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Brent Williams' Apartment Blog

Thoughts, comments, and ideas about the overall multifamily industry, as well as a property-specific focus on resident retention and apartment marketing.

We Were Right Along – It is the Sense of Community That Drives Much of the Renewal Decision

SatisFacts Research explored why residents renew their lease, and their findings showcased one extremely strong trend:  Residents care enormously about their connection to their neighbors.  What might be the most surprising aspect, however, is that our group of multifamily professionals seemed to underestimate related parts of the equation.

In SatisFacts’ investigation, they listed a total of 27 factors from which residents could rate their renewal decision.  I have always been in the camp that believed a “sense of community” was a top factor in a resident’s decision to stay at their community, and sure enough, it was the 2nd highest rated factor.  And when we quizzed multifamily professionals, they almost had it pegged perfectly, listing it as the top factor in resident retention.  But what really blew me away was the clear theme shown at the top of the list – 4 out of the top 6 factors impacting the renewal decision all had to do with a resident’s connection with the community and neighbors! 

(You can download the full results of this study, which also covers leasing preferences, by clicking here.)


Social activities (shout out to our resource for event ideas, ResidentEvents.com) was one of the big surprises, along with social media presence, which I discussed in my last blog.  Communities often put on some sort of community events through the year, but when asked how much they felt it impacted their residents’ decision to renew their lease, that factor was all the way down at 23rd on the list!  In other words, they were putting on the events, but didn’t really feel those events were making an impact.  Now we know that is completely incorrect – those community-building events have a vital role in a resident’s decision to stay at the community! 

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In January, we quizzed the multifamily industry asking them what they thought drove residents to renew their leases.  We showed them a list of 27 factors (developed by SatisFacts Research) that might impact a residents decision to renew, and social media came in at number 26!  It turns out that we are very, very wrong.  (View the research report here for free) The reality is that residents truly do care about their community’s social media presence, and it can help in their decisi...
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