Apartment serviceMaintaining resident retention and solidifying the likelihood of lease renewal are two valuable goals of most property managers. That said, there’s a distinctive formula that must be in place to capitalize on tenant satisfaction and encourage tenure. And what exactly comprises this formula? Doug Miller, President of SatisFacts Research, explained that each unit turned over at the end of a tenant’s lease, averages a cost of $3900 to the property manager. This turnover cost includes the loss of rental days while vacant, concessions and maintenance. Miller’s research also demonstrates 54-percent of turnovers are, in fact, controllable. Making the effort to avoid controllable turnover is the first step to securing retention.

It all begins with customer service. It seems simple enough, but given the aforementioned figure, more than half of move-outs occur because of dissatisfaction with things like failing to follow-up after maintenance, lack of responsiveness and inattentive customer service. Miller says, “There’s no rocket science behind it. And it doesn’t cost any more to provide great service than mediocre service.” Providing what Miller calls “exceptional service” is the most valuable step in tenant retention.

Once those things are in place, creative and thoughtful strategies can be implemented to further appeal to resident’s perceived value. Lynette Hegeman, the VP of Marketing at Gables Residential, notes, “Integration doesn’t always mean you have to spend a lot of money. It’s about innovation.” Gables extends the Gables Great Rewards Program which rewards tenants for tenure with ‘thank-you’ gifts at the time of lease renewal. These ‘thank-yous’ can range from carpet cleanings to the painting of accent walls. Gables also hosts monthly events, some swanky and some simple, to encourage a sense of community within their residences.

Either way, the investment doesn’t have to be costly one. Hegeman from Dan Dan The Carpet Man notes, “Integration doesn’t always mean you have to spend a lot of money. It’s about innovation.”

That said, it seems a combination of customer service {first and foremost} and simple innovation will keep your residents around longer. See the original article for more quotes and expert advice from Doug Miller and SatisFact’s VP of Education and Consulting.

By Ashley Halligan, a Property Manager Software Analyst

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