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Retaining Residents in High Construction Markets

Retaining Residents

As new apartments come online, existing communities must step up their game to retain residents. Here’s how they’re doing it.

It is difficult to compete with the quartz countertops, high-tech gyms and dog parks that come with new communities in many markets today.

But some owners and managers in these high-delivery neighborhoods have found the best way to retain their residents is by offering great service.

“For older buildings, it comes down to the people onsite and the services they provide regardless of the building’s age,” says Chad Cooley, Managing Director of Strategic Support Services at Bozzuto Management Company.

Taking the time to get to know residents and finding out what they want in apartment living is the key aspect of delivering such high-level service.

“If you have created a community with outstanding service regardless of its age, where someone knows your name and your pet’s name and where someone is trying to anticipate what you need before you raise your hand and ask, that has value,” Cooley says.

Loyalty programs also can drive resident retention among those who might be lured by the shiny, new community down the street.

To help increase loyalty and retention, Gables Residential launched a points-based resident rewards program where residents can earn points by referring friends, renewing their lease, liking the company on Facebook, participating in events and many other activities.  “The key to the program is driving loyalty by engaging our residents to be a part of the community and the greater Gables family,” says Gigi Giannoni, VP of Marketing & PR for Gables. “Providing an interactive experience that offers both short and long-term benefits allows us to bond with our residents.  When doing this, we hope to encourage behaviors beneficial to both parties, ultimately driving greater resident retention.  Our focus is to make their living experience very personal, encouraging them to stay with us for a longer period of time.”

Apartment owners can also try to close the gap by renovating their communities in markets with high deliveries.

“You can enhance your community by doing interior unit renovations, improving your amenity packages or making exterior improvements to curb appeal,” says Dominic Rechichi, a Principal at Pensam Development. “By renovating, we are competitive on price while trying to improve our product.”

When all else fails, apartment owners and managers can emphasize how much money residents save by staying.

“Obviously, with the cost of construction these days, the newer product will be delivered at higher rents,” Rechichi says.