Property Management Los AngelesNearly 36 percent of the U.S. population rented their home or apartment in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you’re a property manager, you’re constantly looking to grab responsible house hunters and convince them to move in—and stay in—your building. Keeping tenants on a long-term basis costs you less money over time, as you don’t have to worry about the property sitting empty and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of screening new renters. A few small perks can easily convince your tenants to stick around.

Provide a Gift Upon Move In

Leave a great first impression with your newest renters by giving them a small housewarming gift. You can leave the present in the apartment so your tenants are surprised when they walk in or give it to them when you hand over the keys. Pick simple gifts that are practical and cheerful, so your newest tenants feel welcome.

Offer Referral Bonuses

If you have a multi-family building, encourage your current tenants to stick around and attract new tenants for you by offering a referral bonus. For a referral program to work well, you have to make it worth their while. For example, instead of offering a skimpy 10 percent discount on one month’s rent or a $50 gift card to a local restaurant, make the referral something people actually want.

Offer 50 percent off one month’s rent per successful referral or a full month free to the tenant who refers two successful candidates to your property. Type up an agreement that tenants who wish to participate in the program can sign. Include all the details of the program, such as how long the new tenant needs to stay in the apartment and how to claim the referral.

Hold Tenant Nights

Host a special event just for tenants every month to make them feel welcome in the building and to build a sense of community with other residents. Structure events around a timely theme. For example, hold an electronic waste recycling event in honor of Earth Day in April or have an ice cream social in July to celebrate Ice Cream Month.

Let Them Pay Digitally

Take the headache out of collecting and paying rent by letting your tenants pay you online. You can accept PayPal payments, which allow people to send the rent to your email address. Another option is to use a rent-specific payment method, such as SparkRent. SparkRent is completely free for tenants and costs landlords $1 per payment. Since tenants can set up automatic payments, they won’t have to worry about remembering to pay on time and you won’t have to worry about tracking them down on the first of each month.

Fix Issues Quickly

If your bathroom sink busted or your refrigerator was on the fritz, you wouldn’t want to have to wait days to get it repaired. Your tenants don’t either. If there is a pool, make sure it is maintained with the proper pool products and if there is a problem, fix it quickly. Pool issues can lead to expensive repairs for you if they aren’t monitored. Tenants are attracted by crystal clear waters in the summer months, too. Commit to fixing any problems within 24 hours or less. If you don’t respond in time, offer your tenants a discount on the next month’s rent.

What does your property management company do to help keep its tenants happy?