Commitment has taken some hits in the last few decades. From relationships to the decline in people responding to an RSVP request, we are a culture who fears limiting ourselves to one person or event. Of course, we understand this all too well in the multifamily housing industry. According to the 2015 SatisFacts Insite Pre-Renewal Index, 45% of residents remain undecided about renewal 120 days from their lease renewal date. So, they've lived in the community for a year and they're still weighing their options. Even if half of that can be contributed to a general fear of commitment (exacerbated by not knowing how much rent will increase), there is still a level of ambivalence that seems unnecessary.
If amenities are the answer, why are residents still keeping their options open? Maybe its because, as attractive as the community gym looked 9 months ago, the reality is it probably hasn't changed their life in the way they hoped. Besides, the community down the street may have a shinier, newer gym.
But people and friendships are more difficult to replace. At Apartment Life, we've continued to gather data showing that friendships and an overall sense of "community" where they live is a pivotal factor in the decision to renew. So how can you move the dial toward renewal with some of the undecided 45%? Cultivate a community that can't be easily duplicated. One where more or newer amenities or even lower rents are not enough to seduce an undecided resident. One where there are less and less "undecided's" and more and more "very likely's".
Need some ideas? Check us out at caresprogram.org.