This article was posted on Friday, May 01, 2015

The lease renewal is a coveted thing to a property owner or manager. Securing it with a loyal tenant is something we strive for, and rightfully so. After all, the price of attracting and retaining new tenants is exponentially more expensive than efforts needed to retain new ones. 

For instance, recruiting new tenants requires extra spending on marketing the unit, the loss of rent for any period of time the unit stays vacant, and the any expenses needed to maintain the unit in the period between occupancies. Keeping current tenants happy and then rewarding their loyalty by providing incentives for lease renewal, on the other hand, doesn’t have to be so pricey…or time consuming. 

In fact, it can be downright easy. You can utilize survey results like those released by Rent Roll at [] to determine what tenants really want in an apartment lease. Then, you can make offerings accordingly, based on your own budget and practicality of the offer.

Here are 10 suggestions based on the results: 


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Everyone loves money; and a discount off rent for a month, six months, or a 12-month lease term is going to go along way with tenants. That’s why 52% of respondents prefer this incentive. 

Security Deposit Rebates

If you’re trying to keep a tenant that poses a lower risk for default and/or property damage, you can always consider another form of monetary incentive in a partial or full deposit rebate. 

Gift Cards

You can always go old fashioned and give a gift card to a local retailer or restaurant. While 4% of respondents said they would appreciate this, 28% said they prefer cash, so our recommendation would be to go with the latter, all being equal. 

Local Memberships

The top offsite incentive for respondents is a gym membership. There’s a pretty good chance your local gym will provide a bulk discount for property residents if purchased in bulk. 


On the other end of the “cash” spectrum is to simply give a gift. Here’s where you can get creative with anything from gift baskets to food delivery services to local event tickets. 

Premium Parking

If you have a tenant with an uncovered parking space or an assigned spot in the very last row, a good incentive might be a covered space or a move to the front row. In fact, 35% agree this is a good offer. 

Free Utility Service

The most desirable amenity to tenants these days isn’t the swimming pool, it’s Wi-Fi. An attractive offer to tenants is discounted or free high speed Wi-Fi or even another similar utility service. 

Aesthetic Upgrades

What about spiffing up the unit for the tenant if budget allows? You can offer new flooring, accent walls, or simple upgrades to drawer, bathroom, and kitchen hardware. 

Better Unit

You may not think tenants would entertain or like the idea of moving to stay on the same property. However, 24% of tenants consider a better unit to be a great incentive, while 21% would renew their lease for a green unit. 

Public Transportation Passes

How about rewarding your tenants while improving the environment? Consider ride share and everyone wins. 

You get the idea. But remember that it’s not all about just renewal time. You have to focus on customer service year-round and then couple those efforts with those you put into retention. Using this strategy with some fairly simple incentive ideas can improve your retention efforts dramatically. 

Class A Management has been helping multifamily property owners achieve success through its award-winning management services for nearly 30 years.  Reprinted with permission of Multifamily Insiders –