The (Mostly) Painless Way to Increase Rent

Asking for a rent increase is just like asking for a raise – it’s uncomfortable, but if you can justify the increase and have done your research, it can work out well. With a little preparation, you can make the process as smooth as possible.

First things first: as you prepare your rent increase notice, make sure you’ll still compete in the market. Find out what other properties within a 20-mile radius are charging, and ensure that your rates will be similar. While you’re at it, discover how the living space and community amenities offered by your competitors rival yours; in some cases, extra amenities can help to justify a rent increase.

Timing is also key here. Try to set the rent increase during your busiest move-in period (usually summer), so that new residents can begin renting at the new rates. This will help ease the transition for your staff and also for current tenants, since most renters expect to be paying what their neighbors pay.

When you’ve set the timing and done the research, explain your decision to current residents
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When you’ve set the timing and done the research, explain your decision to current residents, both within the rent increase notice and perhaps through an update in your community newsletter or even a personal letter or email to each resident.  Point out any enhancements you’ve implemented and any planned initiatives that will benefit tenants’ everyday lives, such as improvements to apartment common areas or planned renovations to your condominium’s complex. Reassure them that you and your team are available to answer residents’ questions and make sure your team is prepared and is confident with your reasoning.

Even with the best preparation and justification, some tenants may choose to leave. This is unfortunate, but can be expected. Make sure you have a plan to market your property to new residents and improve your property’s net operating income.

Bottom line, there is no easy way to announce rate increases. But, you can make the transition easier if you have a game plan. Good luck!

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