The most frequent answer to the questions, “How do we motivate responsible residents to rent the properties we manage and how do we attract them in the first place?” may surprise you.
I asked those questions to a group of managers I’ve known and who have excellent reputations. The #1, most frequent response was, “Don’t take them for granted and offer outstanding incentives.”
These “incentives” are often called “perks” today, and those perks aren’t unlike the perks used to attract and retain outstanding employees. With some thoughtfulness and imagination you can be the kind of property manager that “employs” meaningful perks for both residents and your employees.
Begin by asking yourself, “What can I do to let my residents and employees know for certain that I value them and don’t take them for granted?” Think of ideas that will be relevant to the majority.
New residents of one multi-family rental complex were offered some special move-in gifts. These included gift cards, subscriptions to local newspapers and two-months of free Wi-Fi internet service.
Another manager told me that she works out an arrangement with a local restaurant that offers a gift certificate up to a specific total amount for meals. The restaurant also gives a free dessert. New residents are delighted by this and begin their occupancy with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
One imaginative manager told me that he created a “rewards program” incentive for his residents. If, during his annual inspection, the residents are taking good care of their units, they’re given a reward.
Make sure the rewards are relevant and meaningful.
Most everyone needs more spending money these days, so he gives them a “cash card” they can use anywhere debit cards are accepted. The amount is up to you and should be dependent upon the resident’s (or employees) level of compliance.
Don’t underestimate the power of the written and spoken word as a “meaningful and relevant” perk. Residents and employees crave sincere appreciation and a note expressing it is often greatly valued.
One large apartment community that boasts an average 99% occupancy rate partnered with a local supermarket to offer perks to residents who pay their rent on time and comply with the rules.
The supermarket actually splits the cost of the gift coupons that are awarded. That way a $50 coupon only costs the property management company $25. The results have been nothing but amazing!
When a vacancy arises, management lets the residents know about it before advertising it. More than 95% of the time a resident introduces a friend, relative or a colleague to fill the vacancy.
You might have guessed what kinds of prospects are introduced. They tend to be very similar to the residents that introduced them. Yes, “birds of a feather” do flock together in win-win outcomes.
It’s all about reinforcing positive behaviors, expressing gratitude to people who are trying, and winning their trust and loyalty. If you have ways that have worked for you please leave them in the comment section below.