One of the best ways to retain quality tenants in your apartments is to create a sense of community, a place where tenants call home and where they want to live with their friends and family. Along with creating a sense of community for your tenants, landlords need to create a positive and empowering environment for their employees who service the tenant base.
Landlords have to view their tenants as customers, and are compelled to offer their “customers” value and service in exchange for payment of rent. They have to treat their employees in a similar fashion to maintain loyalty and to keep their staff motivated.
At our properties, we require our maintenance staff to respond quickly and professionally to all maintenance requests. We have a twenty-four hour maintenance hotline where tenants can reach our staff in case of an emergency.
In July of this year, there was a train derailment in our town that forced the evacuation of our tenants from one of our properties into hotels. Our manager was at the property at 3 AM directing the tenants and telling them where to go and what to expect. We were proactive in this situation, and fortunately the tenants were back in their apartments a couple of days later.
Other examples that separate us from our competition include we offer clean, affordable apartments and are constantly addressing deferred maintenance issues. We have dubbed the phrase “Modern Affordability.” We also offer our tenants a referral fee for every new tenant they refer to our property.
We recently implemented a new program with Papa John’s pizza that was a win-win for the tenants, the employees and for our business. We had been looking for ways to increase value to our tenants, and we approached Papa John’s to see if they were amenable to offering a discount to our tenants.
We were surprised at how open the company was willing to create a promotion for our property and were able to draft this agreement with the company:
- All new renters get a free pizza card in their welcome packs. Offer good for one free large two-topping pizza and free two liter of soda.
- Staff will be fed once per month (we bought lunch for staff, so this was great)
- The staff will receive 50% off menu priced orders while at work and for pick-up.
- Papa John’s will be allowed to place up to four yard signs to promote our apartment weekly special every month from the 1st until the 7th.
- The apartment week special will give all of your renters a 50% discount off regular priced menu.
- The box top flyer for the first seven days of each month.
As you can see, all parties in this transaction prospered.
Papa John’s is building their brand and has direct access to our tenant base. Our customers will be visiting Papa John’s first, and will be offered discounts to visit the store. The tenants will be happy that they will be able to receive discounts from Papa John’s and our staff is also excited because they will be receiving a sizable discount from the pizzeria.
It is vital in business to create these win-win situations so that all parties prosper. You will be more likely to elevate customer loyalty and satisfaction while increasing revenue.
This is just one small example of how you can create these awesome solutions. Just learn how to think outside the box and be prepared for the naysayers to say “You can’t do that.” When you hear these words uttered, just know that you are on the right track.