The Quickest & Easiest Way To TOP QUALITY RESIDENCES

Resident retention is normally the forgotten element in property management, while the art of apartment marketing and leasing to new prospects is still studied, sliced, diced and pureed by the apartment industry to find optimal strategies to getting people in the door. Actually, the better a community is at apartment marketing and leasing, the more it can mask its shortcomings on the resident retention side. So much effort is manufactured on the leasing side of the business our front line troops are called “Leasing Professionals.” Concentrating on Leasing is not a bad idea; however, neglecting the other half of your organization can alienate your residents, cause high turnover, and severely impact your important thing.

That is more important: Resident Retention or Apartment Marketing?

When we discuss the value of Resident Retention, it is not to say that apartment marketing isn’t also quite crucial. In other words, to boost retention, we should not sacrifice leasing. Having said that, a rise in retention is vastly more beneficial than a rise in leasing. This should not be considered a surprising concept. When comparing a new resident to an existing resident, the existing resident is a lot more profitable, with almost no make-ready costs and no loss due to vacancy. Additionally, a long-term renter is a lot more prone to refer friends and coworkers when compared to a new renter would.

When you see the difference in profitability between the two groups, it really is shocking how much more we spend on prospects. While prospects and new residents obtain the advantage of cheaper rent and extensive marketing, existing residents, those who pay the bills, often get the short end of the stick. This difference can lead to alienation of one’s current residents, a situation you need to strongly avoid.

How come resident retention not on the radar?

Even though we all understand the concept of resident retention, surprisingly little is well known about how to perform it. Therefore, most communities elect to either ignore everything together or choose methods that do not achieve the expected goals. Let’s first consider a few of the most typical mistakes made in current retention “techniques.”

Customer Service and Maintenance

Let me be clear about this: Customer support and maintenance are NOT resident retention programs. We constantly hear how important both of these items are, that is completely correct. However, rather than going above and beyond, these items are an expectation, not a perk. Specifically for Class A and Class B properties, residents do not see strong maintenance and customer service as a luxury item that they ought to be impressed with. They instead see these items as a required part of living at your community. Look at a restaurant advertising that its food is served warm. Isn’t that expected at a restaurant? And when that is the best trait the restaurant can offer, would you really expect the meals to be that great? For a community to advertise a feature that should be standard, they’re actually implying that the rest of their service is not too impressive!

The infamous summer party…

Summer parties can be quite a fun perk, but are rarely an excellent investment. Firstly, summer parties can be quite expensive if food is offered, generally which range from $1,500 to $3,000 for a 300-unit community. Ironically, you spend less when you get yourself a low resident turnout at these events. Imagine the cost if 100 percent of your residents attended! However, more than likely, you’ll only have around 25 percent of your residents arrive. Of those, it’s likely that no more than 25 percent has a lease coming up to make an impression on the renewal decision. Therefore, you’re impacting only 6 percent of your “target audience.” This means for the average community of 300 units, you are spending roughly $2,000 to attain 18 residents – that’s $111 per resident! Even if the party influences several others that renew later in the entire year, investments in these parties do not justify the reward.

So what are some programs we can implement?

Firstly, know your community. Fair Housing laws limit how much demographic information we can keep about our residents, but you should at least have an idea of the different faces of one’s community. Additionally, instead of having one giant one-size-fits-all party, you can coordinate several smaller, targeted parties throughout the year. Having more frequent parties lets you target different demographic groups in your community at different times instead of “putting all your eggs in a single basket” approach of large summer events. Spacing these events over summer and winter will also guarantee that your events coincide with all your residents’ renewal periods, this provides you with you the biggest impact possible. Here some ideas that can it is possible to explore that are less expensive:

Older Residents

Bridge or Mah Jongg Night
Dinner Rotation – This can be quite popular! Have an indicator up period for singles or couples. These groups then take turns rotating amongst their apartments hosting small dinner parties for each other.
Singles Crowd
Poker Night at the Clubhouse (for prizes instead of money)
Networking Night
Dance Classes
Sporting events
Children Friendly
Ice Cream Social
Kite Day
Scavenger Hunt
Also, understand that you have purchasing power! Most events around town offer group rates that you may pass along to your residents. This can make them feel a part of an exclusive club with money saving deals all the time!

The future of resident retention

Have you heard the term “Resident Portal?” If you haven’t, keep reading! A Resident Portal is actually a website for the residents, adding a true social element to your community – consider it a “digital clubhouse.” In the event that you haven’t noticed, almost all residents have a social presence online. Resident Portals take that concept and merge it with traditional apartment properties to produce a true “community” environment. A basic Resident Portal includes a community calendar of events, utility sign-up features, maintenance requests, and online rent payment. However, a few resident portals offer much more in terms of a community social experience. These expanded resident portals range between about $125/month to $200/month for a 300 unit community, meaning you can find an entire year of service for the same price of 1 summer party. Ki Residences Sunset Way When done properly, resident social interaction can create strong emotional bonds between your residents, resulting in impressive improvements in your retention rates.