15 Lessons About TOP QUALITY RESIDENCES You Need To Learn To Succeed

Resident retention is generally 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 of getting people in the door. Actually, the better a community is at apartment marketing and leasing, the more it could mask its shortcomings on the resident retention side. So much effort is made on the leasing side of the business enterprise that our front line troops are called “Leasing Professionals.” Focusing on Leasing is not a negative idea; however, neglecting another half of your organization can alienate your residents, cause high turnover, and severely impact your bottom line.

That is more important: Resident Retention or Apartment Marketing?

When we discuss the worthiness of Resident Retention, it is not to state that apartment marketing isn’t also vitally important. In other words, to improve retention, we should not sacrifice leasing. That said, a rise in retention is vastly more beneficial than a rise in leasing. This will not be considered a surprising concept. When you compare a new resident to an existing resident, the existing resident is a lot more profitable, with hardly any make-ready costs no loss because of vacancy. Additionally, a long-term renter is much more likely to refer friends and coworkers than a new renter would.

When you start to see the difference in profitability between the two groups, it really is shocking how much more we devote to prospects. Ki Residences Sunset Way While prospects and new residents get the advantage of cheaper rent and extensive marketing, existing residents, those that pay the bills, often obtain the short end of the stick. This difference can result in alienation of your current residents, a situation you need to strongly avoid.

Why is resident retention not on the radar?

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

Customer Service and Maintenance

Let me be clear about this: Customer service and maintenance aren’t 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 things are an expectation, not just a perk. Especially for Class A and Class B properties, residents do not see strong maintenance and customer service as a luxury item that they should be impressed with. They instead see these things as a required section 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 this is the best trait the restaurant can offer, would you really expect the meals to be that great? For a residential area to advertise a feature that should be standard, they’re actually implying that the rest of their service isn’t too impressive!

The infamous summer party…

Summer parties could be a fun perk, but are rarely an excellent investment. For starters, summer parties could be very expensive if food is offered, generally ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 for a 300-unit community. Ironically, you spend less when you get 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 show up. Of these, it’s likely that no more than 25 percent has a lease coming up to make an impression on the renewal decision. Therefore, you are impacting only 6 percent of one’s “target audience.” This implies for an average community of 300 units, you’re spending roughly $2,000 to attain 18 residents – that’s $111 per resident! Even if the party influences a few others that renew later in the entire year, investments in these parties usually 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 are able to keep about our residents, but you should at least have an idea of the different faces of one’s community. Additionally, rather than having one giant one-size-fits-all party, you can coordinate several smaller, targeted parties throughout the year. Having more frequent parties enables you to target different demographic groups in your community at differing times instead of “putting all of your eggs in a single basket” approach of large summer events. Spacing these events throughout the year will also guarantee your events coincide with all of your residents’ renewal periods, thus giving you the biggest impact possible. Here a few ideas that can it is possible to explore that are less costly:

Older Residents

Bridge or Mah Jongg Night
Dinner Rotation – This could 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 every other.
Singles Crowd
Poker Night at the Clubhouse (for prizes rather than 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 one could pass along to your residents. This can make them feel a part of an exclusive club with great deals all the time!

The future of resident retention

Have you heard the word “Resident Portal?” If you haven’t, keep reading! A Resident Portal is actually a website for your residents, adding a genuine social element to your community – consider it a “digital clubhouse.” If 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 create a true “community” environment. A simple Resident Portal includes a community calendar of events, utility sign-up features, maintenance requests, and online rent payment. However, several 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 get an entire year of service for the same price of 1 summer party. When done properly, resident social interaction can create strong emotional bonds between your residents, leading to impressive improvements in your retention rates.

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