12 Tenant Retention Strategies for the Modern Era

tenant retention

Finding tenants, inspecting properties, handling maintenance issues, collecting rent, and preparing for emergencies is a lot of work. Every landlord or property owner understands that tenant turnover can be an expensive aspect of the rental business. Therefore, having a high tenant retention rate can remove a lot of stress from property management. While finding good tenants requires effort, retaining them demands even more. Yet, ensuring resident satisfaction may appear challenging. We are here to assist owners with practical tips you can start implementing today! Keep reading for our list of effective methods to boost tenant retention rates. 

What is Tenant Retention? 

Tenant retention means keeping existing tenants renewing their leases instead of them moving out and needing to find new renters. In property management, it’s usually more cost-effective and efficient to retain tenants rather than constantly searching for new ones. This approach ensures steady rental income and reduces expenses related to vacancies, marketing, and screening new tenants. To boost tenant retention, you need to offer valuable services, proactive management, and foster strong tenant relationships.  

Why is Tenant Retention Important? 

Retaining tenants is crucial for maintaining a strong and profitable business. By finding ways to keep current tenants satisfied, landlords can save significant amounts of money, ultimately boosting their rental cashflow. 

There are several expenses that landlords can avoid by retaining tenants. For example- when landlords put up listings for their rental properties, it can cost them anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars. If they decide to hire a leasing staff or a real estate agent to find tenants, they may have to pay several hundred dollars or even the entire first month’s rent as a fee. It usually takes about 30 to 45 days, sometimes longer, for a rental property to be vacant from the time one tenant moves out to when a new one moves in, meaning landlords might lose out on one to several months of rent. On average, it costs around $2500 to prepare a rental property for a new tenant. 

But depending on different factors, this cost could go up even higher. As a landlord, your time is valuable too. So, if you can avoid tasks like creating rental listings, showing the property, screening tenants, handling repairs, and doing inspections, you’ll have more time for other things. 

12 Ways to Increase Tenant Retention 

For landlords, having happy, long-term tenants is like winning big. There are many things landlords can do to make sure their tenants stay satisfied. Look at our list of the best 12 ways to keep tenants happy and increase retention rate: 

1. Offer Incentives 

We all enjoy getting something extra now and then! 

Incentives are important for keeping tenants happy and staying in their homes. They offer benefits beyond just the place they live. For example, if property managers set up a program where tenants can improve their credit score by paying rent on time, it encourages responsible financial behavior and gives tenants a real bonus. 

Also, offering rewards like lower rent or free amenities when tenants renew their lease encourages them to stay longer. 

2. Update and Renovate 

In the competitive rental market, properties that stay the same quickly lose their appeal. To attract tenants and keep up with trends, property managers can make regular updates and renovations. These changes, like updating the kitchen or bathroom or giving the place a fresh coat of paint, can make a big difference. Renovations not only increase the property’s value but also show tenants that their comfort matters. When tenants see efforts to improve their living space, they are more likely to stay longer, feeling they’re getting good value for their money. 

3. Offer a Resident Benefits Package 

Providing a Resident Benefits Package (RBP) is a smart move to improve how residents feel about living in a property. An RBP usually combines different services and perks that meet the needs and wants of today’s renters. This can include things like convenient services such as air filter delivery or help with moving in, as well as valuable benefits like programs to build credit or get renters insurance. 

By offering this package, property managers make their property more appealing and show they understand what renters want nowadays.  

4. Conduct Regular Inspections 

Regular property inspections are vital for keeping tenants happy and managing properties effectively. By checking the condition of rental units regularly, property managers can identify and fix problems early. This could be anything from a small leak to signs of wear and tear. Fixing these issues early saves money on big repairs later and shows tenants that their home is well taken care of. Inspections also give managers a chance to talk with tenants, listen to any concerns they have, and build trust.  

5. Focus on Security 

In today’s changing world, property managers need to focus on keeping tenants safe. When tenants feel safe, they’re more likely to stay in their homes. 

Property managers can enhance safety by installing good security systems, cameras, weather plans, and generators, and by regularly maintaining them. It’s not just about physical safety; identity theft is also a concern.  

A strong commitment to safety builds trust and shows tenants their well-being matters, encouraging them to renew their leases. 

6. Address Maintenance Requests Promptly 

In the rental world, taking care of property repairs is important but also a big challenge. 

Tenants care a lot about how quickly their maintenance problems are addressed. When property managers respond fast and get things done well, it shows their commitment to their tenants’ happiness and comfort. 

But if repairs are delayed or neglected, tenants might feel like their needs are overlooked. This might affect the retention rate. Moreover, fixing things quickly also prevents small problems from becoming big, expensive ones.  

7. Offer On-demand Pest Control 

Whether it’s ants in the summer or mice in the winter, pest problems can get worse fast if you don’t take care of them right away. By offering pest control whenever tenants need it, property managers show they’re serious about fixing problems and making sure tenants feel safe. This helps stop pests from coming back and shows you’re committed to keeping the place clean and livable. 

It’s also a better deal than just spraying for bugs before there’s a problem. On-demand service means dealing with issues right when they happen. 

8. Use Digital Solutions 

Nowadays, tenants expect digital convenience. Whether it’s paying rent online, using a website to ask for repairs, or taking virtual tours of properties, using digital tools can make tenants happier. 

These tools don’t just make paperwork easier; they also mean property managers can respond faster to problems. For younger people, being able to do everything online can be a big reason to pick one rental place over another. 

Property managers who keep up with new technology not only keep tenants longer but also show that their properties are up-to-date and modern. 

9. Seek Feedback and Act on it 

One of the best ways to keep tenants happy is by listening to what they have to say. This could be through surveys, feedback forms, or just having an open-door policy where tenants can talk to you. By doing this, you can find out what’s going well and what could be better in managing the property. But getting feedback isn’t enough; it’s important to do something about it. Whether it’s fixing something small, making renovations, or communicating better, acting based on tenant feedback makes their living situation better and makes them feel valued. 

10. Incorporate a Renter’s Insurance Program 

Encouraging renters to have insurance is a smart move for both landlords and tenants. This insurance helps tenants replace their belongings if it’s stolen or damaged. For landlords, it adds a layer of protection because tenants are less likely to ask them to pay for their lost or damaged belongings. It also covers costs for accidents that aren’t the landlord’s fault. Plus, landlords might get a discount on their own insurance if they show their tenants have insurance.  

11. Effectively Screen Your Applicants 

Unfortunately, a credit score will not tell you everything you need to know about your applicant. While it may seem excessive, a lot goes into the proper screening of a potential new tenant. This strict process is key to improving tenant retention. In addition to credit scores, you should ask for references, perform background checks, and determine why the applicant is seeking to move. Knowing that a new tenant is trustworthy, timely, and organized is the first step toward keeping them in your rental property for years to come. 

12. Implement a Lease Renewal and Incentive Policy 

Once you have identified tenants who pay on time, take care of the property, and follow the lease rules, you should consider implementing a lease renewal and incentive policy for tenants you want to stay. After all, finding new tenants is expensive and time-consuming, and if you have already identified a dream tenant, you do not want them to leave. Incentives that can entice quality tenants include offering to reduce some of their expenses. For example, one could go about this by offering to cover parking, utilities, or cable and internet fees. Additionally, another way to entice dream tenants to stay is by upgrading their property. According to a Softwareadvice.com survey, 27% of respondents said that unit upgrades would prompt them to sign a new lease. If that percentage is not high enough, consider the expenses required to update the property if the tenant leaves anyway. 

Hire a Professional Property Manager at BFPM 

Getting professional help with managing your properties is a great way to keep your tenants happy and make sure they get the best service. At BFPM, our team of property managers and support staff always prioritize the needs of our clients and tenants. We know that keeping tenants happy starts from the first time we meet them and continues with every interaction between landlords and tenants. If you are a landlord who wants to make your rental business even better, we can help you maximize your profit potential.  

Contact us at BFPM with any queries about property management or tenant retention. 

To learn more about attracting great tenants check out our articles:


Leveraging Social Media for Tenant Engagement and Retention: 10 Tips


A Complete Guide for Los Angeles Landlords to Finding Great Tenants


Trevor Henson

Trevor Henson is an experienced entrepreneur (10+ highly-successful start-ups) and property investor with a demonstrated history of building and leading teams in investment property management environments, maximizing returns for property owners, and optimizing properties through construction management and re-positioning. He…
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

A good tenant retention strategy involves prioritizing excellent customer service, promptly addressing tenant concerns, and fostering positive landlord-tenant relationships. Additionally, offering incentives or rewards for lease renewals and ensuring clear communication channels can further enhance tenant satisfaction and loyalty.

Calculating tenant retention rates is the same as any other user rate calculations:

  • Begin by tallying the number of tenants at the period's start.
  • Then, count the tenants at the period's end.
  • Divide the latter by the former.
  • Multiply by 100 to obtain the retention rate.
For example, with 120 tenants at June's start and 110 at its end, the formula yields (110/120) = 0.92. When multiplied by 100, it reveals a 92% retention rate, aiding in year-on-year comparisons. Q: What is the tenant retention period? A: The tenant retention period refers to the duration for which tenants remain in a property, typically measured from their move-in date to their move-out date. It's a crucial metric for landlords to assess tenant satisfaction and the effectiveness of retention strategies.

For residential properties, aiming for a 60% tenant retention rate, just above the national average of 48%, means retaining 72 out of 120 tenants from the prior year. In retail/commercial spaces, it's advisable to aim for a 70% retention rate since businesses tend to stay longer.