an excerpt from “26 Ways to Keep Residents Longer”
By Jeffrey Taylor
- When screening residents, length of employment and rental history are the biggest predictors of Longevity.
- Give them market rent or just below it.
- Respond to resident calls in a timely manner, and take care of the property.
- Have nicer places and better service than the other landlords in the same area. It’s not too hard to do. For the most part, our residents like us and refer their friends to us. Most stay longer than a year.
- As previously stated, prior rental history is one of the biggest predictors of future longevity. In addition, ask the following questions on your application, (and really take a close look at the answers) because the answers can give you clues (both good and bad):
- What is your reason for moving from your current home?
- What do you believe you will like best about renting our property?
- How many years do you plan on staying in your next home? 1 year, 3 years or 5 years?
- If we get one to stay more than a year, we reward them with a property upgrade.
- We offer weekly payments to help them with their budgeting and this way we get a little more monthly rent.
- The best way I found to predict if people will move a lot is by viewing their credit report [or SSN & Address Validation] to see if there are many different addresses. If I see people that move around a lot for whatever reasons, I have a big problem with that.
- I look for overall stability. If they have three addresses in the last 18 months and four jobs in the last three years they won’t be staying very long even if they think they will. I like to see several years at current or previous address and good reasons why they are moving, I am hearing more and more they are moving because the landlord lost the house to foreclosure, either to the bank or to the city for not paying taxes, which I can check for accuracy.
- Put money into the property if you can. Things like hardwood flooring, porcelain tiles, top of the line appliances, premium siding, all the bells and whistles you can. Keep your properties the nicest in town….nobody wants to downgrade. If they look at other rental options, every other place needs to fall short of what they already have.
The above tips are shared on the MrLandlord.com website and in the Mr. Landlord newsletter from landlord contributors and real estate advisors and authors featured on MrLandlord.com. Reprinted with permission.