The 'State of Resident Experience Management'
The blog itself draws from a 78-page report titled "State of Resident Experience Management," drawn from multiple sources, including 700 surveys with managers of multifamily apartments, and downloadable here.
The highline takeaways from the report include:
- Offering a modern living experience is the most important component of resident experience management (ResEx).
- The majority of churn drivers are controllable by management.
- Sense of community continues to be a value driver for residents.
- Managers are planning to provide more digital options across key resident touchpoints.
- Managers' and residents' communication preferences are not aligned.
So many ways to streamline and boost the experience
The report then drills down into such areas as streamlining -- which inherently includes digitizing when possible -- such things as the move-in process, including pet, vehicle, and visitor registration. Then it adds in managing ongoing touchpoints such as unit access, smart home devices, rent and utility payments, and amenity reservations.
Other suggestions include arranging special discounts from local shops and services, and high-touch features such as social and holiday events and decorations and emergency communications.
Finally, landlords should make the lease renewal and move-out process as streamlined as possible, too. After all, as the Zego blog points out, by far most tenants do their research online, and that includes reviews, which matter a lot when people are making their exit, too.
The Millionacres bottom line: Happy residents make for happy landlords
Evolving priorities have made retention trickier than ever, Zego says, making the resident experience a major new focus.
Here's a benchmark: The report says the average industry retention rate is 58%, with top performers hitting 65%. These findings are pretty much from large multifamily operations -- the kind often found in the portfolios of residential REITs (real estate investment trusts) -- but the lessons also apply to the individual real estate investor who might have just a handful of units.
The report says: "While residents once prized amenities, now they heavily value convenience, connections within the community, and meaningful living experiences. In other words, their decision to renew is often determined by how the community makes them feel."
And keeping them occupied and the rent coming in every month can feel pretty good.