5 Simple Steps To An Effective TOP QUALITY RESIDENCES Strategy

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 reaches apartment marketing and leasing, the more it can mask its shortcomings on the resident retention side. So much effort is made on the leasing side of the business enterprise our front line troops are called “Leasing Professionals.” Concentrating on Leasing is not a negative idea; however, neglecting another half of your business can alienate your residents, cause high turnover, and severely impact your bottom line.

Which is more important: Resident Retention or Apartment Marketing?

When we discuss the value of Resident Retention, it isn’t to state that apartment marketing isn’t also vitally important. In other words, to boost retention, we have to not sacrifice leasing. Having said that, a rise in retention is vastly more beneficial than an increase 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 hardly any make-ready costs no loss due to vacancy. Additionally, a long-term renter is a lot more likely to refer friends and coworkers when compared to a new renter would.

When you start to see the difference in profitability between your two groups, it is shocking how much more we devote to 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 your current residents, a situation you should 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 accomplish it. Therefore, most communities choose to either ignore it all together or choose methods that do not achieve the expected goals. Ki Residences Sunset Way Let’s first consider a few of the most typical mistakes manufactured in current retention “techniques.”

Customer Service and Maintenance

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

The infamous summer party…

Summer parties can be a fun perk, but are rarely an excellent investment. Firstly, summer parties can be quite expensive if food is offered, generally ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 for a 300-unit community. Ironically, you cut costs when you get yourself a low resident turnout at these events. Imagine the price if 100 percent of one’s residents attended! However, more than likely, you’ll only have around 25 % of your residents show up. Of those, it’s likely that only about 25 percent includes a lease coming up to make an impression on the renewal decision. Therefore, you are impacting only 6 percent of your “target audience.” This implies for the 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 several others that renew later in the year, investments in these parties do not justify the reward.

So what are some programs we are able to implement?

To start with, 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 your community. Additionally, rather than having one giant one-size-fits-all party, you can coordinate several smaller, targeted parties over summer and winter. Having more frequent parties allows 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, this provides you with you the biggest impact possible. Here a few ideas that can you can explore that are less costly:

Older Residents

Bridge or Mah Jongg Night
Dinner Rotation – This could be quite popular! Have a sign up period for singles or couples. These groups then take turns rotating among 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, remember that you have purchasing power! Most events around town offer group rates that you could 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 essentially a website for the residents, adding a true social element to your community – contemplate 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, several resident portals offer much more in terms of a community social experience. These expanded resident portals range from about $125/month to $200/month for a 300 unit community, meaning you can find a whole year of service for exactly the same price of one summer party. When done properly, resident social interaction can make strong emotional bonds in the middle of your residents, leading to impressive improvements in your retention rates.

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