Brent, thanks for he feedback. I will look into titling. Something I know I don't put much thought...
And to give you feedback on your videos from #30, I personally really like them. I wouldn't get ups...

Training Trivia

In which of the following situations should you cease follow-up with a prospective resident?

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For those new to this blog series, I have been updating the Insider community about the process of renewing my apartment, all from the resident's point of view.  And so far, the experience has left me less than impressed.  That said, I think things are on the way up, and although I still think the ideal renewal process is a long way off, I'd like to share the latest email follow-up which definitely makes strides in the right direction!  For your reading pleasure:  (not originally italicized)

Hello Brent,

Here are the top 10 reasons why you should STAY:

  1. WE APPRECIATE YOU & WANT YOU TO STAY!
  2. You won't have to clean out every closet and drawer in your place.
  3. You don't have to buy boxes and pack up everything you own.
  4. We are so close to all the best "fun" in town!
  5. WE APPRECIATE YOU & WANT YOU TO STAY!
  6. Your car already knows how to get here without you thinking!
  7. You know where everything is in your neighborhood grocery store!
  8. You have a great dry cleaner and a convenient membership at the local gym or video store!
  9. This is your home and you have great friends that live here too!
  10. WE APPRECIATE YOU & WANT YOU TO STAY!

Make the right decision and STAY! Call us today to sign a new lease and reserve your apartment for another year!

Sincerely,
Your Team at XYZ Community

 Now frankly, I still believe that we should be personally calling every single renewal.  Their initial renewal letter even said they were going to do that, but nobody ever did.  But that's not to say that there isn't a great opportunity for the use of automated emails in the process.  And this one isn't that bad at all.  Actually, let me back up for a moment.  So far, I have been far from impressed with their correspondence, so my reaction may actually just be a relief that it isn't terrible, rather than thinking it is actually good.  But I'd like to take the positive approach today and say that it did a pretty good job of making an impact on me. 

First of all, I like how it continued the "STAY" theme from my prior renewal email follow-up.  They need to make sure that the "appreciate you" line isn't just words on a paper, and that they actually mean it, but I think it's a nice gesture.  Plus, the reasons are generally pretty good.  Whereas in a previous email I found myself arguing against the email, this one I find generally nodding along.  There are two potential exceptions:

  1. We are so close to all the best "fun" in town!   I live in the suburbs.  I happen to like it as it fits my family plans, but it's not as if we are living in the middle of the city surrounded by exciting things to do.  But really, this is just a subjective measure so it's not that big of a deal.
     
  2. This is your home and you have great friends that live here too!   Yes, it is my home, but I do not have any great friends here.  And knowing the stats like I do, I doubt very few of my neighbors have friends living here, either.  So this statement is flat out wrong and could have a negative reaction.

But other than those two elements, I thought the email was a good follow-up email.  It isn't designed to do that much "heavy lifting" in the renewal process, so I'm not saying it will renew the resident by itself, but I think it does a decent job.  That said, what could they have done to improve it? 

Imagine if upon my initial apartment search the leasing consultant had logged all my specific "buying factors," such as wanting a good school district, close to work, nice landscaping, etc.  Or what if they had sent out a survey asking which amenities I used or appreciated at the community?  Wouldn't that information be invaluable now upon trying to renew me?  Instead of talking about the local gym or video store, which may or may not apply to me, they could have included factors that I specifically cared about!  Done correctly, this could all be automated resulting in little to no extra work. 

What do you think?  Is this an upgrade over my prior apartment renewal letter and Renewal email follow-up?

Brent Williams is Chief Insider of Multifamily Insiders, the largest social network in the world for multifamily professionals. His background includes both property management and supplier, and he writes on all facets of the multifamily industry, although his focus lies in resident retention.
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