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'Tis the Season to Lock Your Backdoor

Your current residents remember the special treatment they received when they first walked in your front door.  They were greeted with a smile, from a standing position, and referred to by name.  They were offered refreshments, given a personal tour, along with your undivided attention.  Over the years, some of that begins to fade.  


Retaining your residents is always an important piece of a community’s success and probably most crucial during the holiday season.  Move-outs occurring during the months of November through January tend to remain vacant longer due to the drop in traffic around this time.  With so much focus placed on getting new residents in the front door, who at your community is watching the back door?


This is a great time for an all-out retention blitz!  Here are some ideas you can build on to remind your residents that your community is the only place for them:


November – “A Month of Thanks”

·      Send thank you cards to every resident.  Have the entire team sign each card.  If you are at a larger community, this may be quite a task however think of the impact it will have on your residents when they realize you took the time to do so.

·      Host a thank you brunch.  Invite your residents to join you and the entire team for a continental breakfast.  Be sure to remind your team to mingle with the residents and not huddle together in the corner of the room.

December –
“Get into the Briarwood Spirit” (use your community name)

·      If you are throwing a holiday party for your residents, set up a gift wrapping station, where residents can come in and wrap a few gifts for free.  Your local dollar stores have tons of festive papers and bows – be creative!

·      A quick internet search for “custom ornaments” will show you the names of companies who can custom print ornaments for your community.  Set up a tree and decorate it with your custom ornaments.  Allow the residents who attend your party to take one with them as a gift.

January –
“2012 = 20 Good Things in 12 Months”

·      Roll out a 12-month calendar of events for your residents.  By planning your year in advance, you will get your residents excited about the year to come and hopefully thinking less about moving when their lease expires.  Brainstorm creative events, contests and promotions; try not to duplicate anything from 2011.

·      Along with the calendar, give every resident a punch card numbered 1-20.  The resident will receive a punch for each event, contest or promotion they participate in during the year.  At the end of the year, the residents with 20 punches can be entered into a drawing for an amazing gift…an iPad, maybe?

What are you doing at your community to secure your back door this season?

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Interesting idea with the punch cards! I think our industry can get a LOT more sophisticated in tracking our attendance and effectiveness of resident retention events, and I think coupling that tracking with prizes is a great idea. I also like the idea of Foursquare-type badges for attending different events.

  Brent Williams
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Ok, I have to say that the Wrapping paper station ROCKS!!!! That is an awesome idea and I am going to recommend that all of our Integral Communities do it this Holiday season! Thank youfor sharing~

  Stacey Smith

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