Tenant turnover is a profitability killer for real estate investors. So we asked 7 REI influencers to share their advice on resident experiences.

Providing tenants with amazing experiences can reduce that turnover — and create a more profitable and low-maintenance experience for yourself.

For those investing in single-family rentals (SFR), creating an amazing resident experience starts with the listing and threads throughout the renter’s time in the property to the turnover. From beginning to end, you have an opportunity to create personalized, frictionless experiences that impress residents and result in less turnover.

7 Tips for Amazing Resident Experiences

Real estate investors (REIs) shared their best advice for amazing residential experiences, and we’ve compiled them here for you. Reduce your turnover, grow more profitable, and gain loyal tenants with these tips.

1. Start with a great first impression 

Steve Rozenberg, REI Think Tank Mastermind host and speaker, said: “First, I believe that you should give them an enjoyable experience the first time they walk into their new home. Have a welcome gift waiting on the counter as a way of you saying, ‘Thank you for being a customer!’ Inside has things that they probably do not have since everything is packed away — toothpaste and toothbrush, toilet paper, bottles of water, air freshener, and flashlight. Another good addition is a calendar for the wall or side of the fridge with dates for trash day, days to replace the filters, pre-winter things to do, pre-summer things to do. Last, add pictures of where all the emergency shut-off valves are (gas, electric, water), in case of emergency, as well as where the hot water heaters are located.”

2. Have an enhanced resident onboarding process

Peter Hernandez, vice president of Citizen Home Solutions, advised having a documented resident move-in plan with value-added services. For example, add a utility concierge service to assist residents with moving utilities to their new location. 

3. Create a rewards system

An IMN panel recommended a rewards system to incentivize great tenant behavior. Tenants can be given prizes for paying rent on time, having positive credit reports, and exhibiting other positive behaviors, gamifying the tenant experience.

4. Systemize the follow-up

Automatically follow up with your tenants, recommended Jeff Pintar, president and founder of Pintar Investment Co. Contact tenants 30 days and 60 days after they move in and after work orders are submitted. Ensure that they’re satisfied with their experience. 

5. Digitize whatever you can

Stacy Holden, director of AppFolio, said that renters are tech-savvy and want to use technology in all aspects of their lives. Include elements like keyless entry, smart locks, Nest Thermostats, and Alexa devices to add extra innovation to the rental home.

6. Create a “wow” moment

Jude Chiy, the founder of Flamingo, recommended creating a “wow” moment as part of the resident experience. Chiy suggested hosting a resident event like a scavenger hunt; offering fun, value-added amenities; or providing gift cards to local eateries on move-in day. Making this “wow” moment as early in the experience as possible is key.

7. Create gathering opportunities

Debi Wherry, senior vice president of operations for Fogelman, suggested offering tenants Zoom happy hours, game nights, and fitness classes. Wherry also recommended volunteer activities. “We found that the strongest connections with residents were built when we could find impactful ways to support our local communities,” said Wherry. “We organized a meal drive for Move for Hunger with our residents, collected care packages for first responders, and raised $30,000.” Investors with a portfolio of properties can bring the entire community together through these opportunities.  

Take your resident experience to the next level by implementing some of these engaging experiences. Creating an inviting environment and a sense of community for tenants will reduce turnover and increase profits.

If you’re interested in adding to your REI portfolio, connect with PlanOmatic to streamline your processes from acquisition to tenant turnover.