Tenant Retention Tips: Part I
Obtaining new tenants can be a costly affair for landlords. If tenants are dissatisfied, given today’s market, they can easily seek new space. It is always the preferred option to retain good tenants – those who pay their rent on time and cause little or no problems.
The Coldwell Banker Commercial® organization offers these tips to assist in retaining tenants:
1. Meet Your Tenant
Even though the property was bought as an investment, you are still in the people business and going out of your way to meet up with lessees can lead to longer, more meaningful dealings between yourself and your tenant. Also, understand their business and business model. They may have unique requirements.
2. Don’t Get Complacent
A long-term tenant is a valuable asset in a saturated rental market, so make sure you keep on top of all those little jobs that will make it easier for the tenant to feel like it is a good working environment.
- Maintain the property in the best possible condition; make sure equipment if up to date
- When the tenant reports maintenance problems, sort them out immediately
- Issues involving water, electricity, heating and air conditioning or safety should be resolved inside of 4 hours with a follow up to the tenants.
3. Have the Right Attitude
Show that you’re fair-minded and understanding. Don’t act like the tenant is ‘bothering’ you when they call. Be pleasant and show concern for their needs. Don’t ignore their questions or distresses.
4. Replace a Minor Item at Least Once Every Year
Have a plan to maintain the property on an annual and rotating basis so you are constantly generating a fresh appearance. Keeping up with some of the competing buildings will make a tenant see you care about the property and they will be less inclined to look around for unnecessary reasons. Amortized over time, the minor expenses don’t cost that much. Plus, they will be attractive to new tenants, and they increase the value of the space.
5. Tenant Improvements
Requests for improvements should always be considered. Be open-minded and flexible with the tenant’s space. The tenant can always restore the space to its prior condition if agreed.
6. Respect Their Space
When landlords meet tenants in their property, be respectful, friendly and informal. Avoid disparaging comments causing them to be unsettled by voicing possible future plans that are adverse to the current tenancy.
7. Pro-active Problem Search
Perform regularly scheduled “preventative maintenance checks.” Make sure the tenants are aware of when such things are scheduled. Performing these checks demonstrates a proactive approach as opposed to a “wait and see” and allows you to find issues before they escalate to a stage where they hand in their notice. Always ask if everything is acceptable or if the tenant has any problems.
By John Boyer, Senior Director of Marketing, Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates