Posts Tagged ‘Property Management’

Could A Thank You Every Day, Keep The Move Outs Away?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

How often are residents thanked for the choice to live at a property?

Most choices for housing involve long term commitments, buying a house or a condo, mortgage etc. Individuals who rent can make a change in an instant, granted breaking a lease has financial consequences, but an unsatisfied resident has the ability to mmake a change right now.

Thumbs Up

Taking the time to acknowledge the length of time a resident has lived at a property, thanking them for their continued loyalty, asking if any service or assistance is needed, can reinforce that commitment.

Over the top efforts demonstrating customer service secure publicity and industry comparisons, but simple acts of appreciation, offered with sincerity hold more value than crazy promotions.

Generally speaking, the staff at a property doesn’t have much contact with a resident after the move in..lease renewal, late rent notices and requests for maintenance. Taking the time to insure every contact ends on a positive note will build a stronger relationship with a resident.

Offering the comment, “Thank you for choosing our property for your home,” can go a long way in building this relationship.

Staff at property often has anecdotal stories about demanding residents, or individuals that inflict substantial damage discovered at the time of move out. For most locations, the 80/20 rule typifies our residents, 20% of the residents use 80% of the staff resources. The remaining 80%, the individuals who pay their rent on time, renew without negotiating, take great care of their apartment home, and generally abide by the community policy and procedures; are largely ignored for their compliance.

Offering appreciation when the opportunity presents itself, or creating resident appreciation events can build a customer service atmosphere at a property.

Just as many receipts or monthly statements, include the phrase, we appreciate your business, how could this be incorporated into daily business practice?

Include this phrase:
-on rent receipts
-service request notification
-train staff to acknowledge resident tenancy during conversations, and communicaitons, such as lease renewals.

Residents often believe they are nothing more than an apartment number, or an account on a ledger. Insuring residents the staff is aware of the individual choice and ongoing commitment will have an influence on renewal decisions, or building the attitude where a resident wants to encourage friends and family to consider your property when looking for an apartment home.


Lori_Hammond Lori Hammond | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

Lori has 30+ years’ experience in the Property Management Industry, working with both market rate and affordable housing.  Lori has been privileged to work with some tremendous industry leaders during employment tenures with Oxford Management, NHP Management, AIMCO, Alliance Residential, Boston Capital, The Sterling Group, P.K. Housing and currently Management Resources Development.

How Will You Attract Millennial Renters in 2014?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

ForRentSignby on February 12, 2014 in Property Management Software

In December we held a contest that asked you how you would be appealing to Millennial renters in 2014. Since announcing the winners in December, we’ve had a chance to go through all of your responses, and we definitely noticed a trend. An overwhelming number of you made it clear what you thought would attract Millennial renters: “Get social, be mobile, provide more online services and targeted amenities!”

It’s no surprise that Gen-Y renters are tech-savvy individuals who are active on social media and love their mobile devices. Many of you recognized the importance of increasing your social media presence and providing services to renters online. Here were some of our favorite responses:

Get Social

“To start with, we have recently begun a campaign for boosting our social media presence, with an emphasis on education rather than sales. Helping the new generation understand what questions they should ask, and what to expect, paints us as the experts in our area. Who would you rather work with? Someone who’s forcing a property into your Twitter feed or someone who wants to help you find the property that’s best suited for your needs?”-David L, FL

Be Mobile

“Recognizing that Millennials tend to utilize smartphones for all tasks (be it research, communication, or photos) we have started the process to optimize our websites to be more mobile friendly. Making it easier to view photos, fill out an application, or schedule an appointment right from their phone.”-David L., FL

More Online Services

“Everything from looking for a place to rent, to applying, to signing the lease, to submitting maintenance requests—are ALL online!”-Palisades Property Management, OR

“I know millennial renters want to utilize the web and so do I. We want almost all resident and owner communication to be done through our software, whether it be work orders, rental payments, lease renewals, owner deposits, vendor payments, etc.”-Lisa T., OH

“Continue to use technology to grow and reach them. We now have online applications and ability to pay almost all fees online. We use all forms of electronic media to communicate, and we are continually updating our website with the freshest images and up to date availability.”-Anna G., TX

Targeted Amenities

“Work-life balance is important to the newest generation of professionals, who want to maintain a healthy balance between their working and professional lives. Amenities are a huge appeal factor for renters. Larger, open common rooms are popular. Many developers have added fitness centers and outdoor areas, including yoga and Pilates studios to appeal to renters. Outdoor spaces such as patios, decks and pools are a lure for renters who want to host friends and family. Other amenities include dog runs, garden plots and bike storage.”-Frank F., NY

“We are building new apartments with smaller floor plans, high ceilings so they feel bigger and have lots of light, and with lots of storage built in. We are adding bike storage locks directly on to the walls and ceilings —so they can hang their bike in the apartment. We are also including common area outdoor BBQs for socializing.”-Keegan M., CA

… And if all else fails, some of you weren’t afraid to think outside the box:

“To appeal to Millennial renters I’m going to hand out candy.”-Dan B., CT

“I will wear a banana costume and wave a sign in downtown Minneapolis … ”-Blake L., MN

We really enjoyed reading through all of your insightful, and sometimes humorous, responses. Thanks to all who participated in our contest!


appfolio Appfolio | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

AppFolio, Inc. develops Property Management Software that helps businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money. Appfolio submits articles & blogs including topics of Resident Retention, Improved Owner Communication, Time Management, and more.

Property Owners Face Unexpected Hazard

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

smoke free building signProperty owners in Colorado are facing unexpected fallout from the state’s recent pot legalization rules: explosions.

There have been a number of recent reports of explosions caused by residents attempting to extract hash oil from marijuana plants. This process requires the use of butane and other volatile chemicals.

The problem has become so pronounced that it prompted the Colorado Information Analysis Center to post a bulletin to first responders warning of the increasingly widespread practice of butane hash oil extraction. According to CIAC, the recent trend of explosions has resulted in fires, burns, broken windows, and damaged walls.

Signs of hash oil extraction can be subtle, and include metal, glass, or PVC piping that is capped. These materials look like pipe bombs. Explosions from hash oil production are often mistaken for meth lab explosions. CIAC warns that in states like Colorado with legalized marijuana use, these incidents appear to be increasing.

Colorado is the only state that regulates the production of hash oil but enforcement is spotty, and explosions persist, according to the CIAC.

Butane gas is the most common chemical used for extraction, but hash oil can also be created by boiling the cannabis in a solvent, which then evaporates leaving behind the oil. Other common solvents include hexane, isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, and dry ice.

The problems result from the use of these flammable solvents, typically without proper ventilation. Resulting vapors stay low to the floor, and can ignite pilot lights, outlets or any open flame.

Rental property owners can protect their properties from such practices by taking care when screening tenants, staying clear of “cash-only” applicants, those with poor credit, and tenants with criminal backgrounds. Restricting marijuana in rental properties is another avenue that can provide legal recourse for landlords. Use a lease that is tough on crime. Frequent inspections of the rental also can lower the likelihood of problems.


logo_aaoa American Apartment Owners Association | Company Website |

Rental property management can be very demanding. Our job is to make this day-to-day property management process smoother. AAOA provides a host of services ranging from tenant screening to landlord rental application forms and contractor directory to apartment financing. 

Should You Repair or Replace? Choosing Wise Renovations for Rental Propeties

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

repair_replace_balanceRental property renovations open the doors for financial rewards through potential rental or selling price increases. However, deciding which renovations to undertake that will ultimately reap the most benefits can be complex. Interestingly, there’s a lot of advice offered by real estate professionals about which renovations are most worthwhile for investors, and these experts know what improvements renters really want.

Even more interesting – they know how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to making wise property renovations, understanding the correlation between curb appeal and rental rates, how to choose remodeling projects that preserve equity and the integrity of the property.

Still Turning and Burning your Property? Don’t Get Burned Yourself

More property investors are realizing the benefits of treating their rental homes more like “their home” as opposed to another “unit.” Even scaled down renovations and remodeling projects can help increase equity and help you maintain a top-notch resident base. Investing in major projects is just that – major – so keep in mind that even minor improvements can make a tremendous long-term difference for both renters and owners.

However, some major projects cannot be ignored, and this is when treating it as a home comes into play for investors. One major roofing failure can spell disaster, put residents out of their home, and you temporarily out of income – facing a huge repair bill. Itemize your “to do” list according to importance, putting preserving the integrity of your dwelling on top of the list. Everything else you should evaluate by cost, the improvement’s potential lifespan, and consider any applicable tax credits and return on investment.

Cleaning, Cleaning, Cleaning – The #1 Return on Investment for Rental Properties

That’s right – a clean home is a desirable home. Those appliances don’t have to be top condition or modern, just clean! Carpets and flooring don’t need to be replaced when a good shampooing or deep cleaning may make them look brand new again.

Consider that the lifespan of carpeting averages about 11 years, according Old House Web’s experts, but wood flooring and many types of tile can last a lifetime. If replacement is imminent, consider upgrading to resilient and lovely Terrazzo tile or a natural, eco-friendly wood. If there are only a few flaws, chips, scratches, or imperfections that can be resolved with spot replacements or partial refinishing, then the cost-effective solution is clear!

Interior and Exterior Painting

Curb appeal extends to the interiors in the eyes of a renter; after all, they have to see those walls every day. If you’ve rented to a smoker or the same resident for many years, you’re likely justified in going with a complete overhaul with interior paint. However, you might be able to get away with a few walls here and again, but it’s such an inexpensive renovation, it’s best to refresh everything for your new charge.

Kitchens and Bathrooms – To Renovate or Resurface?

These two improvements are known for their tremendous return on investment; however, they are also known for their high initial investment. Contractor and remodeling experts are promoting the benefits of resurfacing over replacements. Resurfacing bathtubs, showers, and cabinetry are far more cost efficient projects than replacing them, particularly if they are in decent condition. The pros at Old House Web estimate that acrylic baths have a 15-year lifespan, so estimate “how much life” your major fixtures and appliances have left before considering costly replacements.

Final Considerations in Remodeling Rental Properties

Your budget, how much time you have, and the condition of your property certainly play a role in your remodeling decisions; however, as a wise investor you have to know when to “turn and burn” and when to take your time and renovate units as though you were living there. You’ll see happier residents and may even get some recommendations through your efforts of being a responsible and caring landlord.


appfolio Appfolio | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

AppFolio, Inc. develops Property Management Software that helps businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money.  Appfolio submits articles & blogs including topics of Resident Retention, Improved Owner Communication, Time Management, and more.

It’s a Landlord’s World Now

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Apartment Building

Another report – this time the Securitization Weekly Overview from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) – is forecasting a shift away from single-family home purchases to a rental market.

Granted, this is not the first time a report predicting multifamily growth has hit in the past few months, but it does reiterate a common theme – investors are betting on multifamily more often.

Just last week, HousingWire reported that more younger Americans are expected to pile into the multifamily market after spending years in their parents houses or sharing apartments with roommates.

But this younger crowd, while keen on homeownership, apparently lacks the momentum, due to job constraints and a general inability to obtain a mortgage.

It’s something Chris Flanagan, MBS/ABS Strategist with Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and MBS Strategist Justin Borst also recognized in their newly published research.

“The December housing starts report provided some confirmation of the theme we discussed last week, which was that it appears as if a structural shift away from getting a mortgage and buying a single-family home to just being a renter is underway,” the pair said.

Such a transition is expected to subdue the possibility of dramatic changes in the single-family mortgage-backed securities market.

Flanagan and Borst note that “this shift should work to keep supply of single-family MBS at what may be surprisingly low levels well into the future. We also noted that we think this shift gives the Fed ample cover to taper its MBS purchases without much impact to mortgage rates, since gross supply of MBS may be shrinking more quickly than the Fed plans to taper.”

When comparing multifamily production today to the pre-housing crisis era, it is clear a major shift is taking place. BofA-Merrill Lynch notes that pre-crisis, the multifamily share of housing production hovered at roughly 20%, or one in five home starts.

Jump years ahead to today, and the latest multifamily share of production is up 33% and accounts for one in three homes.

The same analysts concede that with this higher multifamily share trend remaining for years now, a new “equilibrium” has apparently been reached.

The trend prompted Resource Real Estate, a firm led by CEO Alan Feldman, to announce last year that it will continue to try and serve the income-bracket stretching from $30,000 to $70,000 a year by refurbishing older apartment complexes for this growing segment.

“We touch real estate two main ways, we put equity capital towards investing, and we lend across a number of asset classes,” Feldman told HousingWire last summer.

By December, his firm was still employing this strategy, noting the forgotten middle-class is trending even more towards renting.

It’s a common theme that the numbers from BofA-Merrill Lynch seem to confirm for now.


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Kerri Ann Panchuk

Kerri Ann Panchuk is the Online Editor of HousingWire.com, and regular contributor to HousingWire magazine. Kerri joined HousingWire as a Reporter in early 2011 and since earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University. She previously worked at the Dallas Business Journal.

Choosing the Right Vendor(s)

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Chossing Vendors

Picture this – you have a large project on the horizon and you know you will need third-party assistance in order to complete it.   How do you determine who your vendor partners will be to ensure a successful project?

First, it is important to understand your short and long term goals and basic scope of work so you can best communicate to those that will be supplying you a proposal.  Next, create an RFP (request for proposal).  Remember, it does not have to be fancy or extremely elaborate. The goal is to ensure all vendors are bidding on the same scope of work.  Apple to apple comparisons related to pricing, timing, value and potential warranty included.

You can always ask for suggestions or examples of work in the RFP.  This will allow your potential vendors to share their expertise and creative ideas that may elevate your project and potentially exceed your expectations.  Once you receive the RFP responses – look to see who responded on-time, who took the time to follow your specific instructions for submission, and who went above and beyond in their response.  These simple checkpoints will tell a lot about who may be the best match for your project.  There are excellent vendor options out there and there is no reason to settle.  Always follow your company guidelines on insurance requirements, reference checking and best practices to protect your asset when choosing such vendors.

Once you have narrowed down your choice, invite your chosen vendor to the site for a walk-through and a deeper discussion related to the scope of work and goals for the project.  This will let you know if your communication style and personality is a good match.  Now it is time to award the assignment.  Do this immediately upon the selection process and notify those that will not be participating, and thank them for their time.  If you are sincere, let them know you will consider them for future projects.  Proceed to contract and begin the project.

Communication is key throughout the process, be sure you are available for any potential questions and set the tone and expectations so everyone remains on the same page.   If your selected vendor meets or exceeds your expectations be sure to tell them and thank them for a job well done, and pay them according to your agreed contract.  Celebrate your successful project!


MultifamilyZone_logo MultifamilyZone.com | Company Website |

The mission at MultifamilyZone is to assist multifamily professionals in finding the products and services to help them achieve top competitive positioning.  Through an engaging and interactive website, we will provide current information on a wide-range of qualified, pre-screened vendor partners.  As wll, we spotlight industry news and trends to become a primary resource for all things property management.

Supply and Demand, Lease Your Apartment Today!

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Our apartments are vacant now!  We need move ins now!  Leases signed now!  Commitments now!

First consider, is the leasing team able to challenge the move in date? Ask the question of “When do you plan to move?” “Are your plans flexible?”

imageThis is similar to hotel and airline reservations. Plan to travel on Thursday, but the deal is better if reservations are booked to fly on Wednesday. Or apply a retail application, the best selection is available by shopping early. Waiting for sales, will offer lower prices, but the selection of sizes and color options becomes limited.

If an applicant has a “MUST HAVE” list, the ability to meet the “demands” is lessened as the supply of vacant apartments decreases with other leases. Use this criteria to create a sense of urgency. Popularity of apartments on the top floor, ground floor walk outs, or end units will limit their availability.

How effective is the staff in creating a sense of urgency? “I can see how excited you are about this apartment, waiting might mean this apartment won’t be available, is your move in date flexible?”

imageDepending on the volume of vacant apartments, there may be a variety of possible closing tools. Every day that passes between the visit date, and the pre-lease or move in date allows the opportunity for an individual to choose another location. Getting a lease signed closes that door, it may involve a few days of free rent, but in return is the commitment of a year lease.

If the property has a large volume of vacants, it may be difficult to embrace the sense of urgency. Using a hot list, where the leasing staff only “sees” the units available to be leased that week, not an entire inventory of vacant apartment homes, can limit the information to prevent leasing units not ready or future availability. On the hot list, the supply will reflect two or three apartments of each unit type. This information allows the leasing staff to be absolutely focused on a limited supply, “This is the only apartment available with a ground floor walk out.”

image

Without challenging the anticipated move in date, the prospect walks out the door to continue their search for a home.

  • The move in special ends Friday
  • The limited supply of the apartment that meets expectations
  • Desired building or location on the property

Use these criteria to narrow down the supply of apartments, the economics of supply and demand can assist in creating a sense of urgency to close a lease commitment.


Lori_Hammond Lori Hammond | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

Lori has 30+ years’ experience in the Property Management Industry, working with both market rate and affordable housing.  Lori has been privileged to work with some tremendous industry leaders during employment tenures with Oxford Management, NHP Management, AIMCO, Alliance Residential, Boston Capital, The Sterling Group, P.K. Housing and currently Management Resources Development.

 

5 Strategies of Successful Landlords

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

It’s no coincidence that successful landlords use the best management strategies. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between these five good habits and the profitability of your rental business:

Landlord_1

1. Quick response to repair requests.

Can a leaky faucet lead to late rent payments? Believe it or not, the two are connected. Landlords who fail to respond quickly to repair requests or fail to maintain the property will find that, over time, tenants lose respect.  That leads to more problem tenants. After all, if you don’t care about it, why should they?

Quick repairs show a high level of customer service, and will lead to better tenant retention, a/k/a profits.

In addition, this habit lowers cost, and protects the value of the property.

And, in the event of an eviction, the good repair record will thwart a bad tenant’s attempt to delay, garner sympathy,  or try to offset unpaid rent.

2. Respect tenant privacy.

High on the list of tenant “don’t likes” is the landlord who drops in unannounced. These landlords face high turnover, and even costly lawsuits for breach of lease or invasion of privacy.

Except for emergencies, you’ll need to provide notice of visits, and you’ll need to have a reason
to be there.

Follow the law and set a good example for your tenants. In return, you will have happy tenants who behave, and who refer their friends to the property.

Making your tenants’ security a priority, whether it’s diligently re-keying locks,3. Focus on tenant security.

maintaining outdoor lighting, clearing weather off sidewalks, monitoring visitor access, or running criminal background checks, will pay off by attracting — and retaining — the best tenants.

4. Stay in touch

It is impossible to build a good relationship with your business customers — your tenants – if you do not communicate regularly. Create a flow of routine communications, like e-newsletters, a website or social media pages, sending rentreceipts and monthly invoices, providing a suggestion box — anything that proves you are present and accounted for.

By building rapport, you will be the first to hear complaints so they can be quickly resolved.  You will find out about maintenance issues, or problem tenants.  You also can generate more tenant referrals and fill vacancies more efficiently.

5. Strive to give back the deposit.

Some landlords believe that there is little risk of losing money over property damage,  so long as they charge a high deposit.

Because security deposits are so strictly regulated, it is impossible to make withholding deposits into a profit center.  Where damage does occur, often the deposit doesn’t come close to covering the full cost.

But if you set your sights on returning the money, you’ll be sure to set management policies that encourage a unit to be returned clean and ready for the next tenant. That means spelling out the tenant’s obligations in the lease agreement, checking up on the property throughout the term of the lease, and doing a preliminary walk-through about four weeks before the tenant moves out. You’ll have their forwarding address, because they’ll want their money back. Then, you’ll ask the tenant to do a formal walk-through with you at move out.

If tenants believes it is realistic they’ll get their deposit back, they are far more likely to get all of their stuff out and clean the unit on the needed time line. You don’t lose any of your own money by returning the deposit, and you get the property back in move-in condition. It’s the ultimate win-win.


logo_aaoa American Apartment Owners Association | Company Website 

Rental property management can be very demanding. Our job is to make this day-to-day property management process smoother. AAOA provides a host of services ranging from tenant screening to landlord rental application forms and contractor directory to apartment financing. 

 

Survey Reveals the Best Incentives for Retaining Tenants

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

According to property management reviewers Software Advice, apartment managers are in an advantageous position today–more people are choosing to rent instead of buy, and multifamily construction has grown by roughly 300 percent since 2010, giving renters many more living options should they choose to move at the end of a lease. So, what can property managers do to make their apartments more appealing to residents and gain an edge over the competition?

Retaining residents is far less costly than finding new ones, so we set out to learn which incentives are most effective in convincing existing residents to renew a lease, and when the best time is to offer these perks. To do this, we surveyed approximately 4,600 former and current renters. Here, we highlight the biggest takeaways.

The Most Convincing Incentives for Retaining Tenants | IndustryView from Software Advice

Property Management and Leasing: Proactive vs. Reactive Efforts

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Proactive vs. Reactive Efforts

PropertyManager_1

Resident service has two sides. Reactive service is delivered “after the fact,” typically when a resident has a special service request or complaint, or is simply unhappy or dissatisfied. It’s a concept that we are, unfortunately, all intimately familiar with. On the other hand, proactive service begins even before the future resident walks in the door. It’s composed of all the steps we take to ensure that we’re fully prepared to do “whatever it takes” to fulfill the needs and wants of our residents both prior to leasing and after move-in.  This is quality apartment management and leasing and  includes what I like to call “setting the stage.”

“Setting the stage” is one of the best examples of proactive service in action, and it involves making the leasing experience as comfortable as possible for the future resident. This is where the details matter. Reduce the time it takes to fill out the application (after all, banks approve $20,000-30,000 loans based on a name, address, place of employment, social security number, and telephone number. Why can’t we?).  Don’t just stop there… pare down processing time whenever and wherever you can without sacrificing the value of the leasing experience, and prove to your future residents that you value their time as much as they do. Polish the appearance of both your leasing center and staff so that the environment is pleasant and visually appealing, and creates the all-important positive first impression that your residents will carry throughout their relationship with you and your community. The entire leasing experience should begin wit h the message, “We’ve been waiting for you!” and last well beyond “Welcome to your new home!”

Proactive service and retention does wonders for a community’s bottom line. The more special details you incorporate into this proactive approach, the better! Consider such niceties as thanking residents for coming in, even when they have a complaint, or thanking them for simply paying their rent on time.

Value-Added Service

For the longest time,especially when I was first getting started in the apartment industry, “value-added”seemed to be everyone’s favorite buzzword. Every one of my supervisors told me that it was the kind of service we were supposed to be providing to our residents, but no one ever stopped to explain to me what it meant. Frankly, I’m not certain they fully understood themselves. In hindsight, I think the term entered our industry at a bit of a disadvantage.

Service Check List

Way back when our idea of resident service was collecting rent checks and dispatching “maintenance men”,  it would have been a stretch for us to grasp the concept of value-added resident services as much more than providing the bare minimum of courtesy that’s expected of us today. As the concept of customer service evolved, and our residents’ expectations began to grow with each instance of great service that they encountered in their day-to-day lives, we finally began to get the hint and expanded our own service offerings accordingly. As a result, I believe we came to think of providing value-added service as a means of “keeping up with the Jones’s”– the Jones’s being not only our competition, but every other retailer and service provider who was out there serving our residents well and raising their expectations in the process.

Here’s the reality check.Value-added service doesn’t mean simply living up to our residents’ expectations–it means going the extra mile. One of my favorite examples is the”Baker’s Dozen.” You pay for twelve cookies and receive thirteen. If you really want to compete, you throw in a couple more. It’s important to know that value-added doesn’t just mean giving something away for free. Where added value can be clearly demonstrated, the customer is most often willing to pay a bit extra for it. If you offer custom upgrade options to your apartment homes at a fair price; you’ve seen this principle proven time and time again; ditto for that special location with the super view and higher rental rate.

Another of my favorite examples of value-added resident service is the trend toward policies that clearly state: “Resident satisfaction is more important than company policy.” Not only does this empower employees to solve problems on the spot (one of the key factors to great internal retention), but it also helps to guarantee all of the nice things that happy residents bring, like renewed leases and referrals. Conversely, residents who are either overtly told or treated as though company policy stands between what they want and what your team can provide are not likely to stick around for long, if at all. Referrals? Don’t hold your breath.

It’s important to realize that a service needn’t be new in order to be value-added. Take a close look at each of the services you currently offer. A new twist here and an enhancement there can make a world of difference in how your residents perceive the level of service they receive.

Let me close this post by with sharing my feelings towards residents when I was on-site.

PropertyManager_2  I had a built-in feeling or reaction towards every single contact I had with a resident. Most of those contacts were not pleasant because I was always dealing with distressed communities. No matter how busy I was, and I was normally very, very busy. I stopped and gave the resident I was in contact with 110% of my attention, put a smile on my face and focused on making that person feel like the most important person in the world. Each contact was followed up with a hand written note (very impressive today in the electronic world) thanking them for bringing what ever new challenge I was presented with to my attention. These notes were delivered at the end of my day as I walked the community. I always felt that walking the community at the end of the day was another resident retention technique. Letting the residents see me walking the community showed that I had a personal interest in the community. The residents would never see me driving around in the available golf cart unless I was with a future resident or service technician. Managers, give it a try you will be amazed with the results of this simple and cost free way to endear the residents of your community.

Actions:

What other ways can you be proactive in the service you provide to your residents? What can you do for them before it needs doing, so they will want to continue living in your community? Write down ideas, add them to your plan, and then try to implement one or more of these fresh ideas every month. Your community’s bottom line will be rewarded with the results.

Take 10 minutes and walk the community at the end of every day. Give it a try for one month and you will be amazed at what you see, learn and the difference it makes with your residents. PLUS imagine the health benefits you will receive!

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