Treat your renters like family – they may never move out

Whether it’s fallout from the housing market crash or simply that there isn’t enough money to go around, a new survey that shows more than 25 percent of renters have no plans to buy a home means property managers must treat tenants as long-term assets as opposed to transitory income.

Gene Bennett, founder/president of All American Management in Longwood, Fla., says in response to this new shift in behavior companies like his must adapt by re-examining the way they market to and retain tenants.

“With long-term commitments, it makes good business sense to offer added incentives to clients,” Bennett explains. He says it also behooves property managers to beef up customer service since long-term renters offer more positive, stable cash flow.

The aforementioned survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Trulia, a website service for people looking to buy homes, found 27 percent of renters never plan to buy a home, and two-thirds of those who do plan to purchase one will wait more than two years. When asked what could influence them to buy a home in the next year, the top three responses were the ability to save for a downpayment (47 percent), getting a new job (28 percent), and low or lower interest rates (27 percent).

The survey’s results seem to mirror what is happening in America’s home-flipping market as well. With even less buyers for homes, according to the National Association of Realtors, only 4 percent of transactions this summer were for homes owned less than a year.

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