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5 Ways to Create a Great Move-Out Experience

5 Ways to Create a Great Move-Out Experience
It can all fall apart in the end.   An apartment community may have a great relationship with a resident and provide that person with a truly outstanding living experience. But if the resident encounters a rocky move-out, it can completely sour their feelings about the community and lead to angry online reviews and feedback.   Things certainly don't have to turn out that way. Below are some tips for creating a positive move-out experience for your residents:   • Set expectations about the security deposit – or eliminate it altogether. Anger about the small amount of their security deposit refund (or anger about getting no refund at all) is a common sentiment in online reviews, just ask your onsite teams.   Because of the tension refunds can create at move-out and because of the various administrative hassles associated with managing deposits, more and more apartment communities are making a fundamental shift in operations and  eliminating security deposits.   If that route doesn’t feel right for your company at this moment, you should at least work hard to manage residents' expectations about their refund. Give them some sense, both when they're paying the deposit and again when they're nearing move-out, of what the average refund looks like at your community. Explain the reasons why charges are typically deducted from a refund. Provide a checklist of the steps a resident needs to take to maximize their chances of getting a sizable refund.   • Communicate, communicate, communicate. This one would seem to go with......
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Is the Security Deposit an Unintended Move-Out Incentive?

I have $800 of your money, and the only way you can get it is to move out of my property.

Today’s blog is meant to be a thought exercise, rather than any type of guidance.  I’m not suggesting that security deposits are bad, good, or anything in between.  But what I do want to do is throw out the idea that they have some unintended consequences.  The concept is pretty simple:  If I have some of your money, and you can only get it by leaving my community, does that create an incentive for you to do just that?  Potentially it does.

I think a lot of factors go into that, of course, such as whether your comps have reduced or eliminated security deposits, as that would mean a net cash gain for the resident, or if the resident was looking to buy a house, where that money would go towards a down payment.  Either way, there are potential negative incentives to renewing the lease, and I think it is important to address that.

What do you all think?  Is this an issue in the renewal process?

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