April 6, 2017
3 Steps to Earn Crucial Lease Renewals
The importance of renewals is no secret in the multi-family housing industry. Outside of the bottom line benefits of earning renewals, it also helps ease the burdens of our on-site management and leasing teams. Per Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. In this case, our existing customers are our residents (and their parents!) – so what does it take to earn their trust, confidence and happiness?
Elevate the Customer Experience
Providing residents with a place to call home is one of the most rewarding experiences in multi-family property management. This is where residents enjoy relaxing evenings after a hard day, entertain friends and family, and enjoy a lifestyle they deserve. The experience the resident has from the very first moment the leasing process begins (whether online or in the leasing office) should set a positive tone for what’s to come from the leasing and management team for the duration of their experience. It is important to provide residents with outstanding customer service by going the extra inch to check in with them just to say hello or follow up on a situation they may have shared with you in a previous exchange, exceed their expectations in regards to their apartment wants and needs, and to earn their respect by always keeping your word. Here at RISE, we strive to have our motto of “Love. Serve. Care.” set the tone for every exchange from residents to vendors and everyone in between. The goal is to provide more than the customer expected of you at every interaction.
Maintain the Community and Apartments to the Highest Standards
When serving your residents with renewals in mind, it is critical to instill a positive perception in the residents’ minds from the moment of their very first contact with our community, and for many this focuses heavily on the physical appearance of the community and apartments. The community should be free of debris and looking immaculate for that first impression, which then follows through for the entire duration of their residency. Small details like wiping your feet before entering the apartment, carefully replacing items if moved during repairs, checking for additional repairs needed while in the apartment, and following up with hand written notes and phone calls are always important to ensure the resident is satisfied with the work that was completed, and their idea of a pristine community and apartment is upheld so they are proud to call your community ‘home’.
Provide a Sense of Community
Planning exciting and engaging events not only builds a fun and unique sense of community, but also reinforces why they chose to make your community their home. These events give residents opportunities to meet their neighbors and build connections with those around them, which creates roots in the community and creates a sense of comfort and home, whether their stay in your community is short or long-term. The implementation of resident events also gives the leasing and management team a chance to develop crucial connections with residents, which works toward earning renewals in the long term.
We know from Ruby Newell-Legner’s book, “Understanding Customers,” that it takes an average of 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. From the curb appeal to customer experience and sense of community, are your residents being left with positive or negative experiences at each interaction? Through maximizing these top three opportunities, residents are given reason after reason to renew, which in turn has a significant impact on community operations. Higher retention rates equal a lower turnover expense and higher profitability. What’s not to love about that?