11 Resident Retention Ideas for Multifamily Properties (2020)

11 Resident Retention Ideas for Multifamily Properties (2020)
October 21, 2020 Levi Olmstead

Resident retention is crucial to successful multifamily property management. Property managers understand that retaining a resident is just as crucial as obtaining one. On top of building meaningful, long-lasting connections within your community, keeping residents also makes your property more valuable.

Residents turnover will always happen – that is a fact. Some will relocate out of the area entirely, some may opt to purchase a home, and others might experience a change in their marital situation.

With that being said, resident retention is a fundamental part of successful property management, as there are many people out there looking for the right community where they can become long-term residents.

11 Best Resident Retention Ideas in 2020

  1. Quickly Respond to Residents
  2. Make Move-In Easy
  3. Offer Desirable Amenities
  4. Hire a Friendly Building Staff
  5. Stay on Top of Property Maintenance
  6. Build a Sense of Community
  7. Be Transparent to Residents
  8. Throw Resident Events
  9. Keep Common Areas Tidy
  10. Adopt New PropTech & Software
  11. Be Kind

You need to ensure these residents are comfortable, happy, and have everything they require in a multifamily property. But how do you do that?

11 Tenant Retention Strategies for Multifamily Property Managers

Here are 11 best resident retention ideas that can help you lower resident turnover and raise overall retention rates.

1. Quickly Respond to Residents

How fast should you respond to residents? This question triggers heated debates among property managers. But generally, residents expect to have their communications and requests addressed in less than two hours.

As a property manager, you should develop a habit of responding to and acknowledging a resident request as soon as you receive it.

Below are some tips to help you do that:

  • Send a message to confirm that you have seen their request and specify when you’ll be addressing it. 
  • Monitor requests and communications from your residents in real-time using apps and software. 
  • Show kindness and understanding.
  • Make sure your residents know who to call in the case of an emergence.

2. Make Move-In Easy

Moving in is a stressful time for almost everyone. Let new residents know that you understand what they’re going through during this difficult time by offering them a comprehensive moving checklist to make things a bit easy for them. 

If they see you’re concerned and taking steps to help them realize a positive move-in, they’re more likely to build trust and confidence in your multifamily property. And that will lead to an uptick in resident retention.


3. Offer Desirable Amenities

Desirable amenities improve resident retention and tenant satisfaction, while also attracting potential new residents to your multifamily community. 

Offer your residents unparalleled fitness experience by hosting fitness classes, setting up a yoga studio, or incorporating other unique fitness center amenities. Turn the pool into a social area by including seating areas and tables. With more people embracing remote working, adding a coworking space can help make your community attractive to potential residents while increasing retention rates when it’s time for your residents to renew their apartment lease.

Other important amenities worth investing in include family-friendly amenities, pet-friendly facilities, high-speed managed Wi-Fi, dining amenities, sporting facilities, green space, and more.

4. Hire a Friendly Building Staff

Residents enjoy living in multifamily properties with a friendly building staff. They easily develop strong relationships with staff members who are respectful and friendly.

When you are hiring staff, you should look beyond the level of education and experience. Ask questions that’ll help you hire people who can show authentic, unpretentious friendliness. Ensure the people you bring on board are a perfect fit for your company’s culture.

Also, provide a favorable working environment and better compensation to reduce staff turnover. Keeping staff satisfied and around for a long period leads to improved resident retention.

5. Stay on Top of Building Maintenance

Property maintenance is instrumental in lowering resident turnover. A clean and well-maintained property keeps residents satisfied. It helps you earn their trust and loyalty.

If you have a habit of ignoring even the simplest maintenance tasks, then you’ll lose even your most valued resident. Regular maintenance shows that you value the safety and comfort of your residents.

In addition to basic maintenance, gathering feedback from residents can help you stay on top of property maintenance. By analyzing the feedback, you’ll discover property issues that need to be addressed or improvements that your residents would like to see.

6. Build a Sense of Community

Building a sense of community and belongingness help cultivate strong bonds among residents and improves your resident retention. One effective way to do that is by hosting parties during holidays or random coffee and snacks with the property management team.

When you bring in new tenants, organize meet and greet event to make new residents feel like close-knit members of your community. The goal here is to build a community by providing real chances for residents to intermingle and get to know each other.


7. Be Transparent to Residents

As a multifamily property manager, you must practice transparency, integrity, and mutual respect. These qualities are instrumental in developing trust between residents and your staff.

Transparency allows you to handle residents with respect and attend to their everyday needs. One of the best ways to practice transparency is to keep comprehensive records and documentation of communication, payments, requests, and other kinds of engagement between residents and the property management team. Another fantastic way is to uphold open communication by showing up in-person when needed, answering calls promptly, and responding to emails on time.

8. Throw Resident Events

Throwing resident events is the best way to encourage interaction and build onsite relationships. Besides creating a fun time, these events integrate residents into an enjoyable culture that’ll compel them to renew their lease every time.

These events can range from holiday parties, to food truck Friday, to fitness classes, to pool parties. Keep in mind that the success of these events will depend on the efforts of teams that organize them. Ensure your onsite team knows the value of resident retention and is ready to put in work to achieve and maintain it.

Resident events can significantly increase retention rates and return on investment (ROI), especially if they’re coordinated properly.

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9. Keep Common Area Tidy

Regular cleaning of common areas attends to the continuing mess that crops up naturally from day-to-day resident life within the multifamily property. Keeping common areas clean results in a major uptick in your retention rates and makes your community appealing to potential residents. The reason is that a clean common area is a sign of a property manager who cares for the comfort and well-being of his residents.

Of course, you, as a property manager, have created all the perfect environment for your residents, such as remodeled kitchens, renovated bathrooms so that everyone can have a wonderful time, smart apartments, and more. An unclean and unorganized common area drives prospective residents away and causes a high turnover among the existing ones.

By staying on top of the cleanliness of your multifamily property’s common areas, you’ll not only attract new residents but also retain the existing ones.

10. Adopt New PropTech & Software

By taking advantage of new PropTech (property technology & software for multifamily communities), you can simplify residents’ lives and make them want to continue living in your multifamily property. Multifamily management software can help you automate bookkeeping, marketing, and maintenance jobs. It can also automate repetitive tasks like sending out reminders regarding payments and lease renewal

You can provide your residents with a convenient way to make payments by implementing an e-payment system. If you have vacant units that you want to fill, you can leverage virtual and augmented realities to offer prospective residents a virtual tour of the multifamily property, regardless of their location or time zone. A responsive, mobile-friendly website where residents can make maintenance requests or get in touch with the property management team is another excellent resident retention idea. 

11. Be Kind

Even the most reliable resident could experience a sudden change in circumstance, and consequently, delay in making payments. People lose their source of income often.

If one of your most responsible residents is going through hard times, be kind to them. Consider giving them some additional time to make the payment or help them come up with a different solution. Although it’s not the best solution, it’s probably a much better and affordable option than all the hassles of evicting the resident and looking for a new one. COVID-19 has presented new challenges to renters, and the best advice is to be compassionate to residents.

4 Benefits of Retaining Residents for Multifamily Property Managers

While the main benefit is reduced turnover and less time spent attracting new residents, here are four additional benefits for retaining tenants.

1. Keep Units Occupied

By taking steps to improve your resident retention rate, you’ll keep your units occupied. A good number of long-term residents are a clear indication that you’re doing the right thing as a multifamily property manager. These residents will serve as your spokespersons and will lure responsible individuals to your community through their referrals.

2. Retain the Best Tenants

An effective resident retention strategy keeps current residents cheerful, contented that the property is meeting their needs and desires, and feeling that the property management team or company respects and values them as human beings. When there’s open communication, mutual respect, desired amenities, a high level of cleanliness, and a sense of community, the best tenants are more likely to stick around for the long-term. 

And remember, finding reliable renters is hard – so do your best to retain the good ones.

3. Spend Less on Acquiring New Residents

Acquiring even a single resident takes time, effort, and resources. But when your retention rate is high, your cost of getting new residents will be lower. In fact, you’ll attract prospective tenants through the recurring residents’ word of mouth.

4. Reduce the Amount of Move-Ins & Move-Outs

An uptick in retention numbers translates to a reduction in the number of move-ins and move-outs. This reduction means you’ll minimize turnover expenses. Your expenditure on things like carpet, home appliances, blinds, and repainting will also go down.

The Bottom Line

Residents should be comfortable, happy, and satisfied with where they live. And it’s your responsibility as a property manager to ensure that happens.

The same effort you apply when hunting for new residents should be applied to retaining the existing ones. These resident retention tips in this guide will help you get your residents to stay around for long.

Get the new, 38-page 2021 Multifamily Amenities Guide now!


87% of current multifamily renters say amenities significantly impact their decision.