Fast-Track Your TOP QUALITY RESIDENCES

Resident retention is generally the forgotten element in property management, while the art of apartment marketing and leasing to new prospects continues to be studied, sliced, diced and pureed by the apartment industry to find optimal strategies to getting people in the door. Actually, the better a community reaches 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 bad 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 say that apartment marketing isn’t also quite crucial. In other words, to boost retention, we should not sacrifice leasing. Having said that, a rise in retention is vastly more beneficial than an increase in leasing. This will not be a surprising concept. When comparing a new resident to an existing resident, the existing resident is much more profitable, with hardly any make-ready costs and no loss due to vacancy. Additionally, a long-term renter is much more prone to refer friends and coworkers than a new renter would.

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

Why is resident retention not on the radar?

Even though most of us understand the idea of resident retention, surprisingly little is well known about how to perform it. Therefore, most communities choose to either ignore it all 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 relating to this: Customer service and maintenance aren’t resident retention programs. We constantly hear how important these two items are, which is completely correct. However, rather than going above and beyond, these items 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 items 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 provide, 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 is not too impressive!

The infamous summer party…

Summer parties can be a fun perk, but are rarely an excellent investment. To start with, 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 save money when you get yourself a low resident turnout at these events. Imagine the cost if 100 percent of your residents attended! However, probably, you will only have around 25 percent of your residents arrive. Of these, 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 one’s “target audience.” This means for an average community of 300 units, you’re spending roughly $2,000 to attain 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 usually do not justify the reward.

So what are some programs we are able to implement?

For starters, know your community. Fair Housing laws limit just how much demographic information we can keep about our residents, but 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 over summer and winter. Having more frequent parties allows you to target different demographic groups in your community at different 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 that your events coincide with all of 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 can be quite popular! Have a sign up period for singles or couples. These groups then take turns rotating amongst 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 can make them feel part of an exclusive club with great deals all the time!

Ki Residences Singapore The continuing future of resident retention

Have you heard the term “Resident Portal?” In the event that you haven’t, continue reading! A Resident Portal is actually a website for your residents, adding a true social element to your community – consider it a “digital clubhouse.” If you haven’t noticed, the vast majority of 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 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 community social experience. These expanded resident portals range between about $125/month to $200/month for a 300 unit community, meaning you can obtain an entire year of service for the same price of 1 summer party. When done properly, resident social interaction can make strong emotional bonds in the middle of your residents, resulting in impressive improvements in your retention rates.