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The Benefits of Building a Strong Community in Your Rental Properties

The Benefits of Building a Strong Community in Your Rental Properties

One way to retain residents, provide an outstanding rental experience, and establish a great reputation as a landlord is to create a strong community among your tenants and within your rentals. Everyone is searching for a sense of community, and getting to know our neighbors isn’t always easy. When you make an effort at easing the way for your building to feel like a community, you stand out as a landlord that people want to rent from.

Community is important to your residents because it helps them sink into a sense of belonging. Your tenants will feel like they’ve found a home rather than a temporary rental space. When those tenants feel like they’ve settled into something special, they won’t want to leave. That retention boost is just one of the benefits. 

A lot of new construction, build-to-rent developments are popping up throughout the area and all over the country, and that’s one way to invite neighbors to become friends. If you already have an established building or a collection of rental homes in the same neighborhood, what can you do to foster this sense of belonging, and why is it worth your time? 

We’re answering those questions today. 

Benefits of Community Building in Your Rental Properties

The benefits of community are well-documented across all demographics and spaces. Whether we’re talking about where you live, where you work, or where you pursue your passions, building community creates friendships, better mental health, increased networking opportunities, and a sense of safety and security. Experiencing things together, with others, provides more meaning than getting through all of life’s events on one’s own. 

Here’s how the community building you do in your rental properties will benefit you, specifically as the property owner. 

  • Better Tenant Retention for Your Rentals

The most obvious benefit is tenant retention. This is also the benefit that will likely earn/save you the most money. Retaining tenants is good for your property, your income, and your long-term return on investment (ROI). 

It’s easy to see how community leads to retention: your residents will not want to leave the place where they live when they love living there.   

Most tenants want to live in a place that values community. They’ll feel like they can trust and appreciate their neighbors. Those neighbors are likely to become friends. They’ll socialize with one another, share activities and events, and hopefully create strong bonds and meaningful connections. When lease renewal time rolls around, a tenant who feels supported and included will not want to leave that community. 

Tenant retention will be especially easy when your tenants actively engage with one another. When there are activities and events for them to participate in, they’ll want to stay. When they can ask their neighbors to feed their cat when they’re out of town, or water their plants, they’ll know that it may be difficult to find a similar situation elsewhere.   

Longer residencies are good for your investment goals. This type of retention leads to more consistent rental income and better ROI. Vacancies are costly and you never know how long it will take to turn the unit over and look for another qualified tenant. 

Those turnover costs are likely to be more expensive than the vacancy itself. Not only is rent not coming in from that vacant unit, you’re also struggling to keep up with the costs associated with your empty property. You’ll have to cover the utilities. You’ll need to pay for maintenance and cleaning and cosmetic repairs. There may be upgrades and updates necessary before the property is ready for a new tenant. 

When you want to make an effort towards tenant retention, make sure your tenants feel like they’re at home.

  • Community-Minded Tenants Take Better Care of Your Property

You want your tenants to feel a sense of responsibility for where they live. You want to create buy-in so they’re willing to pitch in and help out. You want them to keep your property clean and well-maintained. 

That’s another benefit of building community. When your tenant feels like a property is a home, they’re going to take better care of it. 

You can set a good standard for how you want your property treated by responding quickly to maintenance needs and prioritizing preventative services. In a strong community, you’ll have residents who take pride in their property and want it to look good. They’ll do a better job of cleaning, they’ll make minor repairs on their own when it’s possible and safe, and they’ll be quick to let you know when something needs attention. All of this leads to better protection of your investment and its condition. 

  • You’ll Have Fewer Disputes and Conflicts to Manage

It’s never fun to mediate arguments between tenants about parking, pets, and noise. This often feels like it’s not your job. 

However, you want all of your tenants to be happy and supported, so you will occasionally find yourself trying to work out a peace agreement between neighbors who are at war. Most tenants are likely to have a grievance or two against a neighbor. Especially in a multifamily property where a lot of space is shared. 

With a strong sense of community at your property, you’ll likely have fewer tenant disputes and conflicts. Your tenant relationships will be easier to manage because they’re closer. They’ll have an easier time talking to one another instead of complaining immediately to you. 

That’s a pretty sweet benefit. 

Tenant disputes are always going to be an issue. Everyone has a different level of tolerance for noise. Non-pet owners will be displeased with dogs barking and messes made. Community building makes it easier for tenants to talk with each other.

Establishing a community within your rental property will make it more difficult for tenants to be aggressive and unpleasant with one another. When the space is welcoming and inclusive and safe, residents will be more considerate of one another.   

Market Your Property as Community-Oriented

Those benefits are going to earn you more money and save you more time as a rental property owner. 

You can also use your strong sense of community to attract residents to your building. 

This is a big selling point, and if your residents are willing, they can even be present to welcome prospective tenants who come to see vacant homes. This will lend a personal touch to your marketing process, and give new residents a sense of what it’s like to live there. 

Most potential tenants are looking for a fair price, a safe neighborhood, good property management, and a comfortable and attractive home. More and more, tenants are also looking for a welcoming environment. They want to know who they’ll be living with and near. 

Make the strong sense of community at your building a part of your marketing strategy when you’re listing and advertising your home. Let prospective residents know that there are events such as socials, potlucks, movie nights, and whatever else you have going on. This is unique, and it will get their attention. It will also draw them to your property. It will leave a lasting impression. 

Steps to Creating a Community You Can Be Proud of

Saying you want a strong community is a lot different than actually establishing one. How can you lay the groundwork to facilitate tenants finding community in your rental home? 

Here are some good ideas. 

  • Create communal space inside and outside of the building

You’ll need to create some communal space, and that should be indoor space (think a clubhouse or a lounge) and outdoor space (maybe a courtyard or a picnic area). Your property can benefit from a recreational area or a multipurpose room where tenants can gather and get together.   

  • Invite residents into private social media groups

Almost everyone has a Facebook account, and they can usually be found on Instagram, Twitter, and a variety of other social media platforms, too. This is a good way to inspire connectedness. Tenants can use social media groups to share information. When someone signs a lease, send them an invitation to whatever social media channels you’ve created for your community.  

  • Host events and social activities

Put together a social calendar with things like brunches, coffee hours, potlucks, and picnics. Maybe you’ll have a movie night or a game night. Tenants will eventually create their own events and invite each other to their own activities. You can get the ball rolling by suggesting things for the community to do. 

When you’re putting in the work that creates a community, remember that you’ll cast a wider net when you’re as inclusive as possible. Community-building activities should be diverse and welcoming. Remember that every community is different. What works for you might be something unique that doesn’t necessarily work in other communities. You’ll have to be willing to experiment, and not feel too dejected when one or two ideas don’t work out. 

Contact ManagerInterested in getting some help from us? We’d love to provide it. Please contact us at Doud Realty Services. We provide expert property management in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Hampton Roads, as well as surrounding areas such as Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Newport News.