It’s a well known fact- if you want to save on your bottom line, you keep your tenants. One of the downsides of working in the rental industry is that it can ebb and flow quite a bit, causing a gap in between renters or tenants. With more and more places offering better incentives to move into their complexes, how do you improve your own tenant retention? What’s making them stay?

In a recent report, Software Advice revealed some interesting findings. They asked over 4,500 renters what would make them renew a lease and what they found may surprise you. Then again, it may not.

Show me the money.

Whoah, now, simmer down there, partner, it's only 12 bucks...

Whoah, now, simmer down there, partner, it’s only 12 bucks…

Okay, this one was no surprise to me at all. When you get into almost anything: cash is a pretty good motivator. This also holds true, as it turns out, for tenant retention. Turns out over half of those surveyed could be convinced to stay if they were getting some kind of cash perk. The most preferred, however, was rental discounts. 58% said that was enticement enough to stay, while 28% wanted cold hard cash. This was however, something that varied by age group with older renters preferring the cash, while the younger generation was fine with a discount.

Upgrade me.

Coming in second was upgrades made to the unit. This could be anything from a coat of paint to new flooring, but it was something that would convince 27% of those tenants to stay put.

Personally, I think that'd be a tough call, though. It would definitely depend on the toaster.

Personally, I think that’d be a tough call, though. It would definitely depend on the toaster.

The loser you’d think was the winner was free stuff. Coming in at only 11% of those polled feeling that a gym membership or some kind of gift would entice them to stay, that toaster you were thinking about? Keep it for your bagels and toast. They didn’t want that.

Protect my vehicle!

Of all the different amenities that would encourage a lease renewal and help maintain tenant retention? Free covered parking. Turns out, this was appreciated well above things like upgrades or even new kitchen appliances. After that, energy efficient upgrades comes in last in terms of tempting tenants to renew.
This report also revealed that timing was key, as well. If you offer these incentives these perks during the first signing or towards the end of their lease: you stand a better chance. For some reason, however, if you were to offer these rewards only a couple of months into the lease? They were less likely to respond by renewing.

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Kurt Kroeck has written articles in real estate, law, and art related niches for a number of high profile publications. He is an avid WW2 re-enactor, artist in graphite, charcoal, and digital media. He volunteers in animal rescue and enjoys spending time with his children.

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Advice, Industry Happenings