Creative Ways To Retain Residents At Renewal Time
So often we focus on leasing and being creative with our marketing that we forget about Resident Retention. We think oh we don’t have to market our current residents they already live here at our community. That is the wrong thought process, marketing does not stop the moment they sign a lease, it’s a continuous thing. So let’s focus on some creative ways to market renewals and to get the current resident to stay a current resident. Especially now in these times when we are all competing for each other residents. I was reading a past issue of Rent and Retain magazine March/April 2006 and discover a fun list of 21 methods to deliver lease renewals. I tweaked some and added a little here and there! I really hope you enjoy this and have fun! There will be lots of more fun and creative ways to market current residents to stay coming your way soon!
•Remember the first initial letter is to have all the information they need to renew their lease. You can still deliver it in a fun and creative way!
1) Wanted Poster- This is great if you have a picture of your resident. Get some cream color paper to make it look aged. Scan the picture and write “WANTED-YOU to renew your lease!”
2) “Seems Like Only Yesterday”- Do the same thing with the wanted poster but write “It Seems Like Only Yesterday that you moved in. We’ve had a great year. Please stay for another!” This would also be cute in a card. 3)“We can’t bear for you to leave!”- This would be cute with stuff teddy bears (you can fined them at the dollar store) or go to www.plushinarush.com. Make a cute card tie it around the bear neck and hand deliver to the resident that has put in notice. You can even have a special just for them.
4) Make Posters and Hang them on the resident’s door- Make the posters have a homemade feel so it shows that you really cared about them to take the time to make a poster for them. Example: We really love you & all that you do for our community! Make it a fun poster; you could even tie some balloons to it. Check out your local scrapbook stores for clearance items. You ca also have everyone on the maintenance team sign the poster and write something nice about the resident.
5) Giant Checks- I know you’re thinking what. Create a Blank Check and write the resident name on it. You can put your renewal special, the cost of a carpet clean, or their rental rate. In the memo section put renew today.
6) Laminate Place Mat- Put a team photo that says “Renew your lease…Have dinner on us.” It cost less than three dollars and everything can be found at a craft store. Include a gift certificate to a restraint or a night you make dinner for the renewals. Set candled in the clubhouse, put dinner cloths on the tables have a name card with resident name, light music and you serve dinner to everyone.
7) Recordable Cards- Are a great way to get someone to renew…example have an Elvis card you could record “Don’t be a hound dog! Renew your lease today!”
8) Inflatable Monkeys, Whales, Smiley Faces, Lions, Guitars- These can be found all over check the dollar stores or party stores. Attach a sticker or card that says “Don’t monkey around! We want you to stay!” or ‘It would be music to our ears if you tell us you’ll stay for another year!”
9) Balloons( non-Mylar)-This is a great way to deliver you letters, attach some balloons to the letter if the residents not home then tie to the door knob or knocker.
10) Movie Posters- Get a picture of a movie star, example Brad Pitt attaché the following saying or whatever to match the movie star picture. “It would be the Pitts if you moved. Please renew your lease!” This makes the renewal letter fun and catches attention.
11) “Whoopee!”-It’s time to renew your lease. Attach this note to a whoopee cushion from a party or dollar store.This will make a good laugh for the resident.
12) “Any way you slice it…we want you to stay!”- Attach to a pizza box or a gift certificate from a pizza place or an invite to a pizza renewal party.
13) 100 Calorie Pack- “Don’t Dessert Us!” attach this to a 100 calorie snack pack.
14) Renewal “flex days 7-3/10-7 techs too!”- Come in from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. to renew your lease. We’re open for you!
15) News Paper-“Great News! It’s time to renew!” put this in the headline of a newspaper…like the daily paper or make your own from a print shop program. I thought it would be great to get the Sunday paper with the coupons and do this with!
16) Mylar Balloons- Get some cute Mylar balloons from the dollar store and attach the renewal letter. Give this to the resident either in person or tie to the door.
17) Drive Thru Rent Payment (Two Birds with one stone) - I love this one a lot. Make sure you have all your renewal notices ready to go in the morning. Stand at the entrance to your community and collect rents. Be sure to hand out some breakfast items with a Thank you for paying rent. Have your renewal letter attach to the breakfast items and give to the resident as they leave. Let them know you hope they stay. Be sure to advertise this a week before rent is due.
18) Sunglasses or Field Glasses- “we’re looking for you to renew” attach to the letter.
19) Turn a Candy Bar into a renewal notice- example: 100 grand bar, “ You are worth more than a 100 grand” renew today! You can even make a customer renewal letter wrapper by going to http://desktoppub.about.com/od/candywrappers/l/bl_cwbaby.htm there are templates here for you to use. Side note this works and is a lot of fun!
20) Renewal Party- A theme party; example a murder mystery dinner is a lot of fun and you can have the papers ready for them to sign. They get dinner, entertainment and you get a renewal.
21) Hang Around- Saw this on multifamily pro and loved the idea! Get some colorful hangers ( Drycleaners-Great way to start a bussiness partnership, dollar store, or walmart) atach a note that says "We Love For You To Hang Around another year!"
Now the point is to make personal contact with the resident (just like when we go out marketing). So deliver the items personally and if the resident is not home leave a note saying they have a package at the office. Once they come in give them the renewal notice and see if you can get them to renew.. Once the resident renews don’t forget to send them a Thank You Card. It would even be nice at the six month period to send another Thank You Card ( maybe with a loto ticket or a free appetizer from a local restruant) for being a great resident!
WRH Realty Serivces