The door-to-door approach… Most won’t use this!
A Personal, Face-to-Face Renewal Approach? Even as I type these words I know that some will see this concept as archaic, so “old style”. I admit it! As a Boomer, I tend to view the industry from a different perspective. I also know this approach works!
Renewals start with GREAT service. We earn lease renewals (and rent increases) through the way we performed in the most recent lease term. Yet as in the initial leasing presentation, we must be proactive in our “re-leasing” efforts. A lease renewal is more than an online transaction. It is the re-leasing of the apartment to the current resident…the current occupant.
While there should be a renewal strategy for every property, even for each resident, you will typically start the process with an email or appropriate text. Today’s rental environment shows high demand with renewal rents often less than new move-in rents. This allows us to take some shortcuts in getting renewals with healthy increases. Residents looking to move often find the rents to be higher elsewhere.
Still, some residents don’t respond to our first renewal attempts or simply turn in a move-out notice.
Knock on Some Doors! Is this too bold in 2022? Should you run down your non-responding resident who has given notice or has simply not responded? Depends. If you have some sort of relationship with the resident and a pleasing personality (not all of us do!), go ahead and knock!
It is not complicated to knock on a Resident’s door. The key is preparation.
- Wear a name tag and dress like an onsite professional. Carry a clipboard. It works!
- Smile and quickly explain your business. “Hi. I am Rick from the office. I wanted to drop by to invite you to renew your lease right now. Did you get my email? We were worried that we had not heard back from you.”
- Be prepared with your “renewal offer” and have a way for the resident to renew on the spot. (Why can’t we make it easy for the resident to simply click the renewal document from a tablet you bring with you?)
- If there is some concern, set a specific appointment for the resident to meet you back at the office.
Why the big deal about renewals? Well, we have a chance to achieve some significant rent increases and prevent some costly turnovers. THAT is a big deal. It is worth the extra effort even when renewal percentages are rising. Don’t accept your move-out notices without a request to the resident to reconsider. And quit sending out those ridiculous month-to-month accelerated rent rates without at least a phone call.
Just read a few online reviews of some departing residents. Despite the rise in renewals across the industry, we are still forcing some move-outs simply because we don’t try a bit harder to keep residents longer.
Go knock on a few doors or at the very least, make a few phone calls. Find out what your departing residents are really thinking.