The Resurgence of Retention

Relationship pictureWelcome to spring! It's time to shed the layers of winter, open up to new growth, and start afresh. So what's ahead for  spring 2014 in the multi-family industry? According to some of the latest data, it's a renewed focus on retention. You remember retention. Go back a few years and it was the name of the game. The pick-up in the economy gave us a few years to focus on settling in and raising rents. But this year, with an anticipated 240,300 new apartments to rent, there will be more competition to keep residents. We're already seeing the shift. The last quarter of 2013 saw renewal intent at 54.9%, according to a survey from Kingsley Associates. That's down from 65% for the 2nd quarter of 2010. Ouch. In an article in Multifamily Executive, Shailene Casio-Smith, Vice-President of Business Development at FSSR, asserts that "strong relationships are key to retention."

We couldn't agree more.

She goes on to state, "A lot of people have been focused on resident events and amenities, and that's great. But ultimately it's relationship that keeps people there."

Over the last decade, we've built our entire organization on that premise.

We've seen that events, even good events, only go so far in keeping residents satisfied. Unless there is a relational component, the payoff is minimal. But when the events are relationally run by a team of people who are also residents (a.k.a. the CARES Team) they become a conduit for intentionally connecting residents to each other--increasing satisfaction and retention.

Casio-Smith also points out the critical importance of satisfaction in the first 90 days.

Another focus for the CARES program. 

Again, we believe relationship is key to that early satisfaction data gathering as well as ongoing communication.

It looks like retention may be making a come back but for us, its business as usual.

{Because our key has always been relationship.}