Over the pandemic, we’ve seen a revival of local communities. They’ve given us support and a sense of belonging in the darkest times, and the recent reopening of local pubs has only banded us closer together.
At HomeHero, we’ve always strived towards connecting tenants with their neighbourhoods. It’s a core part of what we do, and we think there’s real value in it for both tenants and property managers—one of which is increasing tenancy lengths.
But how so? When tenant demand is rising, locking in longer deals with good tenants is always in your best interest. As always, let HomeHero investigate how you can achieve this…
The power of connection
So, why should tenants connect with their neighbourhoods? Well, research shows that there are bountiful physical and mental health benefits to social interaction.
It can boost your mental health by giving you increased feelings of belonging, purpose and overall happiness. It can improve your confidence and self-worth, minimising the risks of developing mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
But there are also significant physical health risks linked to the opposite. One study found that lonely or socially isolated people are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Researchers also found that social isolation seemed to increase the risk of death in people with a history of heart disease—and previous studies also support these findings.
One study highlights that individuals with stronger social networks had a 50% increased likelihood of survival than those who didn’t, regardless of age, sex, health status and cause of death.
Are tenants missing out?
So, it’s clear to see the power of human connection. But are tenants, in particular, missing out on these benefits? Well, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the answer is yes.
A recent ONS study identified the prevalence of loneliness amongst ‘Generation Rent’. It found that renters between the ages of 16-34 had ‘little trust in their neighbours’ and did not have a ‘strong sense of belonging’.
Almost one in ten renters reported feeling lonely ‘often’ or ‘always’, compared to just 4% of homeowners. This may be down to disparities in financial security and living on a budget—all of which can influence your social life.
These figures also reflect the nature of tenancies. Dan Wilson-Craw, of Generation Rent stated that these figures are exactly what we’d expected from a housing market where renters move often.
“A given renter is more likely to be newer to the area than a homeowner”, he tells the Telegraph. “They won’t have those local connections or relationships with other people in the local area.”
Dan says that this highlights the flexibility of the rental sector and its lack of security. “It creates this churn because rents increase, landlords take back their property, or a tenant terminates the tenancy early.”
The nature of tenancies, although great for their flexibility, can sometimes result in tenants feeling isolated. For you, this could mean void periods are more likely, and you risk having a revolving door where good tenants leave and difficult tenants come in.
How can you connect tenants with the neighbourhood?
So, it’s no surprise that connecting tenants with their local communities is one of the best ways to combat void periods and encourage longer tenancies.
Suppose tenants are familiar, happy and connected to the neighbourhood. In that case, they’re far more likely to stay in your rental property—especially if you add real value to it and you’re a good property manager.
You can help promote this by taking your tenants on a tour of the area. This personal touch will allow you to show tenants local hotspots where they can socialise and join the community, such as the local pub or gym.
To help narrow down your search, ask your tenants what their interests or hobbies are. If they’re into yoga fitness, you can pinpoint the nearest leisure centre or studio and list it on their welcome pack, for example.
You could also…
- Introduce tenants to their next-door neighbours
- Let tenants know about any neighbourhood groups on social media they could join.
- Give tenants information about neighbourhood committees in the area/borough.
Doing this will be greatly appreciated by tenants. Not only will it show you’re an active and involved property manager, but it’ll also sow seeds in tenants’ minds on how they can connect to their new neighbourhood.
Once you’ve formed friendships and connections, your overall happiness increases—science has proven it. You feel more stable, secure and like you belong somewhere, and that can be hard to let go of.
So, if your property is in good condition, you’re professional and courteous, and tenants’ are connected to the local community—you’re in for a longer and more stable tenancy.
It’s something that seems to fly under the radar in the rental market. And while it’s not a property manager’s job to help tenants make meaningful connections in the area, there are small things you can do to help them feel more familiar with it.
So, why not give it a try? HomeHero, out!
Time for another? Read more interesting articles at Property Insider.