Improve Resident Retention in Under 10 Minutes
You love your residents, right? They bring life to the place that you love, they’re the community you work to build every single day, and most importantly, keeping them happy is critical to your ROI. Resident retention should be at the top of your list of priorities, and it is... until the bathtub in 11B overflows, and let’s just say that you have more pressing concerns to handle. The truth about resident retention, however, is that you can implement a number of quick fixes that will make a world of difference to your residents. In fact, we’ve put together some easy ways that you can go above and beyond for your residents – in less than 10 minutes!
Say “hi” to your residents and call them by name.
Come up with a fun way for your front desk staff to remember your residents’ names and say “hi” to them. If they look like they have a minute, strike up a casual conversation. Your residents will notice that you’re going the extra mile to personalize the conversation, and they’ll pay you back by sticking around come lease renewal time.
Don’t forget about the pups!
Your residents love their pets – and finding pet-friendly communities is no easy feat. Reminding your residents that they live in a community that welcomes Fido is a great way to keep your residents signing their lease time after time.
Put out treats in communal areas.
Remember when you were a kid and got really excited to go to the bank because they handed out free lollipops? Your residents will love a sweet surprise, so go ahead and put a few bowls of candy out near the elevators or near the front desk (pro-tip: peppermint wheels around the holidays and candy corn for Halloween are huge crowd pleasers!).
Set up a private resident Facebook group.
A Facebook group is an easy way for your residents to build community. They’ll be able to ask each other questions, host online garage sales, and even arrange things like ride shares to the airport around the holidays. When residents are part of an active community, they’re less likely to leave it.
Make sure everyone has the phone numbers they need.
Your residents want to know that they can depend on you, and giving them direct access to your maintenance team 24/7 is one way to reassure them that all of their needs will be met in a timely manner.
Keep some weather gear at your front desk.
Stock the front desk with a few extra umbrellas and umbrella bags for rainy days. Also consider investing in some shovels, ice scrapers, or hand warmers for the winter. You’ll look like the true heroes next time your residents are caught in inclement weather!
Hold office hours.
Open your door for a few hours each week for residents to pop in and say “hi.” Maybe they have a quick question that doesn’t merit a phone call or an email, or maybe they have an idea for an event that they want to share with you! It’s a great way for you to establish an open line of communication and gather feedback from residents. Besides, even if no one stops by, you’ve just carved out some solid time to work on other resident retention efforts that would otherwise fall by the wayside.
Keep your eyes peeled for little fixes.
Maybe the door to the gym is really heavy, or there’s a smudge on the wall on the second floor hallway. Explicitly carve out a few hours each week for your maintenance team to work on small “fixer-uppers” that granted, won’t make or break business, but that will polish your property’s overall presentation over time.
Personalize the flatscreen in the lobby.
Share a few fun things happening around town, write a few fun facts about your area, or even wish residents a happy birthday on the flat screen in the lobby! Congratulate local teams on winning games, and keep your eyes peeled for your residents in the paper (awards and achievements only). It’s a great way for you to show that you’re in tune with their lives (not to mention, these little tidbits of information can be great conversation starters!).
Remember their resident anniversary!
Set up an automated email that you send to residents on their 6 month anniversary, thanking them for being a wonderful member of your community (think: “We LOVE that you’re with us!”). You could even have your on-site staff film a short, celebratory video, and embed it in the email directly.
You know that resident retention is important to your business, but addressing it doesn’t have to be so time-consuming or expensive. Making your residents feel at home is a great way to convince them to stick around and prove that they’re getting the experience that they’re paying for.
Whitney is a former member of the Client Success team at Updater. You can find her painting, trying new recipes, and watching corny SciFi TV shows in her free time.