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All About Convenience: 5 Value Adds for More Renewals

All About Convenience: 5 Value Adds for More Renewals

I once read a social media post where a customer wrote a personal thank you to a popular grocery store.  In his post, he explained that he attempted to enter the store, not realizing it had closed ten minutes prior.  He found the entrance locked, however a manager opened the door and asked how she could help him.  The customer explained he just needed to get one item and didn’t know the store had closed.  As he turned to walk back to his car, the manager invited him into the store and told him to take his time getting the item he needed.  The man hurriedly grabbed the item and headed to the checkout. 

 At the checkout, he was greeted cheerfully by a cashier who proceeded to ask if the customer needed anything more than just that one item.  The man told her that he didn’t want to hold them up and would come back the next day.  The cashier smiled and responded, “You should get it now.  That’s what we’re here for”.  The customer told her that his one item was enough, paid for his purchase, thanked the cashier and left the store.

As he sat in the parking lot, he felt compelled to write about his positive experience.  Not only had he arrived ten minutes after the store had closed, but he was allowed to enter the store and make his purchase.  He also was given the opportunity to continue shopping without feeling rushed by employees who were ready to go home after a long day.  In his post to the company, the customer’s final sentence was “I will never shop anywhere else again”.

How awesome would it be to secure such loyalty?  At every step of this customer’s interaction, the employees did everything for the customer’s convenience and not their own.  Yes, the store was closed and yes, everyone probably wanted to go home but at no time did they give that impression to the customer.

I have been to communities in the past where the office staff was packed up and ready to go 30 minutes before closing.  I have also called communities where the phones were put on service well before the end of the business day.  What impression does this leave our residents?  When residents are determining the overall value for the rent they are being asked to pay, it boils down to this; value equals convenience.

Here are 5 things communities can do to demonstrate value:

1. Be visible – residents need to see their dollars at work. Too often, teams are tied to their desks or so focused on daily tasks, they only interact with residents on their turf – the office.  Why not conduct a walking meeting? Take the entire team outside and walk the community while discussing important topics. There’s strength in numbers and a walking meeting is the ultimate demonstration of teamwork.

2. Be aware – residents are individuals with individual stories.  It’s great to know your residents by name but are you able to recall specific facts and work them into the conversation? “Hi Mr. Jones, how’s your daughter Melissa enjoying her first year in college?” “Hi Mrs. Smith, is your son ready for the big game tomorrow night?” Sense of community begins with the resident’s connection to the management team. What better way to connect than on a personal level?

3. Be quick – residents are counting on you.  In times of need, time is of the essence. Residents are literally counting the minutes until an issue is resolved.  In the past, residents were willing to wait 1-2 business days for maintenance, that timeframe has been cut to same day, if the request was placed before 12pm.  The longer residents have to go without being able to use something they pay for, perception of value diminishes.

4. Be unbelievable – residents are ignoring basic customer service.  Professional, competent and service centric teams are essential to resident satisfaction however residents view these traits as par for the course. While they expect and deserve it, the basics of customer service are considered as part of what a management team is supposed to do. Returning phone calls and emails same day? Completing service requests within 24 hours?  While residents appreciate these efforts, they only consider them as drivers for retention when not going well.  Management teams are now required to go above and beyond consistently, creating unbelievable resident experiences.

5. Be inconvenienced – residents want it when they want it.  As the story at the top of this article outlines, putting the resident’s convenience above your own will have a positive impact on satisfaction. Once a month having a manager’s late night, extending closing for an extra hour or two allows residents the opportunity to stop by the office without having to rearrange their schedules to do so.

Securing resident loyalty begins by understanding what is most important to residents.  Our most recent data demonstrates 26% of residents are not very likely to renew due to a rent increase however when asked what can be done to improve the community, only .06% cited lower rent.  Residents do not choose to move purely based on a rent increase.  In fact, most apartment renters are conditioned to expect some type of an annual increase. 

What residents are most concerned about however is the level of service they receive in return.  When these two things are out of sync, residents are more inclined to spend their rent dollars elsewhere.  Focusing on what matters most to your residents will ultimately make the difference in the amount of renewals you are able to secure each month.

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Fantastic post! Plan to use with our team in "Service Excellence" training. Thank you.

  Shelley James
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks Shelley - happy to hear the article was helpful. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need any additional information. All the best with your Service Excellence training!

  Lia Nichole Smith

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