Increased Competition, Cost of Turns Good Reasons to Focus on Renewals

According to a recent NMHC survey resident renewal intent dropped from 65% in the second quarter of 2010 to 54.9% in the fourth quarter of 2013. That number could drop further considering there are 240,300 units scheduled for delivery this year, and considering how expensive turns can be – between $1,500 and $2,000 per unit on average – it’s going to be increasingly important for property managers to focus on retention tactics.

Multifamily Executive recently ran a piece about renewals that had some tips and tactics for boosting renewals. Here’s a taste:

Making sure associates are communicating on a personal level with residents is part and parcel to the corporate culture, one of the most important ways the FSSR office touches base, Casio-Smith says.

“You’ve got to follow up with them every chance you get,” she says. “If you know something personal about them, if it’s their birthday or if you know their wife is in the hospital battling cancer, then you should acknowledge that. Or it could be just following up with them on something as basic as service request.”…

And then there are renewal incentives:

Some of the company’s most popular incentives include one-time complimentary house cleaning or valet laundry service. And it’s easy to develop a relationship with the companies offering the cleaning services since they may garner new business from the apartment community through the renewal gifts…

Kristin Stanton, senior vice president of operations at Greensboro, N.C.–based Bell Partners, saysupgrades to homes works in some markets while it doesn’t work in others.

Interior upgrades, such as accent wall paint, upgraded light fixtures or the addition of ceiling fans, seem to be the most popular kind of renovation that people prefer, Stanton says. And if that doesn’t convince someone to stay, there are other upgrade options as well.