What Apartment Pros Do to Enhance Retention; Implications for Manufactured Housing
We've all heard from the media that apartments have high occupancy since the conventional mortgage/housing bubble burst. The area of construction that often dominates the conventional housing news is multi-family rentals, ie: apartments. Still, apartments experience turn-over, and the multi-family pros have a strategy they are using to enhance retention and increase referrals. When this hit my desk, seeing the potential implications for savvy manufactured housing businesses pros like you, it looked worth sharing. Here we go…
Multi-Family Pro says:
"Did you know that as the percentage of residents with outstanding work orders increases, the likelihood of renewal drops by 38 percent," Our most dangerous residents are the ones we never hear from until they give us their notice to vacate. It's a proven fact that 7 out of 10 apartments that are vacated have service issues that were not resolved. The resident simply never asked to have them taken care of. "So if you have a lot of residents with outstanding maintenance issues, you're throwing money away on retention efforts."
"Are residents' expectations being met? We have to make certain that their basic service needs are being taken care of? “
I'm not going to parse the grammar, punctuation or choice of words above, other than to say kudos on their use of the word 'residents' vs. tenants. Tenants is a legal term, and surely isn't as marketable and appealing to the consumer as “residents!” Having duly noted that (and ignoring their glitches), let's push on to the meat of what they said.
The key take away here is consumer satisfaction.
In rental scenarios, “resident satisfaction.” Savvy multifamily pros are focusing on getting or keeping their residents happy. A happy resident stays longer. One of the tools used by these forward thinking apartment operators is to put notices on apartment doors, asking them if they have any unresolved maintenance issues.
Imagine that, ASKING the resident who has not complained if they want service!
That shocking idea goes back to a point made by one of our industry's forward thinking community operators that was shared with me recently. What is good for the long term best interests of our home owners is also good for the long term best interests of our industry. In a phrase, we want happy customers.
I'm thinking of a home retailer who has sold as many as 150 new homes in a year, virtually all by word of mouth. Knowing the retailer, let me say with confidence that they made sure their customers were satisfied with their purchase.
This should apply for retailers, communities or developers.
I had the honor of reviewing a draft copy of a book written by one of our Featured Writers, modular and HUD Code home retailer Greg McClanahan (FYI, not the same professional as the story shared above, and in a different part of the country too). If you invested the time to read the stories Greg writes, you might ask: is he really successful in factory built home retailing? Answer? Youbetcha. Greg shares principle, that if routinely applied, would make a huge difference to our Industry. Customer satisfaction is a key part of his message, but it is all in the telling and how he shares it.
With many clients and companies I've worked with, referrals becomes the #2 source of new business.
The idea of delivering excellent service and making sure customers are happy can't be understated. Most pros know you have to give good service, but we also know there are times when we want to 'control' or limit the amount of service someone gets. Think about the message above. Then also, please review the section of my last blog post about a survey done by a manufactured housing state association about home owner satisfaction. It dovetails with this same issue.
If you don't already do so, please encourage your team to want to give excellent service. Some of our writers, such as Tim Connor, Mike Moore, Greg McClanahan, Zig Ziglar and others are free resources you can use to enhance or start a culture of delivering excellence.
Oh, yes! Please make sure your team read our other Featured Writers, my columns and the Daily Business News too. We always get a kick out of those who say that an article or news story provided new opportunities or improved result to our readers. Please thank our sponsors – who make all of this possible – by calling them when you need their products or services. Let's catch up next week, on the Industry News Tips and Views You can Use. © ##
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford