Resident retention is of utmost concern to property managers, now more than ever. But how do you actually retain residents? Property Management Insider has identified the following myths, based on resident feedback, about how landlords keep tenants. Before you institute any expensive or time-consuming policies, read the following to make sure you’re not barking up the wrong resident tree.
#1: A new resident paying higher rates is better than a current resident paying current rates
If you factor in likely vacancies and time (i.e. wages) to re-rent an apartment, it will 6.5 years to recover the loss of an old tenant, assuming you charge $50 more per month than you did previously. Put another way, Property Management Insider estimates that a property loses almost $4,000 every time a tenant does not renew her lease. So if you’re looking to maximize revenue, keep your residents happy.
#2: Tenants want a “sense of community”—and whether or not they have it will influence whether they stay
SatisFacts reports that, although community sounds good in theory, it’s not a real factor in the decision to renew a lease. Focus instead on high-quality and efficient maintenance and satisfactory customer service.
#3: Thanks to the recent economy, fewer residents are “Very Likely” to renew
This depends on the property manager. A manager who responds to resident concerns can actually increase the number of people who are “very likely” to renew their leases.
#4: As a property manager, I only need one, solid way to communicate with residents
Although the majority of residents communicate by email or phone, nearly a third would prefer to rely on text messages. Make sure you’re not alienating a group of residents, making them less likely to stay on. Conduct a survey to determine both how residents prefer to communicate and how they are able to communicate (e.g. do they all have email?).
#5: Appearance of an apartment is the main factor in deciding whether or not to renew a lease
In fact, staff responsiveness is more important to residents. Property Management Insider recommends fostering an office “culture of responsiveness” to maximize resident satisfaction and thus resident retention. See our blog post on the subject!