If You Hate Surprises… You Might Be A Property Manager! | National Apartment Association

If You Hate Surprises… You Might Be A Property Manager!

OK, we’ll leave the comedy up to Jeff Foxworthy. However, daily “surprises” are the bane of nearly all community managers. And one of the worst surprises of all is unexpected turnover … losses that could have been prevented if you had only known there were problems.

In a 2011 SatisFacts Research survey, residents reported the top three factors influencing retention:

  1. Quality of maintenance services
  2. Safety and security
  3. Quality of customer service provided by office staff

There’s no questioning the importance of timely communications to keep your residents informed.

But if you’re not hearing back from them, you could be missing out on key information. Residents ranked the ability to easily communicate with the community staff fourth in nearly 50 items analyzed.

Getting feedback after a service call works in your favor. If there’s a problem, it gives you a change to fix it rather than lose a resident over an unknown, unresolved maintenance issue. And if the service went well, it’s over and forgotten for your resident. But confirming that they’re satisfied with your service reinforces a positive memory—a positive perception—that may otherwise have been forgotten. And positive perceptions are major factors in renewal decisions.


Take a good look at your communications plan. How convenient is it for your residents to respond back to you? In the same SatisFacts survey, residents reported their preferences for multiple communication mediums: cell phones, text messaging and email. Are you reaching them in ways that are convenient for them and for you? When it comes to keeping the dreaded turnover surprises at bay, two-way communications work to your best advantage.