Resident retention is normally the forgotten factor 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. In fact, 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 manufactured on the leasing side of the business our front line troops are called “Leasing Professionals.” Focusing on Leasing is not a bad idea; however, neglecting another half of your business can alienate your residents, cause high turnover, and severely impact your important thing.

Which is more important: Resident Retention or Apartment Marketing?

When we discuss the value of Resident Retention, it is not to state that apartment marketing isn’t also vitally important. 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 you compare a new resident to an existing resident, the existing resident is much more profitable, with hardly any make-ready costs 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 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 that 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 should strongly avoid.

How come resident retention not on the radar?

Even though most of us understand the concept of resident retention, surprisingly little is known about how to accomplish it. Therefore, most communities elect to either ignore it all 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 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 items are an expectation, not a perk. Especially 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 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 if this is the best trait the restaurant can provide, would you really expect the meals to be that great? For a residential area to advertise a feature that needs to be standard, they’re actually implying that the others of their service is not too impressive!

The infamous summer party…

Summer parties could be a fun perk, but are rarely a great investment. First of all, summer parties could be very expensive if food is offered, generally which range from $1,500 to $3,000 for a 300-unit community. Ironically, you cut costs when you get a low resident turnout at these events. Imagine the price if 100 percent of one’s residents attended! However, more than likely, you will only have around 25 % of your residents show up. Of these, it’s likely that only about 25 percent includes a lease coming up to make the feeling on the renewal decision. Therefore, you’re impacting only 6 percent of one’s “target audience.” This implies for the average community of 300 units, you are spending roughly $2,000 to reach 18 residents – that’s $111 per resident! Even though the party influences several others that renew later in the entire year, investments in these parties do not justify the reward.

Just what exactly are some programs we are able to implement?

Ki Residences Singapore To start with, know your community. Fair Housing laws limit just how much demographic information we are able to keep about our residents, nevertheless, 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 allows you to target different demographic groups in your community at differing times instead of “putting all of your eggs in one basket” approach of large summer events. Spacing these events over summer and winter will also guarantee your events coincide with all your residents’ renewal periods, thus giving you the largest impact possible. Here a few ideas that can it is possible to explore that are less expensive:

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 each 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 may transfer to your residents. This may make them feel part of an exclusive club with money saving deals all the time!

The continuing 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 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 basic Resident Portal carries a community calendar of events, utility sign-up features, maintenance requests, and online rent payment. However, several resident portals offer a lot more in terms of a residential area social experience. These expanded resident portals range from about $125/month to $200/month for a 300 unit community, meaning you can get an entire year of service for exactly the same price of 1 summer party. When done properly, resident social interaction can make strong emotional bonds between your residents, leading to impressive improvements in your retention rates.

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