a lease by offering a free TV?
It may sound impractical and expensive, but it really isn’t. TVs have gone down in price dramatically over the last two or three years. You don’t have to get the biggest brand or nicest technology on the market. A highly rated 42-inch HDTV from a brand like Vizio can be purchased for less than $300 at a store like Walmart or Target. (For perspective, that’s probably less than a year of alarm monitoring service.)
- Free Moving Van
One of the things that keeps people from moving from one rental to another – even when there’s a better deal out there – is the thought of packing up and moving. Not only is it time consuming, but it can get pretty expensive.
If you’re trying to entice a tenant to sign a lease agreement, but they’re reluctant because of the cost of moving, offer to pay for the moving van and other expenses. This gesture can go a long way towards building a healthy relationship.
- Property Upgrades
Renters like having nice things. Just because they don’t own the property, doesn’t mean they don’t care about having modern fixtures, efficient appliances, and cool designs. If you hear a tenant talking about something they don’t like about the property – such as a dated bathroom or dishwasher that frequently breaks – use this as an opportunity.
Much like the rent refund perk, you could tell your tenant that you’ll update the bathroom, replace the dishwasher, (fill in the blank), if they pay rent early for the next 6 months. It isn’t a big deal for you, because the issue needs to be fixed in the future anyway, but it appears to be a grand gesture and motivates tenants to stay disciplined.
Green Residential Professional Property Management
Identifying and investing in the right rental property is only part of the equation. In order to make your investment worth it, you have to find good tenants who are going to provide you with the cash flow you need to enjoy a healthy ROI. But if you’re like most investors, you don’t have time to be a full-time landlord. That’s where we come into play.
If you need professional property management services in and around Greater Houston, Green Residential is the partner you’re looking for. We have decades of experience in this market and will work hard to make sure you get the highest ROI possible, with the least time commitment and stress. Contact us today to learn more!