During this month's NAA Apartmentalize Conference in San Diego, CA, our Mobile Doorman team was given the opportunity to host an industry learning session. As part of the seminar, we focused on the value of resident communication and its ramifications on an apartment community's bottom line.

While thousands of dollars are poured into a community's marketing budget each year, once move-in day hits, dedicated assets focused on improving the resident experience - and further engaging with them - are often overlooked.

For those who were not able to attend, let's recap the major findings from the presentation in the form of a handful of statics, signifying the power of resident communication on a community's retention rate.

1.) A property saves on average $1,350 (not including marketing costs) when retaining a resident (Zillow Rentals)

Last year's NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Renter Preferences Report found that Apartment Management is the second largest reason for residents not resigning their lease. Poor communication from properties for recurring touch points plague residents with forgettable experiences, leading to decreased lease renewals. Considering the average savings when retaining a resident, ignoring resident communication can be a costly misstep.

2.) There is an 84% greater likelihood of renewal if the resident's move-in process goes well (Kingsley)

Property managers will agree that one of the most important days of the retention process is day one of a resident’s lease—move-in day. Move-in day is one of the few days a property manager is actually going to be able to communicate & "touch: the resident, and first impressions are everything. 

3.) 77% of consumers want companies to contact them with proactive service notifications (Microsoft)

While the idea that the same generation who are recognizing, and rejecting, marketing efforts more than ever before are asking for increased communication from brands seems counter-intuitive, when you take a closer look it's easier to understand why. Rather than looking like spam, tailored and timely proactive communication from brands that consumers follow are seen as helpful, instead of harmful. Take for instance Delta Airlines: You may receive multiple notifications (gate change, bags loaded onto the plane, upgrades available, etc.) the day of a flight from their app, all of which are welcomed. Helpful and timely: The hallmark of a good proactive service notification. 

4.) Residents are 47% more likely to renew if they have friended seven people at a community (Witten)

Sporadic pool parties no longer do the trick, and managers now have to provide events that will become an integrated part of a resident’s routine, something they’ll look forward to that they know they can only get at a specific property. Resident events not only serve as a way to encourage referrals in a social setting, but also assist in acquainting fellow residents. It’s a way to get people to renew without saying “please renew.”

5.) 9/10 consumers want to text message with brands (Twilio)

While we've discussed the importance of proactive communication, reactive communication is just as - if not more - important for a property. In today's world, consumers expect easy access and availability to their brand when a question arises, and management offices are no different. Now that doesn't mean being on and responding to messages 24 hrs of the day, but allowing residents the ability to send a message to their property quickly and efficiently (aka not having to dig through a web portal to find an email address) can do wonders for resident satisfaction. Be Available. Be Helpful.