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Avoiding the High Cost of Vacancies

Avoiding the High Cost of Vacancies

When a property is vacant it loses money. It is that simple. In addition to losing rental income, a vacancy means high turnover costs to get the property ready to rent.

So how do you avoid vacancies? Tenant retention. Keeping good tenants avoids the money pit of vacancies.

The best way to keep a tenant is to be responsive and considerate. Treat your tenant the way you would want to be treated. This will increase the length of their tenancy and your consistent rental income while avoiding costly turnovers.

Tenants juggle a lot of responsibilities. Jobs, childcare, school, family needs all create time crunches and stress. When something goes wrong in a home and a tenant cannot get it resolved quickly and easily, well, it’s enough to send a person over the edge!

Our staff works hard to project empathy toward our tenants and problem solve with them. While these are important, they don’t negate a bad experience with repairs. Think about it. Does it matter how nice a landlord is when it takes numerous phone calls, emails, and scheduling to get a repair done?

Take an example of a simple repair request: Mary submits a request to have a leaking toilet fixed. The order is reviewed quickly by our maintenance staff and is sent to a vendor who then tries to contact the tenant and arrange an appointment. The vendor works a normal 9-5 schedule, so the tenant may have to request time off of work to meet the vendor. This adds time to the process and loss of income for the tenant. Meanwhile, the toilet continues to leak, running up the water bill. If all goes smoothly, and this is not an expensive repair, it can be completed within a few days.

Add to this lengthy process the need for an expensive repair to be approved by the owner. Mary submits a repair request for a leaking roof. The maintenance staff reviews the request and has a vendor go out and assess the leak and provide an estimate. Given that it took one to three business days to schedule with the tenant, Mary must now wait while the estimate gets approved by the owner. Maintenance sends the estimate to the owner who has to evaluate the costs in relation to his/her budget. The funds then have to be transferred to the vendor so they can be paid. This can add days, or even weeks, to the process if the owner takes time to approve the request. Once approved, the vendor is given the work order and must schedule again with the tenant, adding more days and possibly more expensive repairs with water damage.

If an owner requires several estimates, this adds even more time to the process. Meanwhile, the tenant is left feeling frustrated, worried about personal belongings getting ruined. They may consider it time to move if this is the normal process.

Avoid costly turnovers. Return repair requests as quickly as possible. Keep your tenant pleased with the repair process and happy to stay in their warm, comfortable home, secure in the knowledge that repairs will be handled quickly and efficiently.