by Jacob Carter
Establishing ideal renewal rates begins the minute a new resident signs a lease, but the true renter relationship begins the moment they inquire about a community. That initial communication is critical to renewals because it typically sets the stage for whether or not a resident chooses to stay.
Many apartment companies are leveraging automation within their leasing strategies to establish an immediate connection with residents. Automation provides information during pivotal steps in the renter journey and continues to send timely, hyper-personalized messages to seamlessly guide renters through the funnel. With these new leasing processes and technologies, leasing teams have more time to provide one-on-one interaction with residents and cultivate those meaningful relationships – another key factor of renewals.
Residents are more likely to stay in a community when they have a relationship with their onsite teams. They are also more likely to stay when they feel they’re getting a caliber of customer service they may not find elsewhere. Providing a high level of personalized service makes residents want to stay with a company, even if they aren’t staying at a specific community.
Every lead is a renewal opportunity. Leasing teams and automation provide a balancing act of human interaction and tech. The hyper-personalization and consistent follow-ups attract residents and nurture each and every lead through the funnel. Leasing teams then step in to provide that customer service finesse that delivers an exceptional living experience – the type of living experience renters want to have long-term.
Operators want long-term residents within their organization’s ecosystem — whether it’s at their community or a sister property. The communication that leasing teams have with residents is vital to fostering a relationship that is larger than a single community. The attention to detail with hyper-personalization and timeliness of important dates and renewal reminders matter. It matters more than it ever has before.
The time will come when a resident wishes to move out. Their level of satisfaction with an apartment company will determine if they choose to look at a sister property or decide to try a new company. Residents choose to move out for countless reasons, such as wanting to live in a community offering more amenities that cater to their needs, or perhaps they have simply outgrown their current apartment and want additional space.
No matter the reason, the goal is to maintain residents. Automation allows operators to seize a multitude of touchpoints to gather information and open the lines of communication – the type of communication that sways decisions. When a strong relationship has been established with a resident, they will be more likely to renew their lease. But if a satisfied resident still feels it’s still time to move on, operators can use automated, customized communication to provide residents with every single option. An option may be at another community within the operator’s portfolio.
Enlisting the communication practices that provide residents with an unforgettable experience catered to them greatly increases the chances of keeping them as a long-term resident within the organization’s ecosystem. Automation can enhance property reputation and resident experiences while begetting higher engagement rates, increased renewals and in many cases, an ROI that is 25 times what it was before implementing automation.
When searching for the best ways to retain residents, operators are turning to automation to “keep it in the family” – if not a renewal at a residents current community, then perhaps another community in the organization’s ecosystem.
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