The Caring Art of Retention

Moving is a hassle.  During one particularly stressful month in 2014 our family moved twice due to our new place not being ready at the same time as we needed to vacate our previous property. And even though I've consolidated and de-cluttered and kept non-essentials in storage, I hope I don't have to move again for quite some time.

For most residents, I believe this is true as well--as long as they are happy, it's much easier to stay.But this year there will be more competition for their affections.According to Multifamily Executive, new construction is set to add roughly 211,000 units in 2015.That's an increase of 76% over the historical average.And, while vacancy rates are only anticipated to increase slightly, it should cause some conversation about retention.The new construction will have lots of shiny new features that you don't.But research has continued to validate that shiny new features are not resident's highest values--a sense of community and excellent customer service are much higher on their list.

It all comes down to feeling cared for.This might be in making life easier for them by providing online leasing and renewal options as well as online rent payment.Or, a commitment to respond promptly to maintenance requests.But don't underestimate the power of calling residents by name, making time to listen and organizing social events where residents can connect.

In one sense, caring is more complicated than buying new appliances for everyone... but the ROI is exponentially better.


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