Resident retention is a top goal for multifamily regional and property managers; especially when research shows the cost of a non-renewal can be anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. The longer a resident stays, the better it is for a multifamily property’s bottom line.
While the industry saw an increase in resident retention during the pandemic, it is now important to take measures to maintain resident satisfaction so they are more likely to renew their lease. If you’ve done any research on this topic you’ll find that most people agree: the key is to create a community and an experience where residents feel like home.
Here are our top tips for building your multifamily community:
- Community is Key
When you build a sense of community, residents feel tied to their home and are drawn to staying longer. Encouraging and fostering a hospitality-focused mentality with your employees is an easy first step. Be sure to greet residents and make your lobby a convenient place for guests to visit.
Host Regular Community Events
Host events such as meet & greets, happy hours, Valentine-making, margarita-making, pumpkin carving, Christmas cookie decorating, or other holiday-themed gatherings, and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Work with local businesses to coordinate food-truck Fridays or other vendor-themed days to help support local businesses and get residents familiar with the community around them.
You can even host events just for kids! Hire a balloon artist and turn on some music by the pool, or rent a projector and have a movie night outside on the grass. Add in some popcorn and cookies and it’s sure to be hit.
Be Pet Friendly
With over 100 million dog and cat owners in the U.S. another area of opportunity is pampering the pets! Offer services like pet-sitting, dog-walking, or pet grooming. You can also keep treats in the lobby to make pets feel welcomed and highlight a “Pet of the Month” in your newsletters. Add in doggy play areas or pet clean-up tools throughout the property to take it one-step further in making sure residents feel their pets are a priority. Host events centered around the animals to create a pet-friendly environment.
Focus on the Move-In Experience
Add on to the sense of belonging and make move-in day a welcoming and easy event. A recent Kinglsey Associates study showed that a positive resident move-in experience improved renewal rates. Help your new residents have a smooth move-in experience by helping provide moving-day checklists. Handout contact information for utilities companies and maintenance contacts. Create a move-in day treat such as a gift basket with snacks, a voucher for pizza delivery, or a coffee mug with the property logo on it and a bag of local coffee grounds.
Offer Perks for Long-term Residents
You can also implement perks for long-term residents; like starting an awards program, offering a carpet or apartment cleaning voucher, or fresh paint every couple of years.
Creating a safe and welcoming environment will give your residents the community they desire. Building this community is key to keeping your residents happy. By keeping your residents happy, you encourage them to stay longer.
- Communication & Consistency
Maintaining a regular communication flow is another key step to building resident satisfaction. This includes being responsive and getting back to residents in a timely manner, and encouraging their feedback. You can implement regular surveys to solicit resident input.
Send out Community Newsletters & Build Social Media Presence
Be sure to send out follow-up communication in a newsletter or monthly mailing detailing what you’re doing to implement positive changes. A monthly or quarterly newsletter is a great way to keep residents consistently informed! It is also important to be sure you have staff ready and available to answer questions or handle maintenance issues. You should also create a presence for your property on social media, and stay consistent and active, utilizing your various channels to connect with residents.
Have a 24/7 Community Contact Solution
Property managers should be sure to schedule evening and weekend staff to answer questions; or utilize an off-site communication service like Rent Dynamics Contact Center to help fill in staffing gaps and make sure residents can contact someone 24/7. We can help to ensure the process of submitting and assigning maintenance requests is more efficient; especially knowing that 61% of rental property owners see maintenance requests as a top pain point. Residents will be happy their maintenance requests are handled quickly and efficiently, too!
Incorporate Resident Chat experience
By embracing the latest technology, you can stay engaged with residents and help them feel connected. Residents will feel the ease of communicating with you, leaving them feeling more positive and satisfied with their overall living experience. In addition to 24/7 communication support, a chatbot experience like BetterBot is a great way to communicate with residents as well as prospective residents. Whatever your method of communication is, make sure it is seamless and responsive for residents.
- Unique Amenities
Consider Smart Apartment Features
Implementing smart apartment home features to control thermostat, lighting, and appliances can also make a huge difference in resident satisfaction. Smart apartment features not only make residents feel like they are living in an updated, comfortable space, but can also save you money in the long run. Check out Dwelo or SmartRent for two great solutions.
Offer A Financial Amenity for Residents’ Future
Incorporate unique selling points into your community like the ability for residents to build their credit through RentPlus. With RentPlus, residents simply pay their rent on time, RentPlus reports the payments to credit bureaus, and residents can establish and build their credit over time. You win by offering a service that leaves a life-long positive impact on residents, and it incentivizes them to stay longer to continue building their credit (not to mention the ancillary revenue and increased property value opportunities that it presents)!
We know how fast-paced and competitive property management can be. Creating a community and offering unique amenities for your residents will not only help you stand out from the competition, but it will also improve your resident retention. Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how Rent Dynamics can help you keep residents happy at your properties longer!