This article was posted on Monday, Sep 01, 2014

My 3-Star Program is an excellent way to encourage residents to stay with you a minimum of three years. You enroll tenants in a 3-Star Program at no charge. It’s just like the local grocery stores where I am enrolled in each of their “special” programs. At one store I’m a “Gold Club” member. At the other I am a “MVP” member.

Why did these stores encourage me to enroll in their free programs? To create customer loyalty. Guess what? It works! When I go buy groceries, without thinking I shop at the two stores that give me a few perks (small discounts) because I see myself as a MVP or Gold Club member.

Keep Your Customer by Creating Loyalty

I’ve enrolled residents in my 3-Star Program for the same reason … to create customer loyalty. And it works. By giving residents a perk (minor property upgrades) on each rental anniversary as part of the 3-Star Program, residents see themselves as three-year residents.

Of course, the residents can legally terminate the rental agreement at any time and move to another rental, just like I can start shopping at a different store. But I voluntarily keep shopping where I’m reminded often that I am a valued customer and get perks.

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The store doesn’t ask me each year if I want to renew my membership or whether I want to keep shopping there. They simply send me a letter on occasion (with perks and discounts) thanking me for continuing to be a valued customer and telling me what I can look forward to. This is the same way the 3-Star Program works.

I share this analogy, because a few people question whether some of my “innovative” rental ideas work. Yes, they work because I just adapt strategies that are working well for other industries and use them in the rental business.

And the 3-Star Program, like the Gold Club or MVP program, creates customer loyalty. Residents continue to stay year after year without annual discussions about whether they want to stay in the program.

Anniversary Agenda Checklist

It is to your advantage to talk with your resident once a year near the anniversary date. Send an Anniversary Agenda Checklist with a thank-you letter for participating in the FIRST year of their 3-Star Program.

The Agenda Checklist tells residents they have an opportunity to discuss concerns and new options available during the next year of their 3-Star Program. The Agenda Checklist asks residents to select the topics from the agenda of what they would like to talk about. Remember, let your residents pick the topics for the discussion and use this agenda to have a truly profitable discussion. A sample letter would be:

Dear Tenant:

We like to meet with residents at least once each year to help insure that we continue to meet your housing needs and make sure you are aware of all the options available to you. We want YOU to select the agenda for the meeting.

Tell us what you would like to talk about. We can discuss just one of the following topics, or we can discuss as many of the topics as you select. Or, if you prefer not to meet at this time, just let us know.

The meeting will take place at your residence on one of the following two dates. Please let us know which date and time is most convenient for you to meet with us.   Return this checklist to us within the next three days, so we can schedule the meeting. Mail or deliver it to the following address:  (Put your address here.)

Which meeting date and time is best for you?

_______________ or _______________

Select which topics you would like to discuss at the meeting:

_____ Different rent payment plans available. Some residents prefer to pay every two weeks instead of monthly. It is possible to change the payment terms in your rental agreement.

_____ Any concerns about you current rental home?

_____ Receive 10% annual refund of your security deposit for passing semi-annual inspections

_____ New upgrades and service options available for the next year of your 3-Star Program

_____ Transfer location options if you want to consider moving to another size rental home

_____ Prices and rental policies of other homes in the area

_____ Negotiate a new rental amount for the upcoming year

_____ Tell-a-Friend Referral Fee Program for 3-Star residents. (How to get free rent or cash)

_____ Your evaluation or comments about our maintenance guarantee program

_____ Special services and advantages of our “VIP” Resident Programs

_____ Other topic __________________________________________

_____ I prefer not to meet at this time. Everything is satisfactory. No topics I need to discuss.

Each topic a resident selects gives you, the landlord, the opportunity to meet the changing needs of your resident.

Equally important, as you offer options to meet the resident’s needs and concerns, each topic on the agenda will also give you the opportunity to increase your cash flow plus increase the customer satisfaction level.

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