Tenant retention processes aren't terribly complex in most cases. Incentives, as well as preventative measures and prompt maintenance are all it takes. Build a rapport with a tenant and take care of their needs, and retention is made much easier. Retention does, however, take up considerable time. Automation can help to cut down on time and cost when executing tenant retention campaigns. Using automated messaging through channels such as email and SMS, this can be reduced significantly. With time and money saved, they can be put into other pursuits such as building upgrades or even increase the property manager's free time.
Automation allows you to interact with your customers quickly without eliminating the personal touch. By using merge tags, any user is able to communicate with their tenant by name. Those same tags can also be used to pull other details from the customer's profile in the contact manager, allowing a landlord to identify virtually any personal detail and input it. This also means that during the course of the month the newsletter only needs to be interacted with once every three weeks. The constructed email is put on a repeating trigger and the content is changed. This can be done with a number of other things and based on the date of lease signing, you could even set up reminders to keep the customer aware of when their lease is up.
The important part of automation, however, is how it handles programs that many rental properties offer. Using a resident reward program as an example, imagine that you have a program set up to offer a reward to tenants who pay rent on time for a certain period. Emails or even prerecorded voice messages could be sent to that tenant who met the requirement, all automatically. This facilitates that tenant to contact your office in order to acquire their prize. That contact can serve more than one purpose. By giving the automatic contact, the landlord and management staff is saved time, and by having them call or come in to the office a rapport is built. Here are some other ideas that automation could assist in order to save time and money while executing processes that aid tenant retention.
- Set up a holiday program – Each of your tenants will be with you for at least a year. Offer them a chance to be a part of the holiday program, wherein there is a building-wide holiday meal and, for the winder holidays, a Secret Santa type organized event. You can also sent out e-cards automatically on tenant birthdays for an added bonus. Those programs are all easily automated and sent out once a year. They make a difference.
- Consider move-in kits – Moving can be stressful and necessities are sometimes lost. Consider leaving new tenants a basket that contains batteries, a basic toolkit and snacks. A nice surprise like that will stick in their minds, and make them more likely to spread the word about you and your property. An automated email could be sent out asking tenants what would be most useful and what they might be willing to contribute in order to make things more community-oriented.
- Collaborate with local business – One of the best tenant retention strategies includes collaborating with local businesses. Hold contests related to local businesses, keep a community board that businesses can post coupons or events on, and include a package of samples or welcome gifts for new tenants. The tenants of the building could even get a membership at a wholesaler or gym nearby.
- Offer a renewal cleaning – Send out emails or SMS reminders to clients that you have a cleaning service that will do a clean for them if they renew. This may not mean much to some, but for others it could lead to regular cleaning. As well, it means one more thing that they don't have to do at that time. This can be incredibly important if your lease runs out around a holiday or during spring cleaning. It means customers are free to sort through their things instead of trying to organize them constantly.
These are a few ideas that automation could help with that would contribute strongly to tenant retention and tenant satisfaction. Retention and positive referrals are much easier to come by when the tenant experience is a good one, so even if something seems unrelated to retention it probably isn't. On some level, your whole overall management of the property is important. To learn more about property management marketing and how you can improve it, check out our industry page. To learn how marketing automation can help you, have a look at our marketing automation page.