8 Strategies to Boost Renewals and Enhance Resident Retention

Resident satisfaction is the cornerstone of a vibrant, stable and profitable multifamily housing community.

By Ashley Tyndall |

3 minute read

Retaining residents in multifamily housing is far more than a convenience: It's a strategic and economic advantage. Acquiring a new resident involves costs — advertising, showing spaces and potential vacancy losses — considerably higher than retaining an existing one. 

Moreover, resident satisfaction is pivotal in shaping a property's reputation. Happy residents are more likely to renew their leases, recommend the community to others and contribute to a positive atmosphere. This not only helps in building a strong community, but also aids in attracting new residents through word-of-mouth—one of the most powerful marketing tools.

1. Create a Sense of Community

The essence of resident retention often lies in the sense of community fostered within the property. Properties that encourage a strong community often report higher retention rates. This can be achieved by organizing regular events like holiday parties or summer barbecues, creating communal spaces such as gardens or lounges where residents can interact and encouraging resident-led initiatives. 

For example, a property in Oregon significantly increased resident satisfaction by transforming an unused space into a community garden, which became a hub for resident interaction and engagement. These initiatives bring residents together and make them feel connected to the place they call home.

2. Invest in Responsive and Efficient Property Management

Effective property management is critical for resident satisfaction. This means being proactive and responsive to maintenance requests, ensuring timely resolution of issues and maintaining transparent communication. A user-friendly reporting system for maintenance issues can significantly enhance the resident experience. 

Properties known for their efficient management often boast higher resident retention rates. For instance, a multifamily housing community in Texas implemented a 24-hour maintenance response policy, dramatically improving its resident satisfaction scores and retention rates.

3. Personalize the Resident Experience

Personalizing the resident experience can significantly boost loyalty. Simple acts like remembering residents' birthdays, anniversaries, or pets’ names can make a big difference. Personalization can extend to acknowledging individual preferences in community events or newsletters. This level of recognition makes residents feel valued and fosters a deeper connection with the community.

4. Gather Regular Feedback and Make Improvements

Regularly seeking and acting on resident feedback is crucial for improving the living experience. This could be through surveys, suggestion boxes or informal meetups. Implementing the feedback not only improves the community, but also shows residents that their opinions are valued.

5. Offer Incentives for Renewals

Incentives can be a powerful tool to encourage lease renewals. Offering rent discounts, flexible lease terms or options for apartment upgrades can motivate residents to renew. Loyalty programs, such as rewards for long-term residents, can also be effective.

6. Modernize and Upkeep Facilities

Regular maintenance and timely updates of facilities are key to keeping a property appealing. Staying abreast of the latest trends in amenities and décor can also enhance the attractiveness of a property. Modernizing communal areas, upgrading fixtures or adding popular amenities like high-speed internet or a fitness center can make a significant difference.

7. Deploy Effective Communication Strategies

Effective communication is the backbone of strong resident relations. Regular, clear and honest communication can build trust and keep residents informed and engaged. This could be through newsletters, community boards or social media platforms. You can even use a monthly newsletter highlighting upcoming events, maintenance updates and community news.

8. Leverage Technology for Convenience

Incorporating technology can greatly enhance resident convenience. Online rent payment systems, digital communication platforms and apps for maintenance requests can make residents' lives easier and more efficient. Implementing these technologies caters to the modern resident's expectations and streamlines property management processes. A digital overhaul, including introducing a resident app, can significantly improve resident satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Focusing on Resident Satisfaction to Boost Retention

Enhancing resident retention and boosting renewals in multifamily housing hinges on these key strategies. Central to all these strategies is a focus on resident satisfaction, which is the cornerstone of a vibrant, stable and profitable community. We encourage all property managers and multifamily professionals to implement these strategies and see the difference they make in resident retention and satisfaction.

Ashley Tyndall is Chief Relationship Officer at Criterion.B