Have you ever received such poor customer service that you swore you would never return to a business or service provider? If you have not had that experience yet, it will come in time. On the contrary, have you experienced such exceptional customer service that you could not help but to refer friends, neighbors, and even go so far as to post a raving online review? Again, if not, the time will come. Our goal at Specialized Property Management Orlando is to provide superior service to clients and tenants, so that they have to remind themselves to stop talking about us to their friends and neighbors. At SPM, we know that you have many choices when it comes to rental property management Orlando, and that is why we put our customers and their concerns as our top priority. With more than thirty years of experience in the rental property management industry, we know a thing or two about how to achieve record-high rents for clients, keep maintenance costs low, and ensure long term tenant retention, all while upholding the highest standards of integrity. After all, we are in the business of keeping you in business and one of the fastest ways to wreck a return on investment is to have high tenant turnover. If you are struggling with keeping tenants long term, take a look at some of the things that we have learned over the years that keep tenants wanting to stay in our rental properties.
Tenant Screening and Selection
Reducing the number of vacancies and turnovers starts with tenant screening and selection. If you pick the wrong tenant who is not responsible or financially qualified to afford the rent amount, you will have an eviction on your hands very quickly. Landlords who do rental property management in Orlando must determine tenant screening requirements and uphold them. Do not make exceptions to screening guidelines just to fill a vacancy more quickly. This is a rookie mistake made by landlords who want to fill a vacancy sooner than later, so they lower their screening standards, and after a month or two of occupancy, reality hits. The tenant is not qualified to rent from you. Avoid this unnecessary turnover by choosing and waiting for the right, highly-qualified tenant to come along. They are worth the wait. At Specialized Property Management Orlando, we require that all applicants 18 years old and older fill out an Application to Rent. Eforms has an example of what an Orlando, FL rental application should look like. Our professional leasing staff verifies rental history by contacting previous landlords and property management companies, verifying income and employment, conducting background and credit checks, and ensuring that our prospective tenants meet our rent to income ratio. Ask previous rental property management Orlando landlords about the type of tenant that your applicant is or was including:
- Did your tenant pay rent on time?
- If not, how many payments were late?
- Was an Unlawful Detainer ever filed for late payments?
- What is the rental amount that they pay?
- When you conduct a property inspection, is the property neat, tidy and clean?
- If given the opportunity, would you rent to this person again?
Speaking with a previous landlord can be very informative. Credit checks also give landlords insight into how responsible an applicant is when it comes to paying bills on time and in full. Decline applicants that have outstanding balances to previous property management companies and utility providers. Require that applicants provide income proof at the time they submit an application to rent. Acceptable income proof can be the following:
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Offer letter
- Social Security Benefits statement
- Court Ordered Agreement
Failure to properly screen a rental property management Orlando applicant can result in more vacancy time which leads to a loss in rent, turnover costs to pay for paint and cleaning, and all of the energy, time, and money put into marketing, showing, screening new tenants, and signing a new lease agreement. Do your homework on your applicants, and it will pay off in the long run.
Let Your Tenants Know That They Matter
Communication between a landlord and a tenant can make or break the relationship. Clear communication helps to establish expectations of each party so that responsibilities are upheld. Take the time out of your day to communicate effectively with tenants. At the time of the lease agreement signing, be clear about the monthly rent amount, how they can pay it, where they can pay it, and what will happen if they fail to pay. The best rental property management Orlando landlords make themselves available to talk, email, text, or speak face to face to tenants when a maintenance request or a concern arises. Making time for your tenants lets them know that you care about them and their housing environment, which in turn makes them feel important. Tenants who feel important and heard by their landlords are more likely to stay in the home long term.
Respond quickly and efficiently to maintenance and repairs. Quick response times will save landlords money because the longer a maintenance request goes without attention, the worse the problem gets, triggering a higher bill to make the repair. Remember that even what may seem like a small maintenance request to you made by a tenant, feels like a big maintenance to them. They are the ones living with the imperfection 24/7. Hire licensed and insured repair workers to make the correction and continue to communicate with the tenant regarding his satisfaction with the repair.
When a rental property management Orlando lease agreement is about to expire, approach your tenants and give them the opportunity to renew the lease agreement for another one year term. Of course, only proceed with this option if your tenants have been responsible with the house and rent payments each month. This is a good opportunity to give a reasonable rent increase. Know the market rate of your rental property and offer your property to the tenants at the market rate. While signing a two-year lease agreement may sound like a good idea, rental property management Orlando experts want to caution landlords against signing lease agreements for longer than a one year term. If a tenant is locked into a two-year lease, the landlord is now unable to raise the rent for two years, creating a ceiling on himself if the market increases. It also locks a landlord into a two-year agreement which can be difficult to break if the tenants turn out to be bad renters.
Be honest. If you are unwilling to make an improvement to the premises at the time, be honest about where you stand and why. If you have told your tenants that you plan to make improvements, keep your word.
Keep Up With the Competition in Rental Property Management Orlando
It is legal to give a rent increase as long as the tenant is not under a lease agreement term. If they are living month-to-month in the rental house, you are legally allowed to give a tenant a rent increase. Florida law Statutes and Constitution do not give a minimum amount of notice that a tenant must receive prior to a rent increase becoming effective. However, it is ethical and recommended by Specialized Property Management Orlando that tenants receive a 30-day notice prior to the rent increase becoming effective. Doing so gives tenants time to budget and plan for the increased rent amount or gives them the opportunity to find another dwelling.
If giving a rent increase, make sure that you know the market. Conduct market research often to see what other housing options are on the market. View online postings, walk open houses, inquire from property managers about amenities, included utilities, upgrades, and talk to prospective renters at the open houses about what they liked or did not like about the property that you viewed. Rental property management Orlando professionals view properties that are within a three to five mile radius of your rental property with similar square footage, amenities, upgrades or updates, and lot size. If you raise the rent too high above the market rate, you are more likely to lose your current tenant, because they will start viewing other housing options and realize that their money can go further if they move to your competitor’s house. Stay educated on the market in your area and give rent increase with caution.
At Specialized Property Management Orlando, we appreciate our tenants. That is why we reward them with our Resident Rewards Program when they pay rent on time and in full each month. Our Resident Rewards Program gives our tenants the opportunity to get up to 50% off on dining, shopping, groceries, and entertainment. Tenants who pay rent on time can literally put money back into their bank accounts through our Rewards Program.
If you are looking to keep your responsible tenants long term, keep the rent money flowing into your pockets each month, and save money on turnovers, leasing, and marketing, contact rental property management Orlando pros at Specialized Property Management today. Call (407) 682-3355.