Whether you are working with new tenants or an extension for existing tenants, getting them to sign a lease before move-in day or the expiry of the current lease can be a real struggle. It’s not necessarily a case of tenants dodging commitments (although, they may be looking for other rental opportunities), but whatever the challenges, your agency probably has clear policies around lease agreements. If you want to save your staff from frantically pursuing tenants every month, one of these five simple methods for getting tenants to sign lease agreements should help.
- Start Early
First and foremost, you want to start the lease renewal process as early as possible. By beginning the process as much as three months before the lease expires, you can secure a future term for the landlord and leaseholder well in advance. This guarantees the landlord has time to find a new tenant, but also gives the tenant peace of mind. Moreover, should the landlord prefer not to renew, you have plenty of time to notify the tenant that they must vacate.
- Sign New Leases Immediately
You should always get new tenants to sign your lease as soon as they accept the rental agreement. Most rental agreements include a damage deposit, so you can always get your tenant to sign a lease once the deposit is collected. Aim to have the lease signed and deposit collected within 24 hours of the tenant accepting the property. Again, this procedure is of benefit to the tenant. Before the lease is signed, there is nothing preventing a landlord from seeking other clients. Signing the lease immediately ensures the tenant has a legal right to occupy the property. The landlord is satisfied that a tenant has been found, and you collect your commission in a timely manner. Everybody wins! More about rental agreement here.
- Clearly Outline Procedures
Your agency leasing process and policies should not only be clearly outlined, but should be a straightforward and simple process. Securing lease agreements in a timely manner is the ideal situation for the landlord and the leasing agent. Set clear expectations for the tenant, including timelines so that everybody understands their role and responsibilities. When people know what to expect, they are more likely to adhere to policies.
- Provide an Incentive
In addition to the security of knowing they have secured a property, small lease signing gifts can be a great way to motivate tenants to sign leases – especially in competitive rental markets. Vouchers for local events, restaurants, gyms, or salons are inexpensive but might provide the incentive you need to get your tenants to sign new leases.
- Highlight the Benefits
Finally, when tenants are reluctant to sign leases, you want to highlight the benefits of signing quickly. Obviously, you can remind them that signing the lease secures the property, but they may also need to know a bit more about the location and the rental market. Having a better understanding of the value of their property by providing a bit of market research and reviewing amenities available near or on the property can be a great motivator for tenants to sign.