If your customer service mission is to build loyalty, trust and relationships with residents, find an everyday occasion to say, “Thank you for leasing with us, we appreciate you.”
Make your residents fall in love with you and your community, to feel as if they’re truly home and a part of something special so they’ll never want to rent anywhere else. Your residents’ perception of quality apartment living is influenced by the story you tell and the community you create.
Improve your tenant retention rates by taking advantage of every opportunity to create a high-quality personalized message or interaction each time you communicate with residents.
Tenant Retention Takes a Lesson from Farmer’s Markets
The city of Mercer Island holds its Farmer’s Market on weekends. Of course, there are lots of farmers displaying fruits, vegetables and flowers like you would expect to see at any community market. But the bigger story is the crowd of people converging on the unsuspecting produce growers.
The line for Hedlin Farms is about twenty people deep and the Gelato cart is quickly running out of the two most popular flavors: chocolate chip and watermelon. Within an hour of opening, the organic pasta guy’s sign describing his ravioli options simply says, “Out!” The cupcake ladies are manning a table of empty cake stands.
Could it be that this many people are desperate for organic vegetables and other treats? Probably not, but participation in this event shows a definite craving for connecting with community members, neighbors and friends. Entire families are strolling through stalls, dozens of dogs tag along on leashes and teenagers loiter near the pizza stand.
This is an outing – an event – a gathering.
Savvy apartment managers can take advantage of this phenomenon by initiating programs or hosting events that foster togetherness, quality time and connectivity.
There are hundreds of ideas for events and activities you can lead to enhance tenant retention, but to keep with the farmer’s market theme, how about sponsoring local farmers and artisans on your community site?
You can reach out to local farmers in your area and start a food stand today. The Local Harvest website (http://www.localharvest.org/) helps you locate farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown organic food in your area. Can you provide reusable shopping bags as a move-in or renewal gift? Imagine your logo strolling around the weekly market.
Other ways to join the eat-like-you-give-a-damn movement while creating a sense of community and showing residents you care about their health is to give them more control over what they put in their bodies. Start a community pea patch or garden on your property where residents and staff alike can bond over digging in the dirt.
Food that everyone grows can be enjoyed at summer barbecues or fall harvest celebrations. You could also hire a shuttle and host a U-Pick the Produce farm field trip.
Many studies and surveys indicate that renters who feel a sense of community and as though they’re a part of something bigger are more likely to renew an apartment lease and stay around a little longer.
a key driver of satisfaction
among apartment residents”
J.D. Power & Associates
study of apartment management companies
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