Appealing to the needs of tenants doesn’t have to be difficult. When determining which amenities and programs to incorporate into your rental property’s offerings, property managers shouldn’t overlook service-based perks that can improve your property’s desirability and value—workout classes, pet services, social events, remote work spaces—the options are almost endless.
Discovering the value in the amenities and programs you offer makes them worth your time and money. Examine ways in which a proposed amenity or service can benefit your tenants when deciding if its implementation will enhance retention and attract prospective tenants.
Determine what kind of community you envision building and then retrofit the service-based amenities you decide will most benefit your tenants.
Developing a customer-driven outlook helps determine which amenities or programs you should offer that are most likely to appeal to your current tenants and attract prospective renters. Understanding your customers is essential to successful property management.
Property managers need to take the time to understand what your tenants really want rather than what you think they want. The programs and services you choose to implement at your rental property should be decided upon using tenant feedback, suggestions or (reasonable) requests. Survey your residents and even prospective tenants to make the best long-term decisions, keeping a couple of things in mind:
• If you plan to offer extraordinary, sophisticated amenities, be certain that you can deliver them. Telling residents about the great amenities you have planned is always terrific for generating excitement until you’re faced with the backlash when expectations aren’t met.
• As a property management professional, one of your most important duties is knowing when to take a step back, evaluate, and establish where you are compared to where your tenants are or want to be.
Your goal is to establish an atmosphere in which residents feel at home, rather than just a place in which they live. The amenities and services play a central role in establishing a homey environment by catering to your tenants’ needs and emotionally connecting with them.
To better understand your tenants, keep in mind:
• Not all renters have the same needs. Make sure you maintain open communication with all of your tenants to understand their differences and better identify what fits their individual lifestyles and personalities.
• Continuously look for ways to improve and maintain relationships with tenants by requesting feedback. Whether their feedback is positive or negative, knowing you’re your residents are feeling is the first step toward gauging their overall satisfaction.
• Look beyond demographics and challenge get to understand the psychographic. Consumers are driven by their feelings. Your tenants may have very different demographic backgrounds and still be motivated by similar things. Learn what motivates your target residents and find out what is unique and specific to them. Think about what will bring the most value to them. Awareness of the psychographics of your tenants will help you to make smart choices regarding the services and amenities you offer.
Customer service is crucial to providing a positive tenant experience. Something as simple as anticipating your residents’ needs can deliver the Midas touch that causes your rental property to stand out. Customer service boils down to going the extra mile, and in doing so, can increase retention and capture new renters.
Innovation is about finding areas of disagreement and finding win-win solutions. When evaluating amenities, try posing three questions:
- How do you determine which are important to implement?
- How do you implement those amenities you decide are important?
- How do you measure the ROI of the amenities you’ve implemented?
Figuring out ways to go the extra mile can be accomplished by identifying points of apprehension among residents in stressful situations. Beginning with a tenant’s first thoughts of moving through to move-in day and beyond, identify areas in which you can help them make a stressful period into an enjoyable one.
One stressful experience, in particular, that is often overlooked is the move itself. Moving is usually a challenging task. You can help new tenants by making move-in a focus of the resident experience. Find ways in which your team can make the move-in experience unparalleled and you will earn high scores on your lease renewals as well as your appeal to prospective tenants.
A published case study by Kingsley Associates detailing how resident move-in experiences impact lease renewal rates finds that the renewal rate for residents who were satisfied at move-in was 59 percent higher than the renewal rate for residents who were dissatisfied at move-in.
Service-based amenities are a great source of value. When determining which amenities and programs to implement in your rental property, do away with the disconnect between what is set forth by the corporate office and how it is communicated at the site-level. Take the appropriate steps to guarantee a smooth roll-out and follow the proper channels to make sure that your team members are coordinated,
The ability to measure the ROI of your amenities, services, and programs is critical when determining whether or not the expense is justified. Evaluate, define, implement, and then reflect on each of them. Review your implementations and decide which were successful and if any were not, what improvements can be made.
- First, decide what success should look like by bouncing ideas around with your team, reflecting on company values, and requesting feedback from your tenants.
- Next, ask yourself if an amenity is generating income and helping you meet your goals. If you’re rolling out an online service are your open rates high? Is the new amenity’s usage high? Questions like these can help you identify whether or not an amenity or service is working to help meet your tenants’ needs.
- Once you’ve determined which amenities and services are going to help meet your goals, measure your small wins—all of them will add up. For example, if it is a goal of yours to gather tenant feedback and you only get 2 responses, consider it a win! Find a benchmark and measure steps as slowly as possible.
- Make sure that every amenity and service you offer captures your tenants when they’re happy and encourages them to stay. Be sure that the services and amenities you offer to your residents keep them top of mind.
While money is certainly an important element of the business, creating a home for residents is at the core of the property management industry. By creating the best home environment possible, your business and rental property will thrive.
Create strong relationships with your residents and provide them with living experiences in which you and they can be proud. Once you establish which amenities and services are going to provide your residents with the most value, implement them and continuously measure their impact. Remember, understanding your residents’ needs is not a one-and-done. It’s an ongoing process defines the successful management of your properties.