Resident Retention – Are You Focused?


Are you paying enough attention to retention? Did you know that 60+% of turnover is controllable and that every move-out costs at least $4,500 in today’s market? Putting the pieces together can be easier than you think. Simply pay attention to your residents. Communicate with them, address their concerns and let them know you’re listening! . . . Engaging with residents in a Social Media Blog combined with focusing on the steps you are taking to make retention happen could play key roles in your answer.

Retention Question… Are you paying enough attention to retention?

  • How many leasing seminars do your leasing associates attend a year vs. service delivery and retention?
  • What about data and ideas regarding service delivery and retention? Why is the ratio of session topics at most industry events close to 10-to-1 leasing/marketing vs. retention?
  • Does retention take a backseat because topics like fixing toilets promptly and properly the first time and following up on completed work orders does not have the sizzle of hot marketing and leasing topics?
  • Shouldn’t industries that live on “repeat” business find it hard to accept having to replace nearly two-thirds of their clients each year? Is this figure questioned by the multifamily industry? Can you name any industry that thrives on repeat business but focuses more on sales than re-sales to existing customers?
  • The NAA’s annual income and expense survey shows that turnover has remained high and unchanged over the last five years. Is 60% turnover of customers acceptable?

Retention, the Industry’s Overlooked Stepchild

Retention must become priority one because our research shows 60+% of turnover is controllable, every move-out costs at least $4,500 in today’s market, turnover is driven by easily addressed communication and service delivery issues by the staff (notably the office and leasing teams)…and because, as a number of firms know, reducing turnover by 3, 6 or 9 points is actually quite achievable when you focus on residents and what matters most to them…and the impact on NOI and asset value is astounding!

Retention is the number you want to grow due to its impact on NOI and asset value. It needs to be supported. The key performance metrics related to service delivery best practices must be monitored.

The goal should not be about leasing apartments…it should be about having apartments leased. A subtle yet significant difference.

Not everyone makes retention the operational stepchild…in my next blog you will see the dramatic return for having a balanced focus.

Doug MillerPresident, SatisFacts Research