14 Surefire Ways to Increase Renewals and Maximize Resident Retention
Did you know it costs $3,976 to replace one of your residents when they don’t renew their lease?
Zego found the average turnover costs to include:
- Lost rents: $1,598
- Unit repair costs: $775
- Concessions: $1,240
- Marketing and advertising: $364
As a multifamily professional, you know that resident retention is key to the success of your property. Retaining residents is even more important than getting new ones.
Decreasing your resident turnover can not only save you in annual expenses but it can also liberate hours of work from the maintenance team that can be spent on other pertinent issues. It can also lead to stronger long-term relationships with your community.
Below, we’ve outlined strategies and tips for multifamily professionals to improve their property and services with an eye on resident retention:
1. Offer More Concierge Service Amenities
Today’s residents have come to expect a specific level of service at their property; they are no longer simply intrigued by an infinity pool or an on-site gym. Those amenities are commonplace and expected at your property. It’s critical to go above and beyond their expectations of what a property should provide in order to stand apart from the competition and earn those all-important lease renewals.
Properties need to take a customer service approach that permeates every aspect of their operation. According to Valet Living, home cleaning, package delivery, and pet services are among the most desired services for renters.
Your marketing approach also needs to reflect these service-based amenities. What really attracts and retains residents is knowing they live in an apartment community that cares about their specific needs and has an on-site security guard, an after-hours call number for maintenance emergencies, concierge services like dry cleaning and package delivery, and so much more.
For example, consider integrating convenience or property management apps on a resource page on your multifamily website, along with discount codes to use the services.
2. Make Your Website Responsive & User-Friendly
A multifamily website is the centerpiece of a strong brand identity, which is why your property needs to make it the best it can be.
As more prospects research properties online before ever booking a tour, responsive web design will continue to be the most important feature for apartment websites. A good apartment website will be simple yet well-designed, mobile-friendly, responsive, creative, and will drive brand recognition.
3. Show Resident Appreciation
It costs 5 to 25 times more money to acquire new residents than to keep existing ones happy. Loyal residents grow a property much quicker than multifamily marketing or sales, so it’s important to regularly show resident appreciation.
For example, you can offer snacks in the leasing office or leave little treats at each resident’s doorstep with a handwritten note. These small tokens of appreciation can go a long way to making your residents feel special.
4. Send a Resident Newsletter
Communication is key with your residents, and one of the best and most efficient ways to communicate is through email newsletters. Newsletters aren’t just a tactic to market your property; they are a way to stay in front of your residents on a regular basis and offer them resourceful information.
Consider distributing a newsletter every week or month to offer reminders to residents of all the fun events taking place in your community. This newsletter can be in an email format or printed and dropped in your resident’s mailboxes. Take this opportunity to offer resident deals, amenity or property updates, highlight community events, and other value-add content.
5. Be Consistent With Your Social Media
Your residents want you to meet them where they already are, and that’s on social media. It’s critical to actively connect, engage, and inspire residents through your social media presence.
Host special giveaways and contests, share relevant news, offer easy recipes, or highlight local happy hours. Position yourself as a trusted and valued resource to attract new residents and retain current ones.
6. Gather & Implement Resident Feedback
Negative feedback, left unanswered, has the power to turn into negative word of mouth. When a property responds, not only does it demonstrate a commitment to that resident relationship, but it demonstrates a standard of customer service for any prospective resident who might be flipping through your property reviews.
Create custom surveys, hand out comment cards, run polls via social media or email, or utilize feedback management software to reach your residents and learn their likes and dislikes about the community. Remember, residents don’t care about how you obtained the feedback if you don’t execute on it. Initiate opportunities to gain resident feedback, then respond accordingly to make the resident experience a pleasant one.
7. Create an App for Your Community
Many of today’s tech-savvy residents don’t just want a mobile-friendly experience; they want mobile-only. With technology at their fingertips, it’s easy to lose their attention. Developing an app for your apartment community not only puts you top of mind and sets you apart from the competition, but it can help eliminate some of the pain points of apartment living. For example, residents can receive maintenance alerts, learn updates about the property and amenities, and pay rent on their mobile device.
8. Start a Resident Referral Program
Despite how inviting your community is, residents often need an extra push to actively recruit their friends. Incentivize your residents for referrals by offering gift cards, cash, or rent credits.
Several software companies also offer gamification programs and apps that can not only increase your property’s brand awareness but also encourage current residents to renew or refer their friends. These programs allow renters to complete tasks and collect points which are then exchanged for gift cards.
9. Elevate Your Energy Efficiency
Many residents agree that environmental sustainability is an attractive amenity. Studies suggest that over 60% of renters would pay more in monthly rent for sustainable features.
However, sustainability is about more than just LED light bulbs or good insulation. What was once considered a potential “fad,” sustainable living is practically a requirement for today’s renters.
Residents have come to expect a level of sustainable features built into their living experience, from energy-efficient appliances to on-site recycling, in addition to more unique green features like bike-sharing stations and sustainable landscaping.
10. Utilize Live Chat on Your Website
Live chats have proven to be one of the highest converting self-help solutions. A live chat can provide residents with instant access to answers they seek and an easy route to acquiring important information. The simplicity of being able to type right where they are is unbeatable. Within seconds they can have what they need to move forward.
11. Personalize Communications With CRM Technology
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the solution to personalizing all of your property’s communications with renters. A CRM can assist properties in tracking renters’ actions as well as storing their personal information. This data can be integrated into properties’ online communications with residents and create personalized content.
12. Add an FAQ to Your Website
A detailed FAQ page is often an appreciated resource in creating an effortless resident experience. This allows renters to quickly view answers to questions they may have without having to call a leasing agent or wait for a response via email or social media.
13. Add a Virtual Property Tour
As the technology behind virtual reality progresses, it significantly enhances residents’ online apartment search experience. With a high-quality virtual property tour offered on your website, prospective renters can potentially view the entire community and decide to rent all online.
14. Host Resident Events
Resident events are one of the significant drivers of lease renewals and can help establish stronger connections and relationships between your renters. This, in turn, can improve your turnover rate. After all, fewer neighbor issues can lead to happier residents and more word-of-mouth referrals, right?
People will not stop talking about the things they love, but they will also not stop talking about the things they hate. Consistent resident events will create living billboards for management companies. Residents will generate apartment leads directly through word of mouth or indirectly through social media.
How to Increase Your Lease Renewals
As technology advances and resident demands change, it will be up to you to promote these amenities as part of your apartment marketing strategy; this will ensure resident needs are met and that the community is keeping pace in the amenities arms race.
And while these strategies can help you enhance the resident experience, it’s important to couple these efforts with updated amenities, quick service, and an attentive leasing team. Improving your resident retention will help build a strong community, one people will not only want to live in but will recommend to all their friends — and it is all dependent on the property’s entire team making a continuous effort.