How to Keep Good Tenants Around

If you find yourself feeling frustrated by the constant pursuit of improving renter retention, perhaps all you need are a few straightforward renter engagement strategies to enhance resident satisfaction, foster positive property reviews, and create the vibrant apartment community you desire. Encouragingly, the overall level of resident satisfaction is generally quite high. In fact, the majority of residents in the United States express contentment with their living arrangements. While there are some dissatisfied individuals, a significant number fall within the neutral spectrum.

Similar to undecided voters in a closely contested election, these ambivalent renters can be swayed in either direction. It falls upon you to persuade them, or even better, demonstrate to them that they reside in an exceptional community. By utilizing reliable data from the 2022 NMHC Renter Preferences Survey Report, we can explore impactful renter engagement strategies that are rooted in data, ensuring residents are motivated to stay and avoid relocation.

Tenant Storage Options

As individuals spend more time in a particular location, they tend to accumulate more possessions. When their living space becomes excessively cluttered, they may consider relocating to a larger place. However, by offering tools that assist renters in maximizing limited space, you have the potential to retain residents for extended periods.

One effective approach is the utilization of modular closet systems, which have experienced a 36% rise in interest since 2020. These modular closets enable renters to customize the organization of their closets according to their specific needs and preferences.

Provide Options for Space

The ability to adapt one’s living space to various needs is highly valued by renters. While this has traditionally been a benefit of homeownership, a significant portion of renters, around two-thirds, now consider flexible space to be important or extremely important. Flex spaces in apartments can be compared to multipurpose rooms, allowing for customization based on individual preferences and requirements, such as entertainment rooms, offices, study areas, or cozy reading nooks.

There are innovative approaches to achieving this, including modifiable floor plans and furniture that can seamlessly transition for different uses. Microhomes, commonly known as tiny houses, exemplify how to effectively create and utilize flex space, with their compact sizes ranging from 100 to 400 square feet.

Offer Flexible Lease Options

The surge in remote work has led to a growing need for short-term leases. Individuals who work from home are no longer bound to a single location. Shorter lease durations, such as six-month terms, hold particular appeal for remote workers and those undergoing transitional phases. However, you can take it a step further by offering a rental housing membership program, akin to a vacation club. Interestingly, over half (56%) of individuals who relocated during the pandemic express their openness to participating in a flexible program of this nature.

Invest in Smart Options for Tenants

Some smart tech options you could offer your tenants include

  • Smart enabled door locks
  • Solar panels
  • Smart doorbell cameras
  • Water saving devices

Ensure that whatever you offer, it is prominently featured in your marketing efforts. Incorporate these offerings into your resident newsletter, website, email campaigns, social media posts, and any other communication channels you utilize. By consistently highlighting these offerings across various platforms, you can effectively convey their value to your audience.

Offer Safe Onesite Delivery Options for Tenants

As online ordering and package deliveries continue to increase, numerous properties struggle to handle the influx of packages without proper infrastructure. Implementing self-service pickup options, such as package lockers or a designated package room, can effectively manage the arrival of these items. While certain luxury communities may offer in-house delivery services, it is worth noting that research indicates most renters are not comfortable with the idea of individuals entering their units to deliver packages.

Go the Extra Mile for Tenants with Pets

It is noteworthy that one-third of renters share their living space with a pet or service animal. When crafting your resident engagement strategy, it is crucial not to overlook the significance of accommodating pets. Embracing a pet-friendly environment in your rental housing has been proven to enhance resident retention. Therefore, incorporating pet-friendly policies and amenities can be a valuable component of your overall strategy.

Some amenity ideas include

  • Dog Parks
  • Washing stations
  • Daycare for pets
  • Grooming areas

Consider a Community Gym or Fitness Area

Fitness holds significant importance for many renters, with 70% expressing their desire for an on-site fitness center or considering it a prerequisite for renting. Moreover, over half of those who have access to a community fitness center exclusively utilize it, underscoring the need to ensure the equipment remains current and well-maintained.

When it comes to equipping your community gym, free weights and cardio machines rank as the most sought-after pieces of equipment. Interestingly, among those who rarely or never use the fitness center, 29% attribute it to either insufficient or outdated equipment.

However, it is essential to acknowledge that one-third of renters may not have an interest in this amenity. Consequently, conducting surveys within your community becomes crucial to understanding the preferences of your residents. While some communities may not prioritize this feature, others may consider it indispensable.

Do You Have Extra Outdoor Space?

Incorporating outdoor amenities into your resident engagement strategy is a fantastic idea. The specific type of amenity to offer will depend on both the region and the community itself. For instance, in the Southeast and Texas, community pools generate strong interest among 73% of renters. On the other hand, in high-density metropolitan areas, renters tend to show greater interest in rooftop spaces equipped with barbecue grills. Therefore, tailoring outdoor amenities to align with regional preferences and community dynamics can effectively enhance resident engagement.

Moderate Informal Communication with your Tenants

Text messages boast an impressive 98% open rate, rendering them a highly effective means of communication with renters. Leveraging texts allows you to conveniently share reminders regarding community-wide initiatives or urgent situations that demand real-time updates. Naturally, it is crucial to provide recipients with an opportunity to opt-in before sending texts.

Certain property management solutions, such as Yardi Breeze Premier, offer the capability of two-way texting. This feature ensures that all communications are securely stored online for easy reference and legal purposes. With this functionality in place, you no longer need to fret about recalling whether you sent an essential deadline or a friendly reminder, as the records are readily accessible.

Be Honest with your Tenants

Maintaining transparency is always important, but it becomes especially crucial during challenging conversations. When dealing with delicate matters like writing a rent increase notice, it is essential to convey the facts without alienating renters.

Tenant portals play a pivotal role in providing renters with instant access to vital documents and information. These portals also facilitate effective communication between owners and tenants, fostering trust and transparency. Moreover, ensuring that rules, regulations, and other agreements are clearly visible and easily accessible can minimize misunderstandings and enhance the overall safety of the community.

Developing a resident engagement strategy that aligns with the unique needs of your community is vital. While providing organizational tools, flexible spaces, smart technology, and outdoor amenities is valuable, it is essential to ensure that these offerings genuinely meet the desires of your residents. Conducting annual or semi-annual resident satisfaction surveys allows you to gather feedback and utilize it to enhance the living experience for your residents.

If you’re uncertain about where to begin, the key is to ask and actively listen to your community. This approach serves as the most effective way to improve renter engagement. By seeking input from your residents and attentively considering their perspectives, you can make informed decisions that cater to their specific preferences and foster a more fulfilling living environment.