You always hear of new or existing tenants who accept new tenancy, or the renewal of it, only to put off its signing until the big day (move-in) or when the old lease is just about to expire.
A couple of questions…
Does your agency have a policy when it comes to getting leases signed?
Do you find yourself or your staff making mad dashes around every month trying to secure signings or renewals?
Or have you made it a habit to follow up quickly to ensure you get those signatures?
If you answered no to the last question, biding time until your leases expire or waiting until the eleventh hour reduces security for both the leaseholder (who might put your reputation to question if they are left with no home to live in) and the property owner who might decide it’s high time they enlisted another property manager.
Worry not though. Here are five easy ways you can get tenants to put pen to paper on those leases and ensure you never lose sleep again over the same.
Start your renewal process 3 months before date of expiry
For starters, the good thing with renewing a contract early is to ensure another term is secured for both the landholder and leaseholder with ample time still left before the lease expires. It’s just like a player’s contract: you want them to renew way before the contract runs down to eliminate a lot of uncertainty.
Second, this buys the landlord (or property manager) enough time to source for a new tenant in case the current occupant decides to call time on his/her residency.
The third thing is it gives you, the lessor, sufficient time to offer the tenant reasonable notice for vacating should the property owner wish not to rent out the premises anymore.
And the fourth thing is that this three-month period offers plenty of time to negotiate any increases in rent, should there be a need for any.
Make use of alerts to serve as reminders three months prior to the expiry of the lease.
Ensure new leases are secured as soon as the tenant accepts
Make it a habit to have the lease signed as soon as both tenant and property owner come to an agreement, usually within 24 hours. This rewards both agent and landlord especially if you follow it up with rent collection (and other applicable monies) prior to any new lease being signed.
Make lease signing easy
When terms to the lease are simple and clear, everyone enjoys their peace of mind.
Not only is it common sense on the part of the property manager to make sure there are no gray areas in the tenant agreement, but also a good business practice. If possible, have your tenants come to your office to sign the leases.
How about a little incentive?
Having new tenancies commit to a lease quickly gives them the sense of security that they’ve landed a property.
You can offer simple welcome gifts to the tenants when they sign their leases, things they tell you they love such as vouchers to the local gyms, fast food joints, beauty salons and, you know, that sort of thing.
Explain the rental market to tenants who delay their decision-making
You might find tenants whining about a rent increase only to later fail to secure another property that meets their needs, therefore leading to regret. It never hurts to furnish your tenants with market research explaining why the property is a great value.
Overall, it’s a good idea to have your leases signed as quickly as possible: it is for the security of all parties involved; it is for your financial well-being; it is for your peace of mind; it is for your company’s reputation. Without a signed lease in hand, you lack a binding contract!