One of the key factors to success when investing in apartment buildings is having the ability to keep our tenants happy. Happy tenants will stay at your property longer and this reduces turnover. High and steady turnover rates can have a negative impact on the apartment building investor’s bottom line.
The first and most obvious tool that an apartment building land lord can use is the control he or she has over the price of rent. The rent should me at market. I have found that people usually don’t mind paying a fair price for a product or service that has a high perceived value. There are many things that an apartment building investor can do to make sure that the perceived value of their renting experience exceeds the rent that their tenants are paying. I am not suggesting that you lose money every month by throwing appreciation parties for your tenants but a little bit of creativity can go a long way towards making your tenants truly enjoy living in your apartment building.
The apartment building landlord should constantly be thinking of ways to improve the experience of his or her renters. Here are some creative ways to bring more value to your tenants and keep them around as happy renters for years to come.
- Sponsor a pot luck dinner at the clubhouse every six months so that tenants can have an opportunity to meet and mingle with their neighbors. It is reasonable to assume that a renter will feel more attached to an apartment building if there is a sense of community and group experience. Pot luck dinners will encourage the renters to meet each other. In addition, at the pot luck dinner, you can sponsor a free raffle contest. The winner might receive a $100.00 gift certificate to a local chain restaurant. This raffle can be advertised along with the dinner and it should increase the number of people who actually attend.
- Distribute a newsletter to residents on a bi-monthly basis that offers some interesting and informative contents about the apartment building or community. This newsletter can actually be written by the residents themselves. I am sure that there are talented writers and illustrators living in most apartment buildings anywhere in the country that would be happy to help. You may even be able to have the printing and distribution paid for by a local company targeting your renters as potential customers. For example, ask around at the local pizza restaurants. You can offer them free advertising and a prominent placement in your newsletter in exchange for them handling the production cost.
- Send out birthday cards to your renters. Everyone supplies their date of birth when applying to rent. Use this information to send out nice birthday card expressing your thanks for having them as happy renter.
- Organize an intramural kickball team. This one may take some work but you can contact other apartment building management companies to see if they are interested in forming their own team. Your newly formed kickball team can meet theirs at a nearby park. The winner of the game could win a prize such as a tshirt. The t-shirt, of course, can advertise your rental property.