Reducing resident turnover for your property is a combination of different factors that begin with the basic rules of good customer service. Landlords must cultivate, within themselves and their staff, a set of behaviors carried out during communications with residents that demonstrate their appreciation. Landlords must consistently exceed their residents’ expectations day in and day out. Residents need to notice that the staff is committed to:
A- addressing their wants and needs
B-showing concern for them as valued customers.
Below are a few methods that can assist in reducing resident turnover. A successful plan employs many different nuances that are as obvious as a neon sign and as subtle as a smile.
- Thank you for moving in…welcome wagon- Human nature values the experience of the first impression. When a person experiences a pleasant move-in, chances are that this initial experience will weigh heavily in future interaction. Many landlords give chocolates, cookies, flowers or other small gifts of appreciation.
- Holiday best wishes-Holidays are points in our calendar that people associate with appreciation of certain events. They are days of leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure. People associate these days with a common good will and shared positive reception. Acknowledging and celebrating these days by property managers serve to reinforce the quality of their rental as being a home. This association creates the sense of community, which aids in creating a kinship among residents.
- Parties- For larger communities, throwing parties are great way to inspire community with residents and foster the atmosphere for building solid staff-resident relationships. These events are effective because residents can forge new friendships from the social interaction. Parties can also be a great way to encourage new resident referrals. Usually, the best parties take good planning to ensure that they don’t conflict with other events and residents’ schedules. They can either be thrown onsite or at a restaurant or nightclub. Good parties include entertainment, prizes and food, all of which attract residents and staff. Residents should be formally invited with a written invitation followed by an email. Signs and mentions on the newsletter and website should be constant to remind and promote the party. Staff, vendors and residents should be encouraged to bring friends to increase attendance.
- Arrange for discounts from businesses. Many landlords arrange for discounts and coupons for their residents from local merchants and businesses. These businesses also have a vested interest in keeping the resident in the community. They also want to create shopping habits and are eager in assisting landlords with their resident retention programs. These coupons can be printed out or delivered via the website.
- Internet access: Many landlords are beginning to offer free Internet for their residents. This extra amenity increases communication and is used quite often. Many landlords can ask that the resident set their homepage to the property’s website.
- Remember names: A simple, inexpensive and effective way to keep your residents is to simply remember their names. This lets a resident know that you value them. When you meet a new resident, say his or her name to yourself again. If you have forgotten it, talk to the person again and ask for the name. Write down the new name three times while picturing the person's face; do this as soon as possible after move in. Writing down new names is generally a very successful memorizing technique that doesn't require a lot of work. To help memory, check out a book about employing mnemonic strategies.
- Monthly drawing for a gift: many landlords conduct a monthly drawing for a gift as another form of appreciation. Some gift ideas include flowers, fruit baskets, dinner for two or movie tickets.