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The Moveable Middle – Get off the fence already!

The Moveable Middle – Get off the fence already!

Dear resident, bless your heart but why do you wait until the absolute last day - 24 hours before your lease is scheduled to go month-to-month, to sign your renewal?  Do you know how absolutely aggravating that is?

According to the 2015 SatisFacts Insite Pre-Renewal Index, residents 120 days prior to lease expiration gave the following answers when asked, “How likely are you to renew your lease when it expires?”

  • 33% Very Likely
  • 29% Somewhat Likely
  • 22% Not Likely
  • 16% I Don't Know

So, one third say they are “very likely” to renew, check.   Another 22% seemingly have one foot out the door, got it.  That leaves 45% of residents who are undecided.  Let’s consider these residents to be our Moveable Middle.   Perched precariously on the renewal fence, these residents have the power to make or break your renewal efforts.  Can anything be done to sway their decision in your favor?  What exactly are these residents waiting for? 

The Moveable Middle is waiting on management to make the first move – the renewal offer.  Once the offer is in hand, it’s their turn.  Accept or decline?  Stay or go?  We all know rents are going up – in some markets, way up.  Your residents know it too – in fact, they expect it.  And honestly, most of them are okay with it.

You may be the most expensive community in the area or you may have the tiniest amount of leeway when it comes to concessions.  I say, OWN IT!  “Of course we’re the most expensive community – here’s what we offer that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else.”  Back up that renewal increase with solid customer service, one and done service requests and an unparalleled quality of living.

No one likes a show off – but many secretly want to be one.  Are friends and family envious of where and how your residents live?  The Envy Factor is a huge motivator for residents to renew.  Glowing, 5-star online reviews can only come from truly satisfied residents.  When residents are proud about where they live they want the world to know it.

There will always be residents who simply will not renew; life changes are inevitable and people move on.  It’s our job as property management professionals to make it a tough decision.  The Moveable Middle, for the most part, is wooed by consistent, responsive service, pride in their community and feeling as though their money is well spent where they live.

Imagine if you could shift half…just half, of the Moveable Middle into the “very likely” to renew grouping.  That equates to 55% of residents feeling comfortable about staying another year- BEFORE knowing what the rental increase is going to be.  Almost six out of every ten…I’ll take those odds any day.  


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