By: Shad Bookout
April 5th was National Apartment Housing Day and there has never been a better time to celebrate everything about the apartment industry. As managers, leasing teams, maintenance teams, executive staff and even suppliers cheer for the multi-family industry, the residents who call our apartments home cheer for other reasons. They cheer for the amenities, they cheer for the location, they cheer for price, and they cheer for us – their industry supporters.
Each day that we work diligently to retain the residents that are our life’s blood, we create a world that can be celebrated long after #AptDay has faded into memory. Each day when we inspire a resident to make the commitment to re-sign a lease, we enter a contract that lets them know that, for the next few months, they can count in us. We have to work tirelessly every day, for every resident, to earn the right to keep them living at our community. Some must leave due to jobs, economics or life circumstances. But, for everyone else, these are some of the things to consider when helping keep your residents happy and wanting more.
- It is rarely about costs. Well not rent rate, at least. The exception for this is communities that thrust a huge increase but that comes back to the economics of if they can afford to live there in the first place. The real sell is value. If they love (I mean really, really love) where they live, then they will find a way to pay for it. So what causes a person to have such intense emotions about an apartment?
- Home is where the heart is. It is also where your friends are. Most people want to have a sense of community. People want to live close to friends and to family. By living in apartments, both of those can be part of the circumstances. New friends are discovered and new loves sometimes blossom as part of apartment living. It is even possible for a property manager to watch a child grow through the years.
- To be part of your community, first you must be part of theirs. This means you have to put as much energy into the 365 days that follow their move-in as you did to entice them to move in. Know their “special days” and celebrate with them. Don’t just communicate about leasing office business. Say “Hi”. Be personable. Get to know them. As long as they live there, they are part of your family and you should act accordingly.
- Sometimes families disagree and that’s okay. You are not going to be able to provide them perfect service and support 100% of the time. There are factors that are out of your control (neighbors, environment, personal factors, etc.). But your residents should never feel they are being ignored or mistreated. They should never question if the new community down the street can provide better service. If you are putting the needs of your residents first (which sometimes means a little less profitability) they will be hard-pressed to want to seek new accommodations. This includes everything from service requests to making sure packages arrive promptly and safely to a resident’s hands.
- Make them rabid fans. In his book, Zombie Loyalists, Peter Shankman discusses how to turn a customer into a living, breathing supporter of your brand. “You get the customers you want by being beyond awesome to the customers you have,” says Shankman. That means you have to go beyond what is expected and beyond delighting your customers. Not only will they stay with you, they will be your supporters and brand advocates. One may even say, “Why are you living there? At my community, they really know how to treat you right.”
The team at PackageLog® loves helping apartment communities succeed. To us, every day is Apartment Day, and we look forward to helping you earn the loyalty of your residents. To learn more about how we can help your community, click here.