How Can We Make this Right? When Residents Threaten to Leave

Sometimes issues will come up prior to lease renewal that need to be addressed.  But unfortunately, at some properties, apartment staff are slow about handling resident requests due to a number of things including having less than competent workers and worse, they are simply forgetful!

"I apologize Ms. Jane, I was meaning to get that done, thanks for calling and reminding me," the leasing consultant says.  Now our fictional resident Ms. Jane may be understanding now, but when it's time to renew her lease maybe not so much and that is when management will say, "How can we make this right?  What can we do to convince you to stay, Ms. Jane?"  So here is what I learned over the years and hopefully those of you who are property owners, community workers, and residents will take heed.

1.  Fix what is broken. 

2.  Replace what is problematic especially if you don't want a future lawsuit.

3.  Don't make excuses and definitely don't make anymore promises--make the disgruntled resident's issue priority!

4.  Offer to reduce the rent increase or better yet don't increase a resident's rent who has been very loyal for a decade or two.  Remember to talk this over with your boss first.

5.  If the problem isn't that major to you, but obviously a big deal for your resident for any number of reasons including a negative reaction from your co-workers about it, send a gift card after the work has been completed apologizing for the inconvenience.

6.  Reward those who have been good residents.  Give them an opportunity to choose from a group of specially selected gifts.

7.  Implement programs, groups, activities and more that make life easier for the resident.  From an instructor who comes to the property and teaches once a week to a business offering a product or service in the community room once a month, be proactive in meeting your resident retention goals.

These ideas will hopefully move your management to want to please the community.  Do ask to meet with those who can make a difference--both residents and staff. 

Remember when the residents are happy, so is everyone else!

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