Resident Retention

In the apartment industry, the words “resident retention” are very important. To define it simply in my experience, it is a process to keep a resident happy in the apartment community, so that he or she will not want to move.

When discussing resident retention goals, behind closed doors, management and staff are brainstorming on ways to keep residents at their apartment communities. It costs much money to the landlord when a resident moves out. He or she is losing profits daily when the apartment remains vacant not to mention the expensive marketing mediums the landlord must pay to get people to come see the unit.

So when a resident gives a notice to move, then another, and another too often and too soon in between, someone should be paying close attention to this and looking for ways to slow these numerous departures.

One way is by surveying the residents. The apartment management may host a meeting, post surveys on doors with a small incentive, or walk door to door asking residents if there is anything they need done in their apartment and/or like to see changed in the apartment community.

Based on feedback, management and staff will accommodate their residents needs; therefore, keeping them around a little longer. Some apartment management will usually pay closer attention to resident needs during lease renewals which I personally feel is too late. Resident retention efforts should be made daily.

At least once, sometimes twice a week, there is always something going on at one apartment community I worked, because I was the one who initiated it. I wanted residents to feel like we cared and many with tears in their eyes, mind you, was most appreciative. I didn’t just keep the previous managers’ punch and cookies routine, but what I did do, was work with local businesses to get the residents the things that they needed. It was a win for everyone. Residents got discounts from local businesses, businesses got exposure, apartment visitors got to partake in some of the festivities as well. Eventually people were telling others, “My apartment community has really changed. There is a lot going on around here.”

I believe as I write that if it wasn’t for the support of management when it came to my ideas regarding resident retention we would have lost a lot of people. The previous landlords were not good and left many residents with a sour taste in their mouths. The resident retention numbers of those leaving the community were bad (in the double digits) when I came on board. There were more people going then staying and someone had to do something.

By Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media