With the new year upon us, it is good to reflect on how to improve your business. As a property manager, your business centers on one thing: your tenants. Lease renewals, which can be numerous around the new year, are an important way to assess the quality of your services as well as your tenants’ satisfaction levels. Renewals keep dependable tenants paying rent, avert vacant units saving you in turnover costs, and make your cash flow more predictable and reliable.

Start by monitoring, tracking and analyzing your lease renewal rates. Analyze renewal numbers on a month-to-month basis, as well as on a monthly year-over-year basis, for a better, more holistic assessment of your renewal performance.

You can also get more granular with your analyses, comparing your renewal rates for 3-bedroom vs. 2-bedroom vs. 1-bedroom vs. studio renewals respectively. Perhaps your renewal performance on larger units is vastly better than on 1-bedroom units, for example. In that type of situation, try talking with your 1-bedroom tenants and testing certain enhancements to such units, and see if you can directly address the specific source of the lower renewal rates.

Make the renewal rates highly visible to everyone on your team, and discuss ways to improve renewal rates with everyone involved. Include a monthly review of renewal rates in your management meetings.

So let’s say that you are ready to go out and thrill your tenants to greatly improve your renewal rates. Where to start?

A recent study by SatisFacts, a leading source of tenant satisfaction statistics, found that three factors rate most highly as sources of satisfaction in tenants:

  • Quality of maintenance service
  • Safety and security, and
  • Quality of customer service provided by office staff

If you take each of these seriously, your lease renewable rates should increase. If you are following these best practices yet are still finding renewal rates at unsatisfactory levels, conduct a survey to uncover what’s on the minds of your tenants and to identify the changes and enhancements they would most appreciate. In addition, consider holding a tenant appreciation day where you can serve them free breakfast and coffee and chat directly with them. You’ll get to know them better, and will learn directly from them how to best serve them and keep them happy.

If you focus your attention and the attention of your entire team on improving your renewal rate performance, the improvements will be sure to come in time. Your property management business will, in turn, become stronger and more profitable.