With vacancy rates expected to hover around 6.25% moving into 2024, building owners and community managers are feeling the strain of steadily increasing competition in a market where supply is outpacing demand. To help ensure maximum occupancy, they’re focusing on lease renewal rates and making the satisfaction of their residential community members their top priority.
Although an impressive list of modern amenities will certainly attract new tenants, it’s the quality of the overall residential experience that will ultimately determine if your residents have enough incentive to stay. If you’re looking for a few simple ways to keep your residents happy and increase your lease renewal rates, we have a few suggestions you may want to consider—cost-effective recommendations that could help boost resident satisfaction scores and elevate your reputation as a modern, active place for your residents to call home.
Five Suggestions for Elevating the Tenant Experience and Optimizing Renewal Rates
Building owners trust their community managers to oversee nearly every aspect of day-to-day operations. Most are expected to do everything from listing vacancies and negotiating leases to managing overhead costs. Far too often, they run out of time before clearing their “to-do” lists. When they don’t have the time or resources to ensure their residents feel connected to a vibrant, supportive community, tenant satisfaction scores and renewal rates can decline.
There are multiple reasons beyond a manager’s control that a resident may decide against renewal. But community managers understand that creating an environment where residents feel appreciated and part of a valued community is non-negotiable when their occupancy rates are on the line.
Community managers in multifamily residential properties nationwide are moving the needle in their favor by evaluating performance in several key areas and making improvements as needed. Although the following suggestions are fairly simple, they can have a significant impact on community building, resident satisfaction, and renewal rates.
1. Improve Communication Between Residents & Staff
There are many advantages for management teams and residents using automated lease renewal, cloud-hosted maintenance reporting, and online payment portals, but this technology eliminates numerous opportunities for manager/tenant interaction. When you don’t have enough time to devote to resident communication, misunderstandings can run rampant.
With little opportunity to build positive relationships, mass emails and hastily posted notifications can come across as cold, unnecessarily harsh, or impersonal. They may also be considered unimportant and quickly disregarded.
You can compensate for the disconnect—and improve relationships—by prioritizing face-to-face, clear communication. Some community managers host monthly gatherings to reconnect; others spend more time mingling in common areas to increase the amount of time they’re making personal connections.
You can build on those relationships with the right digital display technology, taking time to ensure every resident is informed of important building information like scheduled property maintenance, safety inspections, and repair updates. Add QR codes to your notifications to provide instant access to additional information.
2. Build a Sense of Community Through Resident Engagement Initiatives
There was a time when fitness centers, game rooms, and rooftop lounges were enough to attract and retain residents. Today’s apartment dwellers are looking beyond those features when searching for a place to call home. They’re more likely to renew their leases in locations where management actively encourages tenant interaction and provides ample opportunities for socialization.
Community managers who plan and attend hosted events tend to have an easier time maintaining positive relationships with their tenants than those who do not. To ensure an impressive turnout, use engaging digital display prop tech to create event calendars, invitations, and reminders in your building’s communication initiatives to ensure every resident feels informed and welcome.
Ideally, you’ll want to create a diverse range of activities, some with mass appeal like ice cream socials or cookouts, and others geared toward groups within your community who share common interests. Consider sponsoring holiday-themed mixers, family-friendly movie nights, board game tournaments, or trivia contests. Your activities don’t have to be expensive—they just have to bring people together. Residents who value connecting with their neighbors are sure to appreciate your efforts.
3. Encourage Your Residents to Form Clubs and Learn New Skills
This suggestion also qualifies as an engagement opportunity, but with a twist. Consider collaborating with your tenants to find exactly where their interests lie. Chances are you have multiple people residing in your community who would enjoy sharing their talents with a group of like-minded neighbors. Encourage residents to lead a book club or teach beginners how to knit, embroider, or play guitar. The possibilities are endless. It’s a question easily raised in group meetings or addressed in a tenant survey.
If you’re not comfortable having residents be responsible for activities, consider hosting guest speakers. Topics ranging on everything from investing in the stock market to advice about nutrition, sleep, or emotional well-being will generate enthusiasm. However, keep your engagement opportunities non-transactional. If you anticipate difficulty finding guest speakers, consider setting up a display of informative guides or pamphlets on topics of interest to your community.
4. Offer Renewal Incentives
With the rental market far more competitive than just a few short years ago, lease renewal incentives are considered one of the easiest ways to ensure maximum occupancy. They can be just what you need to sway tenants on the fence about moving or renewing. Compared to the cost of vacancies, many landlords find them worth the investment. Money talks.
Some property owners offer cash up-front to entice their best tenants to stay. Others choose to partner with area businesses, leveraging memberships to nearby fitness centers, golf courses, social clubs, or meal delivery subscriptions. You might also consider offering appliance upgrades, gift cards, or flexible leasing terms—or reserving higher-value incentives for residents open to committing to an extended lease.
5. Use Digital Display PropTech to Give Your Residents a New Reason to Love Where They Live
Tenants who feel a strong connection to the space they call home often feel they have too much to lose to justify moving. In multifamily communities prioritizing open communication, engagement opportunities, and other initiatives that help ensure their tenants are happy, you’ll often find informative, engaging digital displays can give residents even more reasons to love where they live.
With the right service provider, community managers can install a cost-effective, modern communication solution that ensures the ability to engage every member of their residential community at multiple points throughout the day—from modern screens installed in lobbies, elevators, and other high-traffic common areas. Rather than investing in a lot of expensive equipment, you can convert your existing HDMI-capable screens with a simple plug-and-play device.
With the right turnkey solution, not only do you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have everything you need to instantly improve communication, but you also add modern prop tech that is so popular with today’s tech-savvy tenants that they’re featured in property listings as a high-value amenity.
How the Best Networks Help Support Management Efforts to Keep Residents Happy
With the rapidly increasing demand for indoor digital display screens, you’ll find multiple companies that can offer you some element of communication with your residents. But few provide the software you’ll need to create community message screens in minutes or the type of programming that elevates your screens to amenity status. Your residents will quickly lose interest if your screens display a steady stream of local weather reports, an uninspired playlist, or a generic RSS feed.
To make this technology effective, essential community message screens must be paired with captivating, curated programming residents will appreciate and enjoy—or they’ll soon stop watching.
The most in-demand service providers attract and retain viewer attention by displaying your property messages in rotation with contextually relevant content, including a bite-sized programming mix of well-known sources, including national and local news reports, uplifting stories, business news, health information, sports scores, recipes, entertainment ideas, and more.
When your software is accessible from nearly any internet-capable device, you can also use your screens to advise residents of weather warnings, travel hazards, and potential security threats with the help of real-time updates. Residents who feel their community managers prioritize efficient communication and support the needs and interests of their community are far less likely to stray.
Start Using Turnkey Digital Solutions to Keep Your Residents Informed, Engaged, and Happy
Keeping your residents informed and engaged in a modern, creative way can go a long way toward ensuring tenant satisfaction and maximum occupancy. You’re investing in one of the fastest-growing segments of engagement technology, and your messaging can be a lot more impactful than you might expect.
When your essential property messages are displayed on screens that also provide the type of contextually relevant programming your residents start to look for as they come and go through your building, your displays attract attention and make your building feel active and modern.
An impressive 92% of residents surveyed find Captivate informative, and 83% would be disappointed if the service was no longer available. When you choose Captivate to power your digital displays, you have the option of connecting to full hardware installation or installing a Captivate | Go plug-and-play device into your existing HDMI-capable screens.
Once you’ve created, uploaded, and published your messages using our intuitive ScreenCenter™ content management system, those messages are displayed alongside expertly curated, resident-specific content that your tenants will value. To learn more about the positive impact of using digital screens in your residential communities, get started with Captivate.
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