10 Ways To Show Multifamily Residents Your Appreciation
Rod Khleif Real Estate Investor, Mentor, Coach, Host, Lifetime Cash Flow Through Real Estate Podcast.
Fundamentally, the success of a multifamily investment is dependent upon keeping the property full of rent-paying tenants. At my company, we pursue a two-pronged approach to accomplish this goal. First, we constantly monitor rental rates against the prevailing market to ensure they are competitive. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we actively work to build a community where our residents feel appreciated and valued. When they do, they are far more likely to renew their leases year after year, which ultimately increases the odds of a profitable investment outcome.
These 10 resident appreciation ideas can serve to promote a sense of community in your multifamily asset.
It is incredibly important for residents to feel heard, and when they speak, you should listen. As part of a sound property management strategy, provide residents with multiple ways to communicate with you. Whether through phone calls, text messages, social media, suggestion boxes, community meetings or an onsite management/leasing office, make it as easy as possible for residents to feel heard.
It is one thing to listen, but it is another to respond in a timely manner. When a renter submits a maintenance request, acknowledge it quickly and take action to show that you hear them. For example, when they make a suggestion for a resident event or game night, take great pains to acknowledge their idea and provide them with the platform needed to implement it.
3. Get Residents Involved
While you may have legal ownership of the property, apartment residents should feel like it is their home. One way to do this is to offer rental discounts to your most active residents in return for their active participation in the day-to-day management of the property. We have found that by being our eyes and ears on the ground, they have a greater sense of ownership in the community and we have a more direct line of communication to residents.
4. Contests And Giveaways
Encourage your residents to show their creativity on holidays like Halloween, Valentine’s Day or Christmas. For example, consider holding a Halloween door decorating contest and providing goodie bags and/or gift cards for the winners.
5. Resident Appreciation Events
A few times a year, throw resident appreciation events as an outward display of your gratitude for the residents that choose to make their home with you. As part of this effort, organize community events like ice cream socials, potluck dinners, educational webinars, games and giveaways. In addition to serving as a way to show appreciation, these sorts of activities also serve as a way for new residents to get to know more established residents, which only enhances the strength of the community as a whole.
We all have a competitive streak, and occasionally it can be fun to stoke this flame with friendly competitions among residents. Some resident event ideas could include things like board game or card nights, a chili cookoff or trivia competitions.
7. Community Fitness Classes
Hire a group fitness instructor from the local area to come and host fitness classes for your residents. The classes should be accessible for all residents, regardless of age or ability. For example, we like Zumba and/or yoga. In addition to promoting community, these classes also serve as a way to encourage healthy habits.
8. Pool Party
Everyone loves a good pool party, especially those residents in colder climates where warm days are few and far between. To make sure the party is fun, consider hiring a local DJ or catering in some BBQ or other food from local restaurants. These types of family-friendly affairs are fun, relatively inexpensive and a great way to promote a sense of community.
9. Yard Sales/Swaps
In the past, we have found that many of our residents have items that they would prefer to get rid of, while others may find some use for those same items. So, give them a platform to sell or exchange their stuff with other residents. Again, this can be a win/win in the sense that it provides a way for residents to gain new possessions while getting to know each other in the process.
10. Tailgates And Watch Parties
For multifamily properties located in sports-crazy towns, a tailgate event or watch party can be a great way to rally the community around the local team while providing a fun platform for them to get to know each other. Set up a big, inflatable screen outside and bring in food and drinks while encouraging residents to show their team spirit.
By definition, multifamily real estate tends to be a temporary home for many. Often, it is a place where residents may live for a year or two while saving up for a house. However, with homeownership increasingly out of reach for median wage earners — especially in major metro areas — residents are staying longer. To make them as comfortable and happy as possible, actively seek to promote a sense of community for all. Doing so will keep occupancy high, increase resident retention, improve resident satisfaction and ultimately provide property owners with a greater chance of a profitable investment return.
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