Whenever tenants renew their lease, that’s one less vacancy you have to worry about. Keeping your vacancy rate low means more money in your pocket and less hassle trying to find new residents while turning over the unit. You want to do everything you can to extend a resident’s lease term – and you really don’t want it to end during the slow season.

We recently discussed the importance of making a good first impression. There’s a second way you can positively influence a resident’s likelihood of renewing their lease for a second term. That’s to have a service-first mindset when it comes to maintenance.

Beating the Maintenance Woes

The number one frustration residents have about rental properties is maintenance. We’re all probably familiar with the stereotypical landlord who offers a lackluster (at best) response to maintenance requests. Their lack of concern or care does nothing more than further aggravate the resident.

But, you have a choice with how you deal with maintenance requests, and your choice can significantly impact a resident’s likelihood to renew.

Show Empathy. Communicate. Care.

The answer is really quite basic, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, especially if you’ve had to deal with issue after issue from frustrated residents.

The way to handle maintenance calls, however, is to show you really care about their experience. Offer warm empathy and keep them up to date. When a resident has answers and feels like they’re truly being heard, it can make all the difference in how they view your property.

As part of your management practice, you should have a clear maintenance policy. Your resident handbook should also be explicit about what steps to take if they encounter a maintenance problem. In general, you want to check these boxes as you make a maintenance plan.

  • Tell them who to contact if they have a problem (regardless if it’s 4pm or 4am).
  • Keep them in the loop about how long it will take to fix the issue and the next steps.
  • Treat them with respect and empathy.

We can’t emphasize enough how much a property manager’s attitude during a maintenance call matters. You might have two exact situations where the same issue is resolved in the same amount of time. But, if one resident is treated as if they are a burden and the other is listened to and kept informed, it’s not hard to guess which one will renew and which one will pack up.

To hear more from us about how your maintenance philosophy informs a resident’s experience, watch our webinar replay on how to reduce vacancies in your rental properties. You can also ask us your questions about owning and managing rental properties in the greater Columbus area anytime. Contact us today at RL Property Management.